New age May 22, 2007

A better beginning than expected

209

A clean sweep of this series would have been an unimaginable result--and so it turned out. Sri Lanka are a formidable one-day team even without their premier bowler. This series was a trip too far but today they roused themselves to give Tom Moody a happy send off.

Pakistan made mistakes. Malik made mistakes. There is much work to be done to polish the skills of this young team. But nobody should have expected a perfect performance so early. Each new formation requires some time to settle. New responsibilities bring new roles, and new roles take a little getting used to. If these players are to challenge the world's best they will have to advance their skills quickly.

But there was enough spirit and verve on display over this series as a whole to conclude that Shoaib Malik's captaincy has begun successfully, better than might have been expected. He was probably helped by the absence of Younis Khan and Shoaib Akhtar, which allowed him to rule outside the glare of captains-in-the-wings. Pakistan must build from this pleasant beginning and hold the thought that they defeated the World Cup finalists. The new age already offers much to fascinate.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • IdioffCot on May 22, 2011, 16:08 GMT

    You certainly deserve a round of applause for your post and more specifically, your blog in general. Very high quality material

  • AA on May 28, 2007, 23:15 GMT

    I just wanted to mention the incompetence of our selection committee once again, which continues to amaze us. We get the point of having a young captain for the future but what is the purpose of having a young vice captain? Vice captain is normally an understudy of a senior captain but here even our Captain has no experience yet. Once Shoaib Malik has a few years experience on his resume, then it makes sense to appoint his understudy, a young deputy. At this time it looks like a joke to me and all the people I have discussed cricket with in the recent past. Mohammad Asif is a promising "medium fast" bowler with only 9 Test matches to back his credentials or no credentials. He had an utter disregard of discipline and respect to opposing team's captain. Mahela is a very respected captain and player around the world, a childish act by our vice captain should, in no shape or form be forgiven or forgotten. He should immediately be demoted to a player's rank and a senior player should be appointed a vice captain to Shoaib Malik. This is in all benefit to Shoaib Malik who is to be groomed as a Captain of our National Cricket Team with the help of seniors. Shoaib Malik can use a wise man's advice who can also act as a mature responsible adult and a player who knows to respect. Asif should have been sacked as a vice captain, mere warning sends a wrong message to our youngsters and our image goes down the drain in rest of the world. The selection committee never fails to amaze us, just as they have picked Mohammad Asif as a vice captain while several seniors who could help build Shoaib Malik as a future long-term captain are brushed aside with no say in the game. The other amazing thing which could have been prevented, should there be a senior in the decision making process is that five players were rested in the last ODI at Abu Dhabi in the last match. If you want to build a strong young side then the youngsters need to play in the presence of Seniors who can guide them as they grow. There are two points I would like to make here, first of all Mohammad Asif may be a vice captain but he is not a senior player. There is no way he could have tipped Najaf Shah to bowl better in this match, Umar Gul has better credentials and more seniority than Asif. Secondly, Abdul Razzaq has come into the side after such a long absence and he has not yet justified his selection in the side, why was he rested? Our cricket will never improve as long as we have officials who are incompetent in decision making, incompetent in making statements and to justify their ranks they demonstrate a show-off "authority" which is good for nothing. What happened to the players of the past who are proud sons of Pakistan cricket, because of whom Pakistan is know to be a Giant in cricket, who have done a great service to Pakistan, what happened to those players? Why do we forget about them and their services? Why can't they be brought back to serve Pakistan once again in a more dignifying manner than our current officials and selectors. PCB should consider bringing such ex-cricketers to ranks who were pride of Pakistan and the world knows them and respects them. They can still be assets of Pakistan, they might have retired from cricket but cricket has not retired from the blood of Pakistanis. Please bring them back to enhance the image of Pakistan. Lastly, I would like to say that Pakistan should pay special attention to it's players attitudes and mannerism. Actions speak louder than words, there should be stiff fines associated with fowl actions or reactions. Pakistan was known for it's players sportsmanship, players like Majid Khan, Late Wasim Hasan Raja, Mudassr Nazar, Javed Miandad and so many more. They never waited for an umpire to raise the finger, they always went half way to the dressing room before finger was raised. I just hope that our youngsters learn good things from our super stars of the past and enhance image of our great nation in the world of cricket.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on May 28, 2007, 3:33 GMT

    In response to Irfan's post "May 25, 2007 3:20 PM," I had expressed my views and restricted it strictly on the subject of cricket but, for some it was just another post and no one really cares about who writes what on cricket, 'coz most people are interested in expressing their own views. But, when you spice it up with a few buzz words or create a few controversies or stir up the debate by opposing their views, then suddenly some people wake up. And, there is one guy on this blog when he is ignored he keeps rambling and digs out all my posts only to show that he has ALL the time in the world not only to read them but to collect, savour and cherish them. Its another matter that he is extremely impressed by me and by my writing skills to the extent of adoring me, just like the bibi who worships me and now gone into etekaaf i.e., in my remembrance. Sometimes, like an Atheist he doubts whether I exist? And sometimes he questions in disbelief like, he talks in his slumber and wonders if it is really me who is also the avatar of this blog? Well, I won't deny it and, I would rather let the ignorant be more intrigued and enjoy the mystery and pulling him out of his misery would be like depriving him from the pleasures of his bland, boring and insipid "loife".

    The funny part is like a typical pay&do when he alone cannot do anything, he tries to gather some support by dropping the names of those people (who may have disliked me or Kamran Abbassi or my views and his views for whatever reasons and who cares, as I am not here to win a popularity contest!) hoping they will join him in his trivial antics which obviously is a cheap desi ploy to show his clout in desi isshtyle. Otherwise, for sure he knows that no words of his own would suffice to convey his own grief. Poor soul needs hired mourners to mourn his own demise.

    I am sure khansahab must be grinning from ear to ear like a bushel basketful of possum heads, 'coz he asked the Punjaban to dance and suddenly we see this Bhangra from this Ashaq-e- na-muraad. Btw, khansahab you have corrected and spelled the obvious to someone and yet our pain-in-do pra made the same mistake, he didn't bother to open his eyes and see how it is spelled. And thats what makes him the one and only. And do you know why there is so much emphasis on dance or naach in this culture? You've mentioned the famous one in your post, and here is another one called, "nach lay, nach lay, kuriye nach lay! The booing, jeering and pestering to dance, gets the kuri hyped up and she starts dancing on the beat with a vengeance and a promise to dance all night (mai nachaan saari raat.... mai nachaan saari raat.) Here is something very apt, which I would like to add to complete the verse of that song:

    "Tundi-e-baad-e-mukhalif say na ghabra aye uqaab meno kotha kali kara de...mein nachaan saari raat." LOL.

  • Rauf on May 28, 2007, 0:04 GMT

    I like to read most of the posts on Pakspin threads because I am a Pakistani cricket fan... however; in my endeavour to still be awake when I am done reading a thread, I tend to dislike the long winded posts that seem like to cover the entire cricket history peppered by some childish humour all rolled into one. Keep it interesting and to the point else open your own boring blog.

    I am sorry Javed, I did not realize you were being funny in your "Waqar Younis accent" post. I, like most people, enjoy humour only when it actually is humorous. Here is a clue, If it does not make you laugh when you tell it in front of a mirror then it's not worth mentioning in the public and oh... here comes the liberal usage of the word "paindoo" on even a faintest smell of the word "Punjabi". It's been a known fact that the word "paindoo" is mostly used by those "non paindoos" who are generally constipated by the false sense of being more educated/travelled etc etc then the rest of the people in Pakistan... specially Punjabis. These same "non paindoos" will trip all over each other to sing a badly written/performed/accented song in Punjabi as well as hilarious over usage of the "poorly accented" English language mixed in with some Urdu to make it neither Urdu nor English... but other then that... it's just those "paindoos" who are so "backward" from us "non paindoos". hehehehehehe

    I don't oppose someone from learning and using correct language... any language. I just like to periodically give some medication to the "non paindoos" of the Pakistan whenever they suffer from this constipation attack.

    I am not from "La'hore" but funny you mentioned "diamond market" out of the blue in your post. Did you actually have a point or were you just being a "non paindoo". hehehehehe.

    khansahab... your come back is hilarious. Please add some more words to your vocabulary so that the total count goes beyond 10 ... then try again :)

    Enough said. Back to everything about Pakistani cricket.

  • khansahab on May 27, 2007, 22:58 GMT

    Jamjar,

    I hope the following eradicates the doubt. I have copied it from an online database:

    "Statesmanship" is often used as a term of praise for someone in a position of power who deliberately avoids a short term political gain for them or their own party, choosing instead to take an alternative course of action for the benefit of their nation as a whole. For example if the leader of a government passed a very unpopular law which cost their party the next election but was later widely acknowledged to be the correct course of action for the country, this would eventually be seen as an act of great statesmanship, and such a leader could be described as "statesmanlike".

  • khansahab on May 27, 2007, 22:31 GMT

    Jamjar,

    Some of us are too busy pursuing intellectual objectives that we do not have the time to write books or participate in tournaments so that our talents would get publicly noticed. That is your answer to how many books I have written or what my cricketing achievements are.

    Despite your fluent English I detect a fundamental lack of worldly awareness and intellect. I am astounded you believe age is a factor to one’s relative achievements or underachievements whereas the developed world has woken up from that myth.

    As regards your assertion that I perhaps read Manchester Evening News, my astonishment at you not knowing the difference between the common contextual uses of the analogies of “statesman” and “politician”, compel me to assert that perhaps you should really stick your page out of Page 3 of The Sun and observe the wonderful world around you so that some of us do not pity your deplorable state any further.

    Contrary to your biased belief I am one of the more compromising and respectful posters on this blog. I do not perceive apologising to people or compromising as a weakness of my character, but its strength. I do get cocky and “defensive” when certain pinheads don’t know what they’re talking about, though :)

    I trust you will have found this post as entertaining and “amusing” as my previous ones? :)

  • Awas on May 27, 2007, 22:20 GMT

    Ashaq

    Brilliant satirical analysis on JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA. You must have set him up now. Wait for a long riposte on it. I bet he is working on it.

  • Awas on May 27, 2007, 21:57 GMT

    JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA

    I totally agree with your addition of Nassir Hussein in the list of good commentators. It must have slipped my mind. Not only is he unbiased, he also has a very good analytical mind and an ability to put thoughts into words. What a shame cannabis king is really going to be made into king….knighted :- I also vividly remember the failed court case which was instigated after Imran’s comments on someone being from downstairs, taking a phrase from a classical drama “upstairs downstairs”. If my memory serves me correct, wasn’t that the time also when Wasim and Waqar turned around the Oval test by winning with their lethal reverse swing that every English journalist and commentator started calling them cheats including Botham which resulted in Imran making the above mentioned remarks. What I do remember vividly though was the one English commentator who went against the tide and that was Boycott. His comments on two W’s were: even if you put an orange in these two guys’ hands to bowl at you they would still take a wicket.

    Rauf / Jamjar This blog becomes alive with people like JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA, khansahab, WASIM SAQIB and Ashaq type. I bet every one reads them which can’t be said for some of the other bloggers. Light hearted mimicking of Waqar with phrase like “A room” or someone being called a “Paindoo” (in the context this doesn’t necessarily mean a villager), or Inzamam being described as “Puppoo faced” (spot on :-) no doubt livens up debate a little. They keep saying that such comments are made in a light hearted way then who are we to argue otherwise.

    A 20 years old khansahab, if true, seems to have a good head on his shoulders with his ability of not only writing well but also with his understanding of the game of cricket. Correction of someone’s spelling in a blog is unnecessary though but lighten up guys…don’t take it seriously.

  • Ashaq on May 27, 2007, 21:00 GMT

    Khansahab my brother,I am not bothered about being regarded as an "intellectual lightweight" or heavywieght. I'm an 'unrefined', 'unsophisticated' product of the innercity environment, and I am proud of it.I have no desire to be seen as a great intellectual I have achieved tremendous success in my business life as it is.

    As for 'Respect'I learned something very valuable many years ago. As a 13year old I was due to take part in my very first Amateur Boxing contest. The night before the tournament I was so excited I could hardly sleep. The following day I arrived at the Leisure Centre were all my friends and family had turned out in force to watch me.Just before My bout I got cold feet,a massive case of stage fright, the thought of losing and being humiliated in front of my friends and family scared the life out of me,I did'nt want to take part.The coach from my gym came up to me and said he wasnt gonna let me quit on myself he said"I know your scared to go out there and lose more importantly lose the respect of your friends and family, I am not going to let you quit cos if you dont go into that ring your gonna lose something more valuable which is Self respect if you lose that you got nothing.If you quit now you'll always be a quitter.A real loser is someone who never even trys,just go out there give your best shot win or lose I'll be proud of you." So I went in to the ring the other kid was also having his first contest and just as scared as I was,I ended up winning.Went home with my friends and family being none the wiser as to what had transpired.

    The point my Brother is only thing that counts is self respect.As for you my Brother my sincere advice is and please dont take it the wrong way is to let the real KhanSahab standup and be counted for I feel we have yet to see the best of him..You dont need to emulate the mannerisms or terminology of Javed.A.Khan. Just be yourself bro, and if people dont like it so what.Why get hung up on how your perceived by others.

    Whether you call me "Bhai" or "Pindu" I dont care either way.Although I think the term Pindu is highly inaccurate in these times.The story of the naive villager,going to the big city,with great expectations and dreams of riches,but returning home penniless and with a broken spirit,Is in these times outdated.

    There are no naive villagers nowadays.What you have Now is the era of the 'PARDESI PINDU'.The dumb and naive foreigner returning to Pakistan for the very first time,with a very romanticised view of his spiritual and ancestral homeland getting totally played by the locals. However I will save the story concerning my "PARDESI PINDU" adventure for another day.

  • khansahab on May 27, 2007, 17:12 GMT

    Ashaq,

    I have been impressed with your observations regarding Javed Bhai. Two people I respect on this blog, despite having my occasional differences with them, are Javed and Wasim Bhai. That is why I have started calling them "Bhai" which is purely a sign of respect, for me.

    I initially thought of you as an intellectual lightweight. But now my respect has grown for you. I will start calling you "Ashaq Bhai" if you don't mind.

  • IdioffCot on May 22, 2011, 16:08 GMT

    You certainly deserve a round of applause for your post and more specifically, your blog in general. Very high quality material

  • AA on May 28, 2007, 23:15 GMT

    I just wanted to mention the incompetence of our selection committee once again, which continues to amaze us. We get the point of having a young captain for the future but what is the purpose of having a young vice captain? Vice captain is normally an understudy of a senior captain but here even our Captain has no experience yet. Once Shoaib Malik has a few years experience on his resume, then it makes sense to appoint his understudy, a young deputy. At this time it looks like a joke to me and all the people I have discussed cricket with in the recent past. Mohammad Asif is a promising "medium fast" bowler with only 9 Test matches to back his credentials or no credentials. He had an utter disregard of discipline and respect to opposing team's captain. Mahela is a very respected captain and player around the world, a childish act by our vice captain should, in no shape or form be forgiven or forgotten. He should immediately be demoted to a player's rank and a senior player should be appointed a vice captain to Shoaib Malik. This is in all benefit to Shoaib Malik who is to be groomed as a Captain of our National Cricket Team with the help of seniors. Shoaib Malik can use a wise man's advice who can also act as a mature responsible adult and a player who knows to respect. Asif should have been sacked as a vice captain, mere warning sends a wrong message to our youngsters and our image goes down the drain in rest of the world. The selection committee never fails to amaze us, just as they have picked Mohammad Asif as a vice captain while several seniors who could help build Shoaib Malik as a future long-term captain are brushed aside with no say in the game. The other amazing thing which could have been prevented, should there be a senior in the decision making process is that five players were rested in the last ODI at Abu Dhabi in the last match. If you want to build a strong young side then the youngsters need to play in the presence of Seniors who can guide them as they grow. There are two points I would like to make here, first of all Mohammad Asif may be a vice captain but he is not a senior player. There is no way he could have tipped Najaf Shah to bowl better in this match, Umar Gul has better credentials and more seniority than Asif. Secondly, Abdul Razzaq has come into the side after such a long absence and he has not yet justified his selection in the side, why was he rested? Our cricket will never improve as long as we have officials who are incompetent in decision making, incompetent in making statements and to justify their ranks they demonstrate a show-off "authority" which is good for nothing. What happened to the players of the past who are proud sons of Pakistan cricket, because of whom Pakistan is know to be a Giant in cricket, who have done a great service to Pakistan, what happened to those players? Why do we forget about them and their services? Why can't they be brought back to serve Pakistan once again in a more dignifying manner than our current officials and selectors. PCB should consider bringing such ex-cricketers to ranks who were pride of Pakistan and the world knows them and respects them. They can still be assets of Pakistan, they might have retired from cricket but cricket has not retired from the blood of Pakistanis. Please bring them back to enhance the image of Pakistan. Lastly, I would like to say that Pakistan should pay special attention to it's players attitudes and mannerism. Actions speak louder than words, there should be stiff fines associated with fowl actions or reactions. Pakistan was known for it's players sportsmanship, players like Majid Khan, Late Wasim Hasan Raja, Mudassr Nazar, Javed Miandad and so many more. They never waited for an umpire to raise the finger, they always went half way to the dressing room before finger was raised. I just hope that our youngsters learn good things from our super stars of the past and enhance image of our great nation in the world of cricket.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on May 28, 2007, 3:33 GMT

    In response to Irfan's post "May 25, 2007 3:20 PM," I had expressed my views and restricted it strictly on the subject of cricket but, for some it was just another post and no one really cares about who writes what on cricket, 'coz most people are interested in expressing their own views. But, when you spice it up with a few buzz words or create a few controversies or stir up the debate by opposing their views, then suddenly some people wake up. And, there is one guy on this blog when he is ignored he keeps rambling and digs out all my posts only to show that he has ALL the time in the world not only to read them but to collect, savour and cherish them. Its another matter that he is extremely impressed by me and by my writing skills to the extent of adoring me, just like the bibi who worships me and now gone into etekaaf i.e., in my remembrance. Sometimes, like an Atheist he doubts whether I exist? And sometimes he questions in disbelief like, he talks in his slumber and wonders if it is really me who is also the avatar of this blog? Well, I won't deny it and, I would rather let the ignorant be more intrigued and enjoy the mystery and pulling him out of his misery would be like depriving him from the pleasures of his bland, boring and insipid "loife".

    The funny part is like a typical pay&do when he alone cannot do anything, he tries to gather some support by dropping the names of those people (who may have disliked me or Kamran Abbassi or my views and his views for whatever reasons and who cares, as I am not here to win a popularity contest!) hoping they will join him in his trivial antics which obviously is a cheap desi ploy to show his clout in desi isshtyle. Otherwise, for sure he knows that no words of his own would suffice to convey his own grief. Poor soul needs hired mourners to mourn his own demise.

    I am sure khansahab must be grinning from ear to ear like a bushel basketful of possum heads, 'coz he asked the Punjaban to dance and suddenly we see this Bhangra from this Ashaq-e- na-muraad. Btw, khansahab you have corrected and spelled the obvious to someone and yet our pain-in-do pra made the same mistake, he didn't bother to open his eyes and see how it is spelled. And thats what makes him the one and only. And do you know why there is so much emphasis on dance or naach in this culture? You've mentioned the famous one in your post, and here is another one called, "nach lay, nach lay, kuriye nach lay! The booing, jeering and pestering to dance, gets the kuri hyped up and she starts dancing on the beat with a vengeance and a promise to dance all night (mai nachaan saari raat.... mai nachaan saari raat.) Here is something very apt, which I would like to add to complete the verse of that song:

    "Tundi-e-baad-e-mukhalif say na ghabra aye uqaab meno kotha kali kara de...mein nachaan saari raat." LOL.

  • Rauf on May 28, 2007, 0:04 GMT

    I like to read most of the posts on Pakspin threads because I am a Pakistani cricket fan... however; in my endeavour to still be awake when I am done reading a thread, I tend to dislike the long winded posts that seem like to cover the entire cricket history peppered by some childish humour all rolled into one. Keep it interesting and to the point else open your own boring blog.

    I am sorry Javed, I did not realize you were being funny in your "Waqar Younis accent" post. I, like most people, enjoy humour only when it actually is humorous. Here is a clue, If it does not make you laugh when you tell it in front of a mirror then it's not worth mentioning in the public and oh... here comes the liberal usage of the word "paindoo" on even a faintest smell of the word "Punjabi". It's been a known fact that the word "paindoo" is mostly used by those "non paindoos" who are generally constipated by the false sense of being more educated/travelled etc etc then the rest of the people in Pakistan... specially Punjabis. These same "non paindoos" will trip all over each other to sing a badly written/performed/accented song in Punjabi as well as hilarious over usage of the "poorly accented" English language mixed in with some Urdu to make it neither Urdu nor English... but other then that... it's just those "paindoos" who are so "backward" from us "non paindoos". hehehehehehe

    I don't oppose someone from learning and using correct language... any language. I just like to periodically give some medication to the "non paindoos" of the Pakistan whenever they suffer from this constipation attack.

    I am not from "La'hore" but funny you mentioned "diamond market" out of the blue in your post. Did you actually have a point or were you just being a "non paindoo". hehehehehe.

    khansahab... your come back is hilarious. Please add some more words to your vocabulary so that the total count goes beyond 10 ... then try again :)

    Enough said. Back to everything about Pakistani cricket.

  • khansahab on May 27, 2007, 22:58 GMT

    Jamjar,

    I hope the following eradicates the doubt. I have copied it from an online database:

    "Statesmanship" is often used as a term of praise for someone in a position of power who deliberately avoids a short term political gain for them or their own party, choosing instead to take an alternative course of action for the benefit of their nation as a whole. For example if the leader of a government passed a very unpopular law which cost their party the next election but was later widely acknowledged to be the correct course of action for the country, this would eventually be seen as an act of great statesmanship, and such a leader could be described as "statesmanlike".

  • khansahab on May 27, 2007, 22:31 GMT

    Jamjar,

    Some of us are too busy pursuing intellectual objectives that we do not have the time to write books or participate in tournaments so that our talents would get publicly noticed. That is your answer to how many books I have written or what my cricketing achievements are.

    Despite your fluent English I detect a fundamental lack of worldly awareness and intellect. I am astounded you believe age is a factor to one’s relative achievements or underachievements whereas the developed world has woken up from that myth.

    As regards your assertion that I perhaps read Manchester Evening News, my astonishment at you not knowing the difference between the common contextual uses of the analogies of “statesman” and “politician”, compel me to assert that perhaps you should really stick your page out of Page 3 of The Sun and observe the wonderful world around you so that some of us do not pity your deplorable state any further.

    Contrary to your biased belief I am one of the more compromising and respectful posters on this blog. I do not perceive apologising to people or compromising as a weakness of my character, but its strength. I do get cocky and “defensive” when certain pinheads don’t know what they’re talking about, though :)

    I trust you will have found this post as entertaining and “amusing” as my previous ones? :)

  • Awas on May 27, 2007, 22:20 GMT

    Ashaq

    Brilliant satirical analysis on JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA. You must have set him up now. Wait for a long riposte on it. I bet he is working on it.

  • Awas on May 27, 2007, 21:57 GMT

    JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA

    I totally agree with your addition of Nassir Hussein in the list of good commentators. It must have slipped my mind. Not only is he unbiased, he also has a very good analytical mind and an ability to put thoughts into words. What a shame cannabis king is really going to be made into king….knighted :- I also vividly remember the failed court case which was instigated after Imran’s comments on someone being from downstairs, taking a phrase from a classical drama “upstairs downstairs”. If my memory serves me correct, wasn’t that the time also when Wasim and Waqar turned around the Oval test by winning with their lethal reverse swing that every English journalist and commentator started calling them cheats including Botham which resulted in Imran making the above mentioned remarks. What I do remember vividly though was the one English commentator who went against the tide and that was Boycott. His comments on two W’s were: even if you put an orange in these two guys’ hands to bowl at you they would still take a wicket.

    Rauf / Jamjar This blog becomes alive with people like JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA, khansahab, WASIM SAQIB and Ashaq type. I bet every one reads them which can’t be said for some of the other bloggers. Light hearted mimicking of Waqar with phrase like “A room” or someone being called a “Paindoo” (in the context this doesn’t necessarily mean a villager), or Inzamam being described as “Puppoo faced” (spot on :-) no doubt livens up debate a little. They keep saying that such comments are made in a light hearted way then who are we to argue otherwise.

    A 20 years old khansahab, if true, seems to have a good head on his shoulders with his ability of not only writing well but also with his understanding of the game of cricket. Correction of someone’s spelling in a blog is unnecessary though but lighten up guys…don’t take it seriously.

  • Ashaq on May 27, 2007, 21:00 GMT

    Khansahab my brother,I am not bothered about being regarded as an "intellectual lightweight" or heavywieght. I'm an 'unrefined', 'unsophisticated' product of the innercity environment, and I am proud of it.I have no desire to be seen as a great intellectual I have achieved tremendous success in my business life as it is.

    As for 'Respect'I learned something very valuable many years ago. As a 13year old I was due to take part in my very first Amateur Boxing contest. The night before the tournament I was so excited I could hardly sleep. The following day I arrived at the Leisure Centre were all my friends and family had turned out in force to watch me.Just before My bout I got cold feet,a massive case of stage fright, the thought of losing and being humiliated in front of my friends and family scared the life out of me,I did'nt want to take part.The coach from my gym came up to me and said he wasnt gonna let me quit on myself he said"I know your scared to go out there and lose more importantly lose the respect of your friends and family, I am not going to let you quit cos if you dont go into that ring your gonna lose something more valuable which is Self respect if you lose that you got nothing.If you quit now you'll always be a quitter.A real loser is someone who never even trys,just go out there give your best shot win or lose I'll be proud of you." So I went in to the ring the other kid was also having his first contest and just as scared as I was,I ended up winning.Went home with my friends and family being none the wiser as to what had transpired.

    The point my Brother is only thing that counts is self respect.As for you my Brother my sincere advice is and please dont take it the wrong way is to let the real KhanSahab standup and be counted for I feel we have yet to see the best of him..You dont need to emulate the mannerisms or terminology of Javed.A.Khan. Just be yourself bro, and if people dont like it so what.Why get hung up on how your perceived by others.

    Whether you call me "Bhai" or "Pindu" I dont care either way.Although I think the term Pindu is highly inaccurate in these times.The story of the naive villager,going to the big city,with great expectations and dreams of riches,but returning home penniless and with a broken spirit,Is in these times outdated.

    There are no naive villagers nowadays.What you have Now is the era of the 'PARDESI PINDU'.The dumb and naive foreigner returning to Pakistan for the very first time,with a very romanticised view of his spiritual and ancestral homeland getting totally played by the locals. However I will save the story concerning my "PARDESI PINDU" adventure for another day.

  • khansahab on May 27, 2007, 17:12 GMT

    Ashaq,

    I have been impressed with your observations regarding Javed Bhai. Two people I respect on this blog, despite having my occasional differences with them, are Javed and Wasim Bhai. That is why I have started calling them "Bhai" which is purely a sign of respect, for me.

    I initially thought of you as an intellectual lightweight. But now my respect has grown for you. I will start calling you "Ashaq Bhai" if you don't mind.

  • jamjar on May 27, 2007, 16:48 GMT

    Khansahab, or should i say khansaab (in reference to your use of punjabi),

    Your blog entries of late really do make me laugh. One can say I'm easily amused but there you go.

    Well now, you make reference to Sachin Tendulkar's feats with the bat at 15 and beyond. Many have witnessed his performances and his career stats are plain for everyone to see. However, he did have to prove his critics and doubters wrong on introduction and throughout his career with the willow.

    You obviously see yourself as someone who punches above his weight, so can you remind us of what your prodigious cricket achievements have been at the tender age of 20? What books on cricket strategy have you penned with your excellent command of the English language and your outstanding ability to spot weaknesses in strategy and performances that fall short of the radars of cricket commentators and observers? I would imagine that with your ability of error free prose, you could do away with any proof readers and write a complete book from scratch, ready straight for publishing.

    Pra, I don't have much experience of reading the Manchester Evening News so can't comment on your reference of the 'statesman' and 'politician'. What I can say is that I make reference to many 'broadsheets' and the financial press on a daily basis and have failed to see your 'statesman' word used in the context you refer to.

    Now, this is a CRICKET blog and yes, it is in English (so 10/10 for observation on your part again). Can we please concentrate on Pak cricket as opposed to accents, grammatical weaknesses and any other egotistical self-centered baseless boasts.

    Thanks.

  • Raza on May 27, 2007, 15:40 GMT

    Pakistan did very well in the series as a whole. Malik's selection of new players in the last match was a positive sign regardless of the result. We do need some fresh talent in the side. I do believe that it is time to try a new keeper. We cannot keep on dropping catches and still expect to win.

  • Ashaq on May 27, 2007, 15:13 GMT

    Kamran maybe the nextpost should be on the resident intellectual Javed.A.Khan. people on this blog are clearly intrigued by this chap:-)

    Is he as Omer Admani stated a fictional character created by Kamran abbasi.To add some controversy and incite reactions from the readers of this blog;-)

    Is he a retired and bitter old chap,as stated by Arsalan. who has nothing better to do then harass people on this Blog be it for their accent or grammer,or eating Nihari and murgh pilao:-)

    Is he as Kiran Ahmed suggested a lunatic who has taken the name of a chimpanzee at Montreal zoo:-)

    Is he as stated by Durrani a convict working in a prison library pretending to be some Pseudo-intellectual, who has had zaydatti done to him:-)

    Or is he just a frustrated "Brown sahib" harking after the days of the Raaj. Hopeing that one day the colonialists will return with his help and therefore he may get a Knighthood, or baronette into the bargain.

    It is quite a mystery, the incomparable Mr.Javed.A.Khan seems to have a chip on his shoulder about everything he has the mannerisms and speech of a retired British colonel you find in a Agatha Christie novel.

    When he is not ridiculing Inzi for eating Niharis (a capital offence indeed) he is engaged in ridiculing others for their accents, be it Rameez or Waqar Younis or the Imam of his local mosque.failing that he chooses to ridicule others for the spelling of their names.If somebody questions him for his eccentric behaviour, he automatically labels them as being Pendoo. He seems to have a great chip on his shoulder about both Arabs,and Punjabis. If anyone criticises him he immediately seems to assume (wrongly) they must be Punjabi as is the case with me he has recently started calling me 'Pra' which I believe is a Punjabi expression for brother.He ridiculed some guy from Australia who made a fairly innocent statement "I am originally from Lahore". By stating are you "agay say Butt or Peechay say Moghul".As for Arabs it seems like one of them stole his girlfriend considering his constant references to their "Tharraks":-)

    He ridicules the Women who voice there opinions on this Blog as being only attention seekers and flirts.He ridicules Ghulam Ali about not knowing anything thing about ghazals of which he is an expert.He seems to take offence at the use of the word 'Bhai' writing several thesis on the topic.

    This is quite a Mystery indeed:-)

  • khansahab on May 27, 2007, 13:35 GMT

    Jamjar “Pra”,

    Thank you for thanking me for pointing your mistake out. I am aware that most dictionaries would postulate that “statesman” and “politician” are synonyms. However sometimes two words that have almost identical meanings are widely used to elucidate rather distinct notions. I am sure (or I hope) you are astute (or well-read) enough to know that “statesman” is used for seasoned and caring individuals who speak for the benefit of the entire community whereby “politician” is widely used for an individual who represents a particular party, often only pretending to show interest in the state and adopting parochial working practices.

    Jamjar, some of us are just so adept with our command over English that we do not need to expend much time to post mistake-free comments.

    Pra, age has little to do with how observant or accurate one can be. Not many people believed Sachin Tendulkar was 15 when he debuted because his batting prowess for far above what kids of his age could achieve. Some of us are just too good for our age and our elders feel jealous they could not achieve what we have at this tender age. :) You spoke about me being an “amateur” and you doubt I can pick up points that some commentators do not. All I can say is that this is an ENGLISH blog and I hope you are better at “picking up” a few tricks than I am. :) See Javed Bhai is a “kibla” and my “buzoorgh” but he understands me :)

    Wasim Bhai,

    I agree with what you have said. Coaching is a must because there needs to be someone who can instil some discipline in these “carefree and careless” souls. One huge advantage of coaching is that the coach will be in a good position to inform the players of the batting and bowling conditions of wherever the team is touring outside Pakistan. The problem whether to get a foreign or domestic coach is an overwhelming one. A foreign coach means “distance” and communication problems yet a foreign coach would be more professional and would be better at improving fielding. A domestic coach will be more approachable and players will be able to communicate with him, but the quality of his coaching may not be up to the mark, especially in the areas of opening and fielding. One thing is for sure, whoever the coach is, Pakistani players (and this especially applies to Shoaib Akhtar and Afridi) need to change their egotistical and undisciplined attitude.

    Rauf, Last time I checked it was an English and not a Punjabi blog. So why don’t you show off your prowess with your mother tongue somewhere where it would be appreciated, not ridiculed. :) Oh and one more thing Rauf……………. “Nach punjaban nach punjaban nach punjaban nach” :)

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on May 27, 2007, 13:25 GMT

    This thread may not be very interesting for most people who like to write one liners to express their joys, woes, love or hate but, a few of the bloggers including myself like to keep the ongoing discussion in continuum i.e., about English accents, game ethics, need and importance of a full time coach, winning, loosing and whining.

    First about the accents. Please note that accents don't matter at all, we all have different accents and I don't have any problems or complexes about accents. I consider them as funny and thats why I mimic all accents be it Punjabi, Memoni, Pushtoon or French and wherever there is "A" room to make pun outta it, I don't miss that opportunity and its done only to have a good laugh and I have said this b4 that I do it in a very light hearted way. I feel sorry for those pay&do's who do not have any sense of humour and they take it to heart defend every single action of their heroes and in doing so they consider themselves as true patriots, imo they are scuds (ok duh, its not scuds but, duds).

    On the more serious side of this issue i.e., not accents but, about bad language, yes, constantly and continuously speaking bad English or any language for that matter is bad, especially if you are a professional commentator. Now, please don't tell me that Waqar Younis or Ranjit Fernando have taken up this job on a volunteer basis or for the purpose of charity, welfare or for the well being of mankind. Therefore, they have the license to kill and murder a language with their repeated grammatical blasphemies!

    For those who think that speaking English language badly is an OK thing 'coz, it is not their mother tongue, should not also talk about improving the game of cricket as well and, must not also talk about Pakistan achieving the number one spot in the ICC rankings too. Because, cricket is not Pakistan's national game and neither the great grand father's of these people used to play cricket. It was introduced in the sub-continent by the British Raj during the colonial days. So, those who oppose improving the English language skills appear to have a BIGGER complex for abandoning their ancestors game, "gulli-danda and "kabbadi" and promoting a farangi game, called cricket! Btw, Rauf that Vilayati cheeq is a very old and senseless expression created by the pay&do folklore tenors without thinking much about the honour and status they gave to their own pay&do "Beaches or Cutties". But, never mind the diamond market of La' hore is ever green and so full of gems. I don't live in Vilayat but, I do have a desi taste and I appreciate all of 'em. I like Zara Sheikh and I think she is the future Diva of Pakistan.

    Need for a full time coach? I am with Rameez Raja and Shahid Afridi. Before the Bab-ul-Omar chapter, in the history of Pakistan cricket team there was never a full time coach. Its the captain who used to play the lead role on and off the field. Imran Khan, in one of his interviews talked about how Inzamam was feeling sick and vomiting just a few hours before the final match in 1992 WC and refused to play by saying he was sick. According to Imran, one of his players woke him up at 4 a.m. and asked him to come to Inzi's room as he is very sick, he went there and he realized that Inzi wasn't sick but he was only nervous, so he assured him that even if he can't score, it doesn't matter but he will play for the country and gave him the assurance that he needed. A Captain is like a shepherd. The shepherd always tries to persuade the sheep that their interests and his own are the same and a coach wouldn't do that.

    And on the field, its the Captain who makes decisions and not the coach and it is the players who play those shots at the spur of the moment, at that moment they cannot think of what their coach must have told them on how to play that shot! For a bowler yes, you may need an experienced hand like Waqar or Wasim to share their experiences like, Sarfaraz and Imran passed on the art of swing bowling to W&W. And, fielding can only improve by practice, physical fitness and by improving the quality of the grounds. As regards using technology and logging info on PC, I am sure there are thousands of techno-savvy Pakistanis who can do that job and may be much better than old Bob.

    Irfan, about game ethics my point was not on playing mind games to target or intimidate a key player or to go for systematic and orchestrated lbw appeals, my point was, its only the OZ's who do that and get away with it, whereas others get penalized. The recent Mohammad Asif / Jayawardene case is an example whereas, Andre Nel and Shane Watson have been doing that on regular basis. So, where are these umpires and match referees? Why don't they admonish them and penalize them as well? The rules should be the same for all and not different for different countries. Discipline among the teammates or a strong system is a good thing but, citing the example of Bangladesh is not so convincing. I have said this b4 and will repeat it again, that BD are an improved ODI side but just one win against India in the WC does not make them any great. India has recently showed that they cannot be toyed by them especially in test matches they have simply caged the tigers and humiliated them. Bangladesh needs another decade to come to that level where they would be reckoned as a force like India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. I like Mohammad Ashraful's batting and Mosharafe Mortoza's all round performance, but that is all Bangladesh side is.

    Finally, on winning: West Indies team dominated the world cricket scene for a longer period of time than this current, arrogant bunch of Australian winners and whiners, but the West Indies players never ever showed such rudeness and impertinence, au contraire they were more humble and displayed better sporting spirit than the OZ's. And the response to your bottom line my friend, I would say, if the watcher is in a gleeful shock, he wouldn't know whether that soreness which he is seeing or feeling is due to the result of joy coming outta winning a game or is it a pain which is caused due to rectal aneurysm!

  • Irfan on May 26, 2007, 16:19 GMT

    The mention of Australia was nothing more than a case in the point due to the pertinence. I could have mentioned N.Y Yankees, Detroit Postons or Dallas Cowboys and it would have had held true. Going back to Australia a top buinessman once told me that you really do not have to come up with innovative ideas/products to sell, just emulate what's been successfuly done and you will be alright. However if you are harboring grand ideas to succeed, then, wait! I hope you understand what I am saying. Now a days success is not about how good one player is in a team it is about how strong your system and is and what are the strenghts of its enforcers. A current example is Toronto Raptors, Phoenix Suns and more pertinently Bangladesh.

    I am not at all an Australian fan, however in comparison with the mighty Windies of 80s the Australians have some thing a lot more substantial then the predecessor of the cricket throne. A Strong system and competent enforcers. Australia, a team, who has got the baiscs down to a routine, a warm up drill, can afford to move on to more advanced and individualized techniques of targeting individuals of other teams. A business example is CRM techniques. Playing mind games with other team's premier performers and getting away with it, the intimidation, the ground etiquettes (LBW appeals and so on) if you haven't alredy realized that all this is a part of a system than you need some catching up to do.

    End of the day, kindly decide what do you want? the winners or the good guys. With winning come the swagger and the attitude. Ofcourse! the Australians are going to be the sorest losers! ofcourse they will whine till cows come home! But wouldn't that be the sweetest site. I say my fellow country man! the sorer they are the more gleeful it is for the watchers. Ain't it.

  • WASIM SAQIB on May 26, 2007, 14:45 GMT

    Shahid Afridi has also joined Ramiz Raja in advocating that Pakistan Team does not need a full time coach. The only reason they are giving is that players when they join national team they are already matured and their flaws and technique become kind of permanent and a coach therefore is not required however both of them were of the view that a coach should be appointed in the academy for young players.

    The idea of not having a professional coach in modern day cricket and specially for a non disciplined and non professional team like Pakistan is ridiculous in the first place.

    Players like Shahid Afridi who plays unorthodox cricket may not need a coach as the coach will teach them to play cricket according to the text book in order to be more successful but the beauty or strength of Afridi’s game lies in his aggression ODI cricket has a place and role for such players, but the role of a modern day cricket coach is not only fixing the technical flaws of the players but to analyze the strengths and weakness of opposition, develop strategy according to the playing condition and opposition, developing a team where every player knows his role and adjusts his game according to the situation in other words pacing the innings, motivating the players psychologically. In batting, besides technique, impulse and reflexes determine the quality and strength of a batsman and these two attributes come naturally and cannot be taught by any coach but a coach can surely help a young batsman with his technique and teach him how to pace his innings according to his position and role in the team also a coach can help a new batsman to cope with a particular bowler or bowling condition where he is struggling.

    In bowling a good coach can do wonders as bowling is an art, quite often we have seen that a slight change in the action or follow thru of the action can make a lot of difference, a bowling coach possessing the knowledge of reverse swing, can impart the knowledge to bowlers although it is difficult to learn, how to utilize different conditions, how to manage the condition of the ball, and how to ball according to field in a pressure situation, it’s true that most of the senior players might already know all these things but in Pakistan’s team there are so many new faces who might benefit a lot from a professional coach. In bowling Wasim Akram has been given the Job, I hope he does his job seriously, but we do need a professional batting coach not every batsman is like Javed Miandad who knew how to pace his innings under any circumstance and not only that Javed always used to make the other batsman so much better by constant advice and by explaining his plan to his partner. Senior players will object to the appointment of a full time coach as their role will diminish and their aspiration to become the KHALIPHA of the team will not materialize, now we don’t want to see a third class player appointed as a coach, or a player with a tarnished past or an ex-player who has been involved in team politics and might have his personal agenda we don’t need such people as a coach. It will be difficult for PCB to find a quality coach, but I think they should not go for a foreign coach.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on May 26, 2007, 12:59 GMT

    Awas I couldn't agree more with you on that list of commentators, just add one more name to that and i.e., Nasir Hussain, he is one of the good ones. Since you've mentioned the name of The Cannabis King, Ian Bothom. I am sure you must have also heard the news that he is set to receive a knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours next month. He is already an OBE, as well as receiving the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004.

    http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/england/content/current/story/295927.html

    Its interesting to see that all the ills and sins of the people belonging to the so-called superior race are dry cleaned and white washed and they transform themselves from a sporting hero into a philanthropic hero. Imran Khan has done a lot more social work than any of the known cricketers in the world and he still runs a charity organization which is doing so much good work for the poor people in Pakistan where more than 70% of the poor cancer patients receive free treatment.

    Obviously Imran Khan doesn't need the Queen to honour him with a knighthood besides, Pakistan is not in the league of Common Wealth anymore. And, this is the same Ian Bothom who along with Allan Lamb launched a libel action against Imran Khan and accused him for passing racist comments against them, however they couldn't succeed and the libel case was cleared in Imran's favour and his first words after that win were, "Thanks to Almighty" which have not been mentioned in the link below:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/cricket/1999/world_cup/news/1999/05/20/libel_case/

    Its funny that the news ended by quoting Imran's marriage to Jemima Goldsmith the daughter of a billionaire in 1995, BUT there is no mention of Imran's charity work or the cancer hospital on which he was working since late eighties. Whereas, the news on cricinfo today about Ian Bothom to receive the knighthood from the Queen also did not mention about his Cannabis story BUT it highlighted his charity work. This is how historians and writers change and distort the history and the events by using their biases and prejudices and turning the bad in to good or from a villain to a hero and vice versa.

    Finally for, khansahab: What do you expect from Thee Satoo-dents of Taleem-e-Balighaan? Even if they had gone to a PRA-purr suckool they would have still naat changed like our Pra Ashaq-e-Na-muraad. ;-)

  • jamjar on May 26, 2007, 12:56 GMT

    Khansahab-

    Thanks for pointing that out. The response was very crudely written on my part hence the discrepancy.

    I dont afford my posts the time that some other obviously do. Its a blog dude, not an English exam so who cares.

    9/10 for observation on your part though, you failed to pick up i used 'your' instead of 'you're' in my entry.

    If Kamran ever needed a proof reader, i'm sure you'd be the ideal candidate for the job. And while we are on the topic of pointing out mistakes:

    Brother, "statesman" is synonymous "politician" so what exactly do you mean by your statement???

    The commentators used in matches have extensive experience playing the game on the international scene. Some have also captained their national teams. I'm sorry, but i fail to see how a 20 year old who has at best experienced the game at an amateur level spots weaknesses in strategies that commentators don't. The only thing you have picked up and brought to the attention are "grammatical" errors and mockery of commentators' accents.

    Thanks.

  • abbaas on May 26, 2007, 12:05 GMT

    Hi people I would like 2 say that the performance against Sri Lanka was a gud 1 but it doesn’t mean Pakistan team is back. How many times have we seen Pakistan underachieve in a big tournament and come back like contenders and flop again. The only way Pakistan can ever become a really strong force in cricket is by getting rid of these useless players such as HAFFFEZ,FARHAT,RAZZAQ,YOUNIS let me give an explanation for all these player why should they get thrown out of the team. Well Hafeez is a tried and tested FLOPPED opener he averages 18 the lowest average for an opening batsman and his strike rate is less than 60 why keep putting him in the team he is a good spinner but we have got Afridi, Malik and Fawad Alam how many more spinners do Pakistan want. Farhat not as bad as Hafeez but not good enough for Pakistan team the guy can’t open. He came in with a big bang into the team and what did he do after 1st couple of centuries nothing is he a good fielder well as far as I am concerned he can’t catch or do a long barrier. Razzaq’s days are long over the guy cant bowl with out giving huge sums of runs away and getting a wicket of a tail ender. He can bat but not as well as he use to. I think the young talented Fawad Alam should replace him. Younis khan the guy rejected captaincy twice and couldn’t be bother coming on the Abu Dubai tore. We can’t have cheaters and ‘DUMMY’ players in our team. I think Pakistan sold open with Butt and Nazir both have plenty of talent and in the first two matches Nazir got us of to an absolute flier. Butt was more composed and keeping his wicket save in the 1st match because it was his come back and if he had got out early they would not of had selected him again and thrown the useless Hafeez in 2nd ODI he played the Salman Butt way crashed the bad balls away. Nazir is a very good player he has improved his game by becoming more patient and hitting the bad balls at the write time. He was the only plus at the world cup if Pakistan stick with these to till the next world cup they would get excellent starts which they have been looking for in the last 4 years. I am delighted to see RAO IFTIKIER been given an chance he bowled well I was impressed with all the bowlers NAJAF SHAH was very unlucky it looks like he has got good line and length keep giving the lad a chance and he will shine. What do I think of Malik’s captaincy excellent he can get all the players working together as a unit and his innings in the last ODI was a warrior 1, that shows he is a hard worker he didn’t give up even when the game was long gone that was great attitude and he is showing a lot of you guys resilience. I am not to sure of Asif being vice captain my ideal Vice Captain would be Imran Nazir or Kamran Akmal both young know the game well and I think both have cemented a permanent place in the team for a long while why not try. Nazir is Pakistan’s best fielder by a country mile. Trust me people give Akmal 1 year and he will become and Adam Gilchrist most of you people are so critical you spouse to support your team not give them or Mr Abbasi a torrid time. I would love to see Shoaib Akhtar and Asim Kamal back in the team. Both play out there heart and sole for the team unlike the ‘DUMMY’ player. We have got a twenty twenty world cup coming up and an ICC Champions Trophy at Home in Pakistan. Hopefully Pakistan will win both. If there is anything you want to say about my comments or want to talk about a subject of Pakistan cricket please fell free and send me an email Abbaas_akhtar@hotmail.com Thank you 1. Salman Butt 2. Imran Nazir 3. Yasir Hameed 4. Shoaib Malik 5. Mohammed Yousuf 6. Fawad Alam 7. Shahid Afridi 8. Kamran Akmal 9. Shoaib Akhtar 10. Umar Gul 11. Mohammed Asif

  • khansahab on May 26, 2007, 10:20 GMT

    Awas, English is not Rameez Raja’s or Ravi Shastri’s mother tongue too, but they do a fine job as far as their command over the language is concerned. I agree with Javed Bhai that international commentators need to speak English properly so they don’t sound funny or stupid to anyone.

    As regards Michael Holding it was funny when a bowler took a wicket and Holding said, “Wow”. It sounded like, “Woo”. Anyway I would not want to ridicule Holding’s accent because that is how most West Indians speak but in the case of Aamir or Waqar, they need to brush up on their English.

    Javed Bhai, Mushtaq Ahmed did a pathetic job even as an URDU commentator in the Twenty20 Cup (and this is coming from someone whose Urdu is very mediocre). This guy suffers from such a complex as far as his language is concerned. It was funny how he kept repeating “Toh yeh in ka *slow one* tha, yeh kaafi acha *slow one* daaltey hain……..” when he was talking about bowlers’ tactics during the Twenty20 Cup. LOL he also said, “ab Haroon aap dekhein in ka agla bowl *ek slow one* hoga”. So if we translate that into English, “His next delivery will be ONE-SLOW-ONE”. LOL!

    The West Indian cricketers share a good rapport with their Pakistani counterparts because during the late 70s and 80s they were two dynamic teams with some excellent individual cricketers. Both teams used to suffer from racism and animosity whenever they played in England, Australia or New Zealand. That kinda gelled these teams together. Michael Holding is an example of someone who has tremendous respect for the way Pakistanis play their cricket. Viv Richards recently said that Javed Miandad is the best man to coach Pakistan and his passion for cricket is unprecedented. I think it was Javed Bhai who said that most Pakistani and West Indian bowlers used to rely solely on their pace and swing to get batsmen out, as opposed to Aussies who used to sledge and insult, mentally intimidating their opponent to lose his wicket.

    It is quite strange Pakistan’s schedule is not packed until September anyway. Even after September there is come doubt what they’re doing in October and November. There is this talk of a series vs South Africa but I don’t think any dates have been finalised as yet.

  • Rauf on May 26, 2007, 9:37 GMT

    jamjar:

    I agree with your comment about Javed and khansahab taking a stab at Waqar's English speaking prowess. Last time I checked, this was still a cricket blog.

    Looks like Javed and khansahab are still stuck in the colonial past and an inferiority complex while rest of the world has moved on. This is very true in South Asia's case. While Windies have their own distinct accent of speaking English as do South Africans and Aussies and are proud of it, we in the Sub-Continent are still stuck on each other's accents and grammar. How pathetic.

    Grow up people. English is not the first language of approx 90% of the World's population. Although it is better to learn a different language (Specially English) and try to speak it properly, let's not get hung up on the accents and grammar shall we.

    Javed and khansahab, your comments remind me of an old Punjabi saying "desi kuttee valaytee cheekan". Open your English to Punjabi dictionary and look it up.

  • Omer Admani on May 26, 2007, 8:45 GMT

    Javed Khan, For once I agree with you. I remember that series against Australia, and had it not been for terrible umpiring, Pakistan would have won it. It is a pity that bad decisions can be so consistently bad against one team. Someone ought to calculate te chance of that, decisions in favor of one team so consistently? I calculated the chance of it to be somewhere around .004, that is, if 34 appeals were to be made, that is the chance of 29 going against you. In other words, 1 out of 250 times, so it is quite unlikely. But, well, we know umpires are the bastions of ethics and they don't cheat, and, in any case, it will be not right to "assume" with the "given information" that they can cheat sometimes. Of course, it is right to assume that players can cheat as long as those assumptions don't compromise the "laws of the game". But, umpires, no way, they know ethics, hey have read Socrates and Aristotle in the ICC curriculum.

    However, the point is that this needs to be looked into, and I think, like Woolmer, hawk eye is the answer. I just don't see a single reason why not, and while the commentators always whine about it not being perfect, they can't argue that it is not as close to perfection as we can get. It is certainly better than the umpire's eye, umpires which are as old as Bucknor and can barely see and they usually go by the strength of the appeal and can delay there decisions for awhile to mke people believe that they actually are thinking. And for the concerned souls like Holding pointing to the one out of the millionth case of the technology becoming a controversey, look at how badly-- but uncontroversially of course because it is never a big deal-- can the umpires get it wrong so often. And finally for the romantic, no, I don't see how that will decrease the lust for the game. For once, then, in fact, teams will start challenging Australia in Australia.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on May 26, 2007, 3:04 GMT

    Irfan, at the moment your post is at the bottom of the thread, but you are wrong in assuming that no one will read it. Sometimes its better to be at the bottom end of the thread, as it is more obvious and more noticeable. It also depends on what you've written innit, and how good you are in expressing your views, opinions and feelings. Lemme assure you that I won't classify it as rambling or rantings and neither it is gibberish as it happens in some cases. You have made a valid point and in this same thread I have also aired similar views about why Pakistan's fielding is so pathetic and why it will not improve and what is to be done and also questioned Nasim Ashraf's pleasure trips etc., ref. my post .May 23, 2007 12:34 AM And Mr. srivathsan's post May 24, 2007 12:37 PM, he has backed up my views and acknowledged it by adding his own comments.

    The problem is not one, but its a big bundle and you don't know from where to begin. Its not just the PCB, the selectors, but the whole system is corrupt and needs revamping and restructuring. But, from where are you going to get competent, honest, sincere, dedicated, professional people? Can Kamran Abbassi do anything in this regard? I have my doubts, but I am not a pessimist. His writings and our participation through this blog may not create an immediate impact but, over a period of time things will change i.e., if only we adapt The Ant Philosophy. I wish I could attach a power point file here, but its not possible. I am sure, some of you may have already seen it, its an example of how ants work as a team and they never quit. Anyways, thats one example.

    We all know that Australia has remained the top team since a decade and I don't want to take away the credit from them. Apart from their players, system, boards, infrastructure etc., which is very good, they also plan mental games and work on them. Not only they target a key player from the opposition by challenging him directly and personally before the series but, they also work in a very systematic way on appealing for LBW's.

    In the 2004-05 series against Pakistan in Australia and the triangular ODI VB-series in which West Indies were also invited, I dunno how many of you reckon how vociferous they were in their appeals and how they managed to make the umpires give decisions in their favour even though the player was not out. Late Bob Woolmer was a techno-savvy coach and he jotted down every single appeal and the decisions both in favour and against and came up with a result of 29:5 i.e., in that VB Series, Australia had 47% of their lbw appeals upheld, while for Pakistan and West Indies, the other two teams in the competition, that figure was less than 14%. See the link below compiled by S. Rajesh of cricinfo.

    Bob Woolmer's comments created an uproar in the Australian camp and Woolmer was going to face the ICC hearing and finally Shahriyar Khan the then chairman of the PCB had to back up Woolmer and here are the links to substantiate that incident:

    http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/australia/content/story/144420.html http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/pakistan/content/story/144529.html http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/ci/content/story/144487.html

    What I mean to say is, they are a good professional side, but they are lacking in basic ethics, if one remembers how Ricky Ponting and his men pushed the BCCI President Mr. Powar from the podium only to pose for the camera after they had won the Cup in Malaysia last year. And in the same series, when umpire Mark Benson revised his decision and called back Tendulkar whom he had given out erroneously and Ricky Ponting approached umpire Benson and said: "you are a disgrace to umpiring". nothing happened to Ricky, the incident was not even reported by the umpire to the match referee. So, when people try to give the examples of Australia, they should remember their ugly face too. They are the biggest whiners of the game. See them loose and see how they whine. Anyways, after my not so serious post earlier, this one is on the dot and I am sure a lot of Australian fans may not like what I have said, but that is true and, reality bites!

  • Awas on May 25, 2007, 23:22 GMT

    Enough has been said on Pak – Sri Lanka series but talking about accents or funny commentators, one can take Mickey out of Waqar or Ranjit Fernando but perhaps can forgive them as English is not their mother tongue. But what I dislike most is biased or boring type. Ian Botham is one of them. A complete bore. His vocabulary only consists of one word sentences and has irritating voice. And Mark Nicholas is another dislikeable voice as well he is completely biased. Truly funny accent is definitely Michael Holding and a very likeable voice and personality too. My wife (not a cricket lover) perfectly mimics him “Aaneel Coombley” every time she hears his voice :- Best commentators and my favourites are, without doubt, Geoffrey Boycott (the best….completely unbiased), Michael Holding, David Gower and Chappell.

  • khansahab on May 25, 2007, 18:33 GMT

    Jamjar,

    Brother it’s “grammar” not “grammer”.

    I just like to speak my mind out and I am grateful for Mr Abbasi to give me the opportunity to speak on this platform. I have many strategies to ameliorate Pakistani cricket as I spot countless weaknesses, many of which most commentators do not seem to notice. Yes because I like to be honest and I care about justice and fairness, I often end up stirring controversies. Sir, I am a statesman, not a politician.

    I don’t think Mr Abbasi would get jealous of a 20 year old, in any event it’s his blog and he is the reason why we all can rant to our heart’s content. :) He writes very eloquently and I am really impressed with his fascination for Pakistani cricket. (Mr Abbasi I am not buttering you, please don’t think like that).

    Javed Bhai,

    Maybe we should cease badmouthing Waqar now. I felt sorry for the poor guy when he was invited by Charu to speak after Pakistan’s series victory. Poor Waqar was sweating, not only because of the humidity, but also because he was nervous he might be asked a question he may not answer coherently.

    It’s funny how his accent changes according to where to his place of residence. I remember him speaking in a wannabe English accent when he was interviewed during his county days. He often speaks in a wannabe Australian accent (and places considerable importance on the word, “mate”) because he visits Australia frequently and of course, we saw his Pakistani accent during this Abu Dhabi series.

  • Irfan on May 25, 2007, 15:20 GMT

    The product of environment: Our players, like anything else in the world are a product of their environment. By saying that I don't mean to point out at some glaring sociological faux pas. All I mean is that our players are as good as the conditions they have to play in. Flat dusty tracks which are completely devoid of any pace and movement, lack of coaching/basic cricketing techniques, lack of not good but basic infrastructure, lack of discipline, training, professionalism, bodies that could endure the pains of the modern cricketing workload, politics and corruption on every level, nepotism which directly effects who plays and who doesn't. I know that this entry is going to go to the bottom of the blog and almost no body is going to read it and those who would will classify it as rantings of a complete burn out! which I am not.

    I have been watching all this (build up to the WC, ensuing debacle, rebuilding efforts) as re runs of a poorly made sitcom which is slotted in late at night when nobody is up to watch. World cup completed the circle. Became the logical result of the going ons of Inzi era. Regardless of the potential and talent we have it could never improve unless the money that our cricketing body makes is invested completely at building a strong infrastructure, unless it is managed and run by professionals with targeted progress. Why has Naseem Ashraf been roaming around the world and at whose expense?

    With the advent of technology in the game cricket like any other game is on its way to fast becoming a "Mechanized Sport" where videos and other technology could very well reveal the class of a player. Where it allows the coaching staff to come up with innovative ways to correct players mistakes it also paves the way of running plays and drills to acheive certain results such as basketball, American football, baseball and soccer etc. The coaches know with in hours about a certain breakdown during the game and what measures they have to take to fix it. In post game conferences they talk about the failure of certain system or the opponents out foxed them and how.

    Lets bring this mentality to our game of cricket. Australia does it on a routine basis, you don't think that their supremacy over the game for past decade is just because they have good players! NO! there is lot more to it. Kamran! honestly what I would like to see you do more is hold a magnifying glass over activities undertaken to build the right structure in the country. As in the beginning I said that players are just a product of their environments if we can get that right then we are on our way to great heights.

  • Rahat Minhas on May 25, 2007, 2:34 GMT

    The point is that there were some good performances and some bad ones.The question is that will Pakistan improve from this experience only then this 3 series will be of relevance for Pakistan cricket.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on May 24, 2007, 13:01 GMT

    Pakistan team after winning the Abu Dhabi series will have a couple of months to sit down and do some serious planning for the India - Pakistan encounter in Glasgow in July and then the twenty20 WC in SA in Sept. Although the Indian encounter is only a charity match but, a good opportunity to test the "new" team and nonetheless it would be a pure entertainment. Indians have no problems playing against the spin so, I don't know in which slot Danish Kaneria will fit in, as he has declared himself available for that match.

    Inzamam in his recent interview has talked about players attitude on the field and asked them to control their emotions. He said this with reference to the reprimand Mohammad Asif has received from the match referee Javagal Srinath. Like I have said b4 that the gesture and the body language shown by Asif will not be appreciated by the gentlemen. But, its a good thing to see Asif showing some aggression in his body language. However, Javagal is not a gentleman just because he is sitting up there as a match referee he is trying to show his powers and his presence. If the ICC has to implement this rule, it should be even for everyone. How come Andre Nel, Shane Watson, Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Glen McGrath and even Shane Warne in the past used to get away without being admonished? And how come ALL these ICC rules are applied only against Pakistan? If Srinath is not a referee for the matches played by Australia, South Africa etc., at least he should raise his voice in the meetings or through the media against them as he is on that panel of referees appointed by the ICC.

    Especially Nel has a big attitude problem and has this habit of constantly revving-up with emotions and when he is hit for a four or a six he goes bonkers and gets involved into a brawl with the batsmen. He has never been fined or even reprimanded. I have read articles written by Australians and South Africans where they try to play down the rudeness and aggression of their players and try to show a softer side of their personality. One of the articles I have read sometime ago was written in favour of Andre Nel, saying: "I have known Nel personally for several years and in real life he is a very humble person and blady blah ....." My foot, who cares how he behaves in his real life, all we see on TV is "His Ugliness!" Sreesanth is another player who does that and the last time when he showed his emotions against the South Africans, by gyrating his hips on the field, they didn't like the taste of their own medicine.

    Inzamam also brushed aside Raja's view about not having a coach for the Pakistan team. He said, " I don't bother about such people.(Ramiz Raja) They don't realise that cricket has changed in the last 10 to 15 years and now there is a lot off planning involved in everything. The captain does not have time to concentrate on these things. This is the job of the coach," LOL... Inzi may not have had the time, 'coz ; on the field he had no time to move his "Butt" and off the field he was too busy in Tableegh and eating nihari. In Inzi's "loife" there was no such thing as planning but, now he is talking about planning! What he should plan is, announce his retirement to play for the test matches as well.

    And khansahab, I did not mimic Waqar's accent, I had only mentioned about his bad grammar. Actually, Ranjit Frenando and Waqar Younis were appearing on TV as a "pair" and what a pair, they both compliment each other with their funny accents. Waqar has a habit of pausing at the wrong place before completing his sentence like, "Andddaaa, Butttaaa, Thatttaaa, Undaaa" (for And, But, That and Under). After the match with Charu Sharma, Waqar was talking about Tom Moody and he said, " Thee Tam Moody's "K-rear" (career) is over now Andddaaaa ..... "

    LOL, first he is "THEE TAM MOODY," and behind him is his bicycle "K-REAR" :-) LOL... Poor Tom, his contract with SL as a coach is over but, not his career. And Ranjit Fernando, I remember that here on this blog one Sri Lankan fan commented that Ranjit is definitely the worst commentator. I won't say that, but I find his accent very funny especially in the last match when he said: "Ma Roof is boling from V-cut to V-cut and he is so akoo-rate dat it iz very hard to "Aik-zee-koot" a shot on his boling." And Waqar acknowledged by saying: " yes he does not give you "a" room to play the shaat." :-) I reckon, without these duo, TV commentary would be boring especially if a match is one sided. Cheers!

  • srivathsan on May 24, 2007, 12:37 GMT

    JAVED A.KHAN ,your concern for improving the wickets in pakistan is highly appreciable.But you are cutting in to the perquisites of Mr.Naseem ashraf & if he reads this I wonder how his face looks like.These people occupy the chiar to enjoy such things ,otherwise with their idiotic blunders they always get stick from the media as well as cricket fans.They tolerate rather forced to only with an eye on such perks.If you cut that also imagine their plight.I remember a drama ,a political satire,where a party promises every candidate a berth in the govt.By shere providence they come to power & when they exhaust the ministerial berths ,quarrel starts from the leftouts.After much heated exchange & deliberation , the party decides to make every member DEPUTY CHIEF MINISTERS.Then the CM & other DCMS venture on foreigntrips with every available silly grounds.Then a jounalist having concern for the state exchequer like you asks the CM rather questions him on the extravaganza undertaken by them.The CM tries all the odd reasons butcould not convince the journalist.Fed up his persistance the CM retorts.IF WE DONT GO ABROAD NOW WHEN IN POWER WHEN SHALL WE VISIT THOSE PLACES. Perhaps Mr.Naseem ashraf will give you the same answer.

  • jamjar on May 24, 2007, 11:38 GMT

    Dear All,

    I trust the regulars are all good and well on this Blog.

    Khansahab - Sounds like you're quite a hit on the blog. Kamran may be getting jealous, but by reading a few responses, sounds like you know how to ruffle a few feathers.

    Didn't see the game so can't comment on the shots you all mention. I was definately surprised to see Asif's stats on bowling. Definately very Mo Sami-ish. Well guys, to all you who wanted Fawad out there, he finally got his chance and i think it was a bit of anti-climax. However, one to be persevered with i imagine.

    Javed, Khansahab et all. Whats wrong with you guys? Your having a pop at Waqar for no reason at all. Granted, he may not have the best control of English grammer, but thats very easy to point out given the fact that we were raised in English societies. If some of us tried to converse in Urdu/Punjabi, I'm sure native Paks would have a field day.

    Waqar is not a commentator because he commands the use of excellent grammer or vocabulary - he holds that position because he is one of the best bowlers Pak has ever produced. As Kamran suggested, he was the 'King of Swing'.

    Now can we all chill out on the grammatical weaknesses of an individual and focus on Pak cricket. Thanks.

  • khansahab on May 24, 2007, 11:11 GMT

    Wasim Bhai, OK I accept your point.

    Javed Bhai, I don’t think Butt’s and Jayasuria’s dismissals were the same. Jayasuria attempted a shot at a ball which nipped back and caught his inside edge. Whereas Butt got forward to a ball which did not swing, he did not attempt any stroke and the reason why the ball hit his inside edge or back of the bat was because he was in two minds whether to play or whether to leave the ball. That is sheer inexperience.

    Syed Muhammad Arsalan, Sir I’m a Muslim myself and I am very much aware that a lot of Muslims have a habit of leaving everything to Allah and not doing the work themselves. That is what Inzi got wrong and that mentality has filtered through to junior players. Anyway I think you should read my earlier posts where I have discussed the matter at length.

  • Sri Lankan on May 24, 2007, 5:24 GMT

    Lahiru, What do you mean when you say "When the must win situation came Sri Lanka just crushed Pakistan"???

    Our must win situation was the 2nd match not the 3rd one. For pakistan the 3rd match was more a "trying out new faces" kind of match.

    And people say sri lanka wanted to give the Coach tom moody a send off win. In my opinion Pakistan would have wanted to give a good send off win to Moody by resting 5 players from an already under strength side without shoaib akhtar and younis khan

  • Syed Muhammad Arsalan on May 24, 2007, 5:04 GMT

    This is whith reference to the blogs posted under the afridi crowns malik topic. Khansahab hope you have read my last blog that I posted on 21st may at 10 AM. I don’t want to repeat that. I hope after reading that you will not write everything that comes toy our mind. As far as the point you made about the recent failure in world cup, the Performance evaluation committee (PEC) has said in unequivocal terms that religion had no concern with the defeat. It also stated that one who talks about that is talking false. The report also condemned Pakistan team's media manager's statement that he passes in this context declaring it completely without proof and incorrect. Ijaz Butt the head of PEC said a muslim prays five times daily. It's an obligation and Pakistan team used to do that. He also said that Late Bob Woolmer also praised this act terming it as a sign of unity which was how he used to think. This must be made clear that religion had no role in the defeat and may these religiously enlightened Pakistani cricketers remain on this correct path and become an example to follow. I can assure that the religious way going in the team is still there and it will increase no matter whatever one thinks. I pray to Allah that Guide these people in their way to success.

  • Syed Muhammad Arsalan on May 24, 2007, 5:00 GMT

    Its a bit late but the message will be delivered to those required who reads this. Its good that people have talked against the pathetic comment passed by pathetic person. Goraya007, Ejaz Sabir, sunny Fernando and hameeduddinkhan are people whom I appreciate for writing against false. I must not repeat the comment as much has been written about it. If that person does posses a little bit of etiquettes then he must apologize for it. One more thing about Mr. Muhammad Yousuf. He is Muhammad Yousuf. His name is Muhammad Yousuf and we must forget his old name. People in the blogs are stating his old name that is not correct. One thing must be kept in mind, it is for everyone visiting and sharing their comments here that religion is not the issue here. People I have read, are writing some or the other thing touching religion. No matter you are a muslim or not. No matter you are a real muslim or just muslim by name please don’t write anything relating this. I don’t understand people talking about Afridi shaving his beard, khansahib also talking about beard, then discussing inzamam as a religious imam and about tableegh. Why you are making fuss of it. You should be proud of these Pakistanis who are playing for Pakistan without playing will Allah Almighty. Awais wrote that people start with salam and end with Allah Hafiz; why you are worried man. He is not taking anything away from you. Please only and only discuss cricket. If cricketers do bring islam in there sentences its good we should also show in our speech and by our acts that we are muslims. In one blog people are having discussions about other matters like government affairs. This is not a forum for such discussions. Kamran Abbasi or anyone (if any) who is controlling this, although I think no one is controlling this all is done automatically as anything can be written, must ensure that blogs are worth posting. About Pakistan wins in first and second ODI I am glad about that. There are still problems in the team. I think these players should be maintained, with a bunch of reserves for a longer period of time as consistency can only be seen if selection is consistent. Give time to players to set in their positions. Shoaib Malik should give chance to youngsters in the touring squad as they have already won the series. They can rest Muhammad Asif as he is still not super fit. Let those old players who have still not performed well in these two matches also play the last match so that they come back to good form. Rest those playing well.

  • WASIM SAQIB on May 24, 2007, 2:56 GMT

    KHANSAHAB:

    You are right I was critical of Najaf mainly because I dont want change for the sake of change,if he wants to be a part of Pakistan bowling attack he has to improve his skills at least he will have to come at par with some of the existing bowlers,He was too worried not to get hit,he should have shown some heart and aggression that is the biggest attribute of a fast bowler,he was too afraid to ball fuller,we needed wickets, he has considerable first class experience under his belt he should have known how to bowl in that situation.The pitch was flat but Mahroof,fernando and Rao bowled on the same pitch and they all got considerable movement,just because he is lefthanded doesnt mean he is Wasim Akram,He needs coaching I think he is not ready yet.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on May 24, 2007, 0:49 GMT

    khansahab pls. don't get so upset on Salman Butt playing that shot, there was nothing wrong in playing that shot, it was way outside the off stump and any player would like to play it, its just his bad luck that it took an inside edge and landed in to his stumps. Even Jayasuriya got out in exactly the same fashion while playing Rao Ifti's ball. But, you didn't say anything about it. I think it just happens, you play that shot ten times you don't mistime it, but when it happens its just your bad luck, c'est ca.

    Wasim Saqib pls. don't assume that Rameez Raja was involved in some kinda betting scandal as you are wondering how come he was so sure of three run outs? Those were not pre-planned run outs. In the first match too there were three run outs on both sides, its one of those things that just happen and you can be right in predicting it. I think, he just said that there will be three run outs based on Pakistani lethargic running between the wicket. Like, I predicted before the series started that, Pak will win the series 2-1 that doesn't mean I am in some kinda betting or some Pir Haji baba who predict the future and people should bow in front of me saying: "O' you white whale, O' you white whale." ;-)

  • usman bashir on May 23, 2007, 22:36 GMT

    I dont understand why we chase our emotions, Mr kamran, you might feel my words, but actually, if you honestly look in deep then you might feel me right. Our team is not going to do some thing and i am afraid we might loose our position near future. These guys could be good in some ODIs (Where Afridi or Imran Nazir stuff works) but otherwise we might be loosing all the way. As there is no any batsman from whom you can expect a long inning of hundred or so (except yousaf) , similarly asif could be a good bowler but only those pitches which will support him or those conditions where he has enough time to bowl in striaght line. Malik still need quite a lot time to learn, (i am afriad if such mistakes have been made by inzi then he might be facing trail courts at this moment) Same faces and actually tried and tested faces with same policies governing them. So on the whole i knew the result of this series before hand and even i predicted what will be the actual result. (I dont know why we dont bother about fixing when we are winning the matches)

  • fhs on May 23, 2007, 21:28 GMT

    I think Pakistan should have played with the same team (1st two games) and tried to win the series with 3-0. We were not playing the neighborhood cricket tournament that they gave everybody a chance in the 3rd game. Clearly, the intention was "dont care if we loose".

    If they wanted to give two youngsters (shah and alam) a chance, then they should have brought them ONLY (not the other ones). I simply hated to see the whole change esp. the change in the batting openeing slot when we know it started working and we changed it and messed up.

  • Saif Ahmed on May 23, 2007, 20:59 GMT

    As I said before we should just keep on dreaming. Mr. Abbasi, it is good to be optimistic but one should also be realistic. Please look at the side that we played against before singing the song of glory. This is exactly what India does after each big failure they come back hard on weak opponents and start claiming themselves as world beaters. I have no clue why on earth Fawad wasn't trusted with the ball and was sent to bat way down the order. I hope it is not by design but just an honest mistake! Mohmmad Yousuf may not be as comfortable in the new set up, he will need some time to digest. People! please do not doubt his committment. I wish all the luck but I am just not sure if this will work out.

  • Parth Pala on May 23, 2007, 20:23 GMT

    I don't agree with you, Pakistan have won the series and are looking at the future. Mistakes will be made by everyone , no one if perfect. Your article's focus seems a bit negative. Try focus on the positive next time it doesn't help anyone to mention the bleeding obvious, unless you can do better?

  • asghar on May 23, 2007, 20:19 GMT

    I think the real test will be South African series

  • (Dr) Haamid Javaid on May 23, 2007, 20:18 GMT

    To include Fawad only as a middle order batsman,and not use his services as a bowler ,to me is nor fair. Young man is very good alrounder, I hope he gets more chances and real soon

  • Abdul Waheed - USA on May 23, 2007, 20:12 GMT

    While agreeing to most of your article, I am wondering had Sri Lanka not opted to rest the trio of Murli, Sangakara and Vaas what would have been the outcome and what would have have been the heading of your Blog.

  • Sam on May 23, 2007, 19:56 GMT

    Srilankans were obviously not playing their complete squad but that doesn't take credit away from the Pakistanis. I think they've come out well than everyone expected. A win is always a win, no matter who it is against. We shouldn't forget that even Pakistan was missing Younis Khan who was a fine if not a great player. We had just lost Inzi on whom we relied a lot. Apart from that we didn't have Shoaib whos hardly there. Agreed, SL had a weaker team but eventually they just had a slightly weaker team. No substantial difference.

  • Popat on May 23, 2007, 19:45 GMT

    Lahoul Villa Kuwat! You people who think that it was a fluke should know more about waht it takes to win a series. You should appreciate the fact that Pakistan won against a quality side under their new captain.

    Popat

  • Khurram Dawood on May 23, 2007, 19:30 GMT

    I just watched first match. After looking at teams players i did not watched last 2 matches.

    Inzi was good player veryyyyyy good player. But not good captain. He planing was negative. He knew basic but never tried some ting differnt. I tink if shoaib M play attacking cricket pakistan will do well. regards

  • Abdul-Basit, Calgary, Canada on May 23, 2007, 19:26 GMT

    Kamran, I think the title you put for ur article after the 2nd match should have been more appropriate after this match i.e. WELCOME BACK TEAM PAKISTAN. The early 2 matches were flash in a pan (not result-wise but thinking-wise). The last match reflected how we approach our cricket. I am not saying why we lost but the appoach we adopted towards this game. I am sure the THINK-TANK accompanied by Nasim Ashraf were disgusted by the results of easrly 2 matches and immediately reacted to put the record straight and proved in the final match WHERE WE BELONG & WHAT WE ARE CAPABLE OF INTERMS OF STRATEGY & PLANNING TO SPOIL GOOD RESULTS. WHAT A SHAME… While we chose good combinations and got the series in our pocket after 2 matches, there was a need for the stability. This is how the professional approach demands no matter how important the series or match is. We are in the process of forming a nucleus of our team after the disastrous world cup. This series was a good opportunity to start with and luckily we got good beginning. After 2 matches we surely got the idea where our nucleus lied BUT we made whole sale changes destroying that nucleus. This was not a charity game that every one should play but the players should earn a place to play for their country. Afridi and Sami were the major performers who sat out of this game. And Imran Nazir too provided brisk starts which got us good momentum of the innings. Opening has been our main problem and these guys were getting along well but we disturbed them again and brought the tested and failed Hafeez.. If we wanted to experiment then we should have dropped those with poor form not the ones who were instrumental in the series victory and giving some thing to cheer about for the already disappointed fans. True, we wanted to give exposure to young blood i.e. Fawad & Najaf but that could have been done by dropping only Razzaq & Gul, that’s all… Why to temper with other combinations which just started to show encouraging results?? Why? I think the PCB management/selection is working in the theory “Nip the eveil in the bud” by replacing “evil” with “Good for Pak Cricket” Also this series seems suspicious due to some glaring selection decisions from both teams. SL dropped Jaysuria & Malinga for the 2nd match which was most important for them to remain in the series ( and lost the match) and brought them back in a dead rubber….And Pakistan despite a claim to win 3-0 dropped its match winning players disturbing all the combinations (and lost the match) I have no clue what so ever, can any one come up with some???

  • Sameer Ravindran on May 23, 2007, 19:08 GMT

    Now, only Australia stand between Pakistan and unending, unimaginable glory .. right?

  • khansahab on May 23, 2007, 18:41 GMT

    Javed Bhai, your post on Waqar Younis’s accent and grammar was hilarious, just like your post on Abdul Razzaq a couple of weeks ago. He has that problem of inserting “a” in front of everything under the sun. It was funny when he was a commentator during the Pakistan-India series in 2005 when he wanted to say, “good team effort by the Pakistanis” and ended up saying “good team effort by PakistanI” (not Pakistani“s”)

    He loves the word “beautiful”. Everything is “beautiful”: the pitch, the players, the crowd, the partnerships, the scoring rate etc. It’s his favourite word.

    Wasim Bhai, I largely agree with your analysis but I think you have been a bit too harsh on Najaf. First of all it was a flat dusty track (I think the pitch lost its “juice” on the third day of play and even Asif could not swing the ball) and he was making his debut. I have stated before it was not the most accomplished of all debuts but I think he needs to be used as an alternative to players like Sami and Gul, who are not always contributing with the wickets. I think Pakistan needs a left arm pacer and we have only two successful left armers at domestic level: Khalil and Najaf. I remember Khalil’s debut and I get the feeling Najaf bowled better comparatively although he did not take a wicket.

  • Rahat Minhas on May 23, 2007, 18:35 GMT

    The potentail of the team and the captain is apparent to even the blindest but still some people have the same negative responses, what if Murali, Vas or Sangakara were there what would have happened? The good players would have still played well and those who have failed or are negative will always fail!!! Do people also forget that we were without Shoaib Akhtar and Younis Khan? For the first time after a long period Pakistan was without Inzi and Shoaib Malik is the captain in the first series is that not the biggest disadvantage to the team? I would suggest please study all pros and cons before writing one sided views. Secondly some people are saying that Pakistan hass done well against Sri Lanka on flat wickets,did they mention that Sri Lanka was also batting on the same wickets? I wish we could have some positive cricism by looking at the apparent weaknesses of the team like bad fielding, bad running between wickets and fitness problems. Please stop concentrating on personalities only as cricket is a team game and individual performances may also be analyzed in the context of the game as a whole and not in vacum.

  • Hamid on May 23, 2007, 18:19 GMT

    I think the same old story is being repeated. Pakistan loses a big tournament, players take the rap, a new look team is created and pitched up against a below par team (this SL team isn't the one that played in the WC)in a freindly competition on the batting paradise of the sub-continent or UAE. Everything starts to look good. But unfortunately, the real world is harsh and sooner or later Pakistan will have to play against real competitive teams on wickets not so freindly. Then we can go around the circle again and repeat the whole story.

  • Tanveer on May 23, 2007, 18:01 GMT

    Overall, Pakistan played decently. But there are few points that I'd like to mention.

    1) Selection - some of the tried and tired players should be let go for good. Top of the list is Hafeez. His track record is pathetic, with an average of 18 and strike rate of 58. It's just not acceptable and he has been given chances too many.

    2) Fielding standard has to be made higher. I mean, we do not expect Pakistan to dive on every ball but come on, at least don't miss the obvious straight balls and convert 2s into 4s. Also same goes with the catches, take the simple catches, please!

    3) Team combination - number of bowlers and batsman should be thought of, playing with bits and pieces players, who are neither good bowlers nor good batsmen, is not going to win Pakistan matches. With Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi in the team, there is no need for Hafeez, Kaneria or any other part-time spinner/all-rounder.

    4) Running between the wickets should be improved. Backing up too much or trying to take cheeky singles is not going to help.

    My 2 cents.

  • Mike chopra on May 23, 2007, 18:01 GMT

    Please dnt get excited...knowing the pakistanis's they will build themselves up...winning minor little tournaments and then...flounder again. I have no faith left in tem after the Ireland loss. That can never be forgiven. Vaas, Murali, and Sangkara missing? come on guys...we were palying a team deviod of the major stars. But on a positive note, we did play well, and inshallah we can build on this. Anyway did u hear malik's interview? it was quite funny....never answered any quesitons...only talked about Afridi being really fun to play with lol....mike chopra signing out

  • Rauf on May 23, 2007, 17:44 GMT

    I think some of the armchair experts here (Generally the one's with the longest and most boring posts) who think the loss in the 3rd match with SL is the end of the team should cool off a bit. This is what has been wrong with Pakistan team and some of it's fans for a while. One win and we put them on cloud nine and a loss brings equal amount of criticism.

    Let's acknowledge their series win even if SL was under strength. Being under strength is no excuse. We should learn from the Aussies. They will not change half of the team from match to match depending on the outcome. Give this team a few more games to prove themselves before shouting fire, fire.

  • Imran Khan on May 23, 2007, 17:38 GMT

    Is it me or was there absolutely no talk about Bob Woolmer? Would it not have been nice to hear a Pakistani player dedicate a match to Woolmer? Would it not have been nice to hear that the team is giving up their tournament earnings to the Woolmer foundation? Would it not have been nice to hear some appreciation for a passed away man who was supposedly a father figure to this team? I understand all about moving on but has the team forgotten so soon?

  • Ateeq Bajwa on May 23, 2007, 17:30 GMT

    Pakistan played some quality cricket Afridi showed that what he can do but we have to give credit to new captain he used his bowler and fielders quite impresive way in last match lot of people thinking he didnt give Alam chance to bowl but in that position srilakan were playing great and it was wise choice to not give this new kid a go yet there will be lot of chances for him to bowl in future Sami ,Nazir,Asif all played good . A lot of people r talking about Yousaf not playing well or past his peak how he is class act not a losser like younis who run away when team needed him most how can he refuse to be captain bull shit. Akthar is still a match winner and he will show when he gets back .keep it up boys.

  • Valavan on May 23, 2007, 17:14 GMT

    Mr.Lahiru, Appreciate the young team and accept your defeat. For such comments only you get pumped from head to tail by aussies.

  • Usman Zubair on May 23, 2007, 17:11 GMT

    Welcome back ! team Pakistan :)

  • WASIM SAQIB on May 23, 2007, 16:53 GMT

    I dont think we should be too critical for the loss in the third match as i said in my earlier post that Pakistan have to try young players in order to effectively continue the process of rebuilding,the reluctance of Younis Khan and the indifferent approach of Yousaf is suggesting that PCB has to look for their replacements as soon as possible. I had a lot of respect for Yousaf but It is quite clear that he is mentally not with the team,we all know when he wants to score runs his body language is completely different,he is not giving his 100% so he should be given some time off so he that he could decide if he wants to play the country anymore or not. I think Fawad Alam was given a fair chance and he failed to capitalize on it,maybe it was the pressure of first international match,but he should be given another chance. Hafeez looked too nervous at the crease and his nervousness caused him to get run out.I thiink its Shoaib's job to calm down some of the players as most of them are too anxious for their place in the team. Yasir Hameed was playing nicely and with confidence but all of a sudden the Akhroat in him woke up and he played a poor shot at a crucial time of the game,his shot,and the time he selected to play the shot was just like Younis khan.

    Ramiz raja while commentating predicted that there will be three run outs in Pakistan innings,which later on turned out to be true,how was he so sure of it?

  • sl_fan on May 23, 2007, 16:53 GMT

    I am a Sri Lankan fan and I would like to congratulate the Pakistan team on their fantastic series win over my country. It was true that Sri Lanka were playing without their star players, but a win is a win and we cannot take anything away from the Pakistanis. They were fantastic and I hope they'll go on to achieve greater success in the future too, under the able guidance of captain Shoaib Malik!

  • prikand on May 23, 2007, 16:49 GMT

    It doesn't matter who wins as long as Asians cherish in the world cricket.well done Pakistan.I am Sri lankan but I always remember the Pakistan flags waved for us during the world cup final at Lahore-1996.

  • Kalim on May 23, 2007, 16:35 GMT

    I didn't watch the match live but was surprised how many changes the made going to the match. I was just wondering if it was the decision of so called "Selection Committee" and I am even more worried we going to see this problem more and more as we play. It was just the tip of an "Ice Berg". I agree that having won the series they were entitled to make one or two changes but you have to balance it out really. You just can’t be so blunt about. The most important thing to consider was "not compromising the winning composition". Making so many changes as they did was obviously not a right move by any stretch of imaginations. (Unless they didn't think that winning the match was not that important which I can't even think of as a possibility) Also just imagine how wonder "the win" would have done to the team's morale. I am even not sure what you can achieve by just playing so many new players (2nd choice) players in a match other than just the same old excuse that we preparing the team for the future (which never comes). I am a great admirer of "Shoaib Malik" and I honestly think he can do more for the Pakistan Cricket but I am very worried about "the new role of selection committee". I am not against change but that has to be real change. I can’t see any thing much changed there. Changing faces not necessarily means changing things. It’s our psychology which needs changing and seeing this selection committee with the powers they I see bizarre things ahead. I hope they are just my hallucinations even if that means I am insane.

  • Mohammad T. Hussain on May 23, 2007, 16:34 GMT

    First of all, Why Fawad Alam didn't get a chance to bowl? What heck was going on of Malik's brain? He is very much aware that he is such an excellent all rounder. These guys will never learn from their mistakes. Yes, it was good to see that Pakistan won the series against Sri Lanka but there are lots of lessons needed to learn from this series. Are we again trying our opening combination? In first two games Nazir and Salman played well but in third game again we see new opening pair. We have been experimenting for opening pair from last two years. We need get rid off adhoc system from PCB and if possible those corrupt officials as well. Nasim Ashraf so lavishly roaming around the whole world for what? He needs to sit down and think some positive stuff for PCB and the betterment of cricket in Pakistan. We have seen enough and who knows What else to come?

    Good luck Pakistan cricket team in future endeavors

  • Ray on May 23, 2007, 16:29 GMT

    Posted by: Lahiru at May 23, 2007 1:39 PM

    Pakistan is no match for a full strength Sri Lankan team. Sri Lankan team did not showed their full potential in the first two matches. When the must win situation came Sri Lanka just crushed Pakistan even without their premier players Murali, Vass and Sangakkara.

    This one is for Lahiru-the must win situation came and went when the series was won 2-0. When SL woke up, Pakistan fielded a third rated side (they are already a second rate team), and then SL won!!

  • Mohsin on May 23, 2007, 16:29 GMT

    Kamran Abasi.. first of all you need to relax. A quality of a good writer is that they dont jump to conclusions or pick sides and be Bias. This article of yours was simple a cover up of your old articles you wrote about how good Pakistan team had become after beating sirilanka....Pakistan has still along ways to go. Just because Pakistan did well on flat picthes of ABU DHABI doesnt mean they should be praised like Gods!!Pakistan is very inconsistent team they still need to make alot of changes.

  • SL fan on May 23, 2007, 16:16 GMT

    well done Pak.well SL lost,but actually not many SL fans even noticed it here.well it was a little casual affair like.Without Sanga the binding glue is totally gone there..If he was there we could have done well even without Murali/vaas

    anyway good luck and well done to PAK team.we like PAK team always and good to c them doing well again.was really bad to C them going out of WC..

  • Sarmad Khan on May 23, 2007, 16:14 GMT

    Well done. Pakistan Cricke Team. I always have hope in our side. Some time it let us down. This is a re birth for our side. Well done Afridi, you have again made up proud. Well Done again.

  • Shahid Iqbal, Canada on May 23, 2007, 16:13 GMT

    A good start by the new look Team Pakistan and the captain. I believe it could have been a great start if the team management on the tour (including captain) had not gone overboard with the changes in the team for the final math. I believe that winning can only do well for any team and one should not just through away the matches like what Pakistan did in the last match. I fully support giving chance to young talent so that they can prove their capabilities. This is part of the process to groom players and have replacements ready for each position. And if you are lucky may find a star (like Asif or Shoaib Akhtar) in the process. Where the management got it wrong was to make 5 changes in the team. For sure it changes the whole balance of the team. As both Malik and PCB are learning, they should quickly learn how to provide opportunities to new players. An ideal team for the 3rd math would have been resting Razzaq to play Fawad Alam and resting Umar Gul to play Najaf Shah. This would have provided the youngsters some cover in the team and a victory could have boosted their confidence also. I will never change my opening for at least next 10 matches to get some consistency at that spot that have become a laughing stock in the cricketing world. Imran and Salman have provided decent starts and one should persist with the combination. Don't play some player life Hafeez (who had a more than fair chance to prove him) just for the sake of playing him.

    I see light at the end of the tunnel and hope that Malik and PCB will continue in the positive direction. Just don't be too experimental!

  • Sameer A Malik, Michigan USA on May 23, 2007, 16:12 GMT

    The team selected for the third ODI was absolutely unethical, Its too early to say but i think same old favorism is stepping into this side, i mean why was Abdul Rehman selected in the team, just because he plays from Sialkot side? we dont see him becoming a permanent member in the near future. This stupid selection decision disturbed the team's and captain's winning streak. I really feel for Afridi, i mean what does that guy have to do to stay in the team? The whole world knows that he is a crowd puller and entertainer, then why was he rested? I dont want to see that same favorism era again but are we heading towards a Sialkot side playing as Pakistan team? I hope NOT.

  • RASHEED PASHA DALLAS U.S.A on May 23, 2007, 15:48 GMT

    Good to know that Pakistan slowly started on the right track by wining the games. But the genuine feel and hunger to win has to grow from within each player. If you compare the first two one day internationals with the last one, one can clearly make the distinction that as soon as the series was won by Pakistan, the performance slipped from the players. In contrast, Australia would have ruthless in their approach and would have try their best to have a clean sweep of the series. According to my opinion, Pakistan Cricket does not need a coach but instead they need a motivator who can pump these moody players to their peak. It is big job to tackle and it needs guts whoever takes this job. If someone can correct this approach then it is my gut feeling that no one in the world can defeat Pakistan. The current hype of a new captain’s command on its players is blown out of proportions. I would treat him as a regular member of the team not just an extraordinary player who can become “Zorro” on any given day and salvage the Pakistan Cricket’s pride and Image. They (players) need to do a lot of hard work to prove their iron to the general public and critics. Iam not a critic of Pakistan Cricket team but my main worry is the inconsistent performances from the players day in day out. The term coach is for mentoring and giving the right directions. It is the players who perform under the flood lights or day lights. I really feel sorry for Mohammed Yousef. He is a great batsman and an asset to Pakistan’s team. But look what they have done; they could have appointed him to the Vice Captain duties by the Pakistan Cricket Board just to acknowledge his service to Pakistan. But instead they opted for a doped tainted player who escaped the punishment by just saying that because he can’t read English and he did not know what was written at the back of the Protein enrichment supplement. Come one people get real, he was trying to be a smart with the help of another super star player. We have to implement how to draw a line between right and wrong. Again Iam not overwhelmingly accusing the bowler but this was not the time for him to be the Vice Captain. Yousef deserve respect and support and he has a classic test record. I can blame his fall of form strictly on the selection of Vice Captain. How could we appoint a player as a Vice Captain of the nation team when he is still under the Microscope of WADA. We make stupid decisions and we get humiliated on the ground. In my sincere opinion, there are still players in the current national team that are taking the free ride. We have to point those out by looking at their track records and then give them a stern warning to come to the term or purges them so that young, passionate and dedicated players from all walks (Muslim, Hindu or Christian) can represent the country whose founding Father Mohammed Ali Jinnah said in his first address to the nation that they are Pakistani first. We seriously have to solve this problem once and for all in order to recapture the glory of yester years.

  • Faisal Rashid on May 23, 2007, 15:42 GMT

    You are right about nice start to a new captaincy in Pakistan but i would like to disagree with you last statement in this blog. I am refering to the suggestion that absence of Shoaib and Younis was a help to Shoaib Malik. This notion has an underlying assumption of non-cooperation from these senior players. What are the basis for that despite assurances by Shoaib Akhtar that he is fine with the new young captain. Why do our writers making these baseless statements which can only hurt our national cause? Being a critic is good but this appears to be pessimistic opinion. I hope you get my point.

    The top order played better in this series which is the key to this success apart from the individual brilliance of Afridi.

    At this time media, public and board needs to support these players and should give them the confidence that they direly need.

  • Alee Zain on May 23, 2007, 15:42 GMT

    i hope Pakistan would show consistency in future,

    i feel we need someone other than Razzaq now.

  • Sameer on May 23, 2007, 15:35 GMT

    I dont think there is any truth in saying this as a great beginning to the PAK team.This was a weak Srilankan team without murali,vaas and sangakarra and jaded after a long WC2007.Fielding was pathetic as always,school boy standard i would say.Hope they can beat ireland later this month,else that would be disastorous.

  • Zeeshan on May 23, 2007, 15:15 GMT

    First, Shoaib's captaincy was fine, although after a few more games under his belt he will appear more confident of his decisions. Secondly, the argument that Fawad Alam was wasted is wrong. Yes, he didnt get to bowl but he was batting with almost 30 overs remaining in the innings. He should have posted a good debut innings. Unlucky, but he should be given more chances as he is young and very talented. Thirdly, the notion that SriLanka are stronger than Pakistan if they play full strength is absolutely riddiculous. They are an evenly matched side with the numbers favoring Pakistan. If Vaas, Murli and Sangakara werent paying then so were Younis, Shoaib and Inzi absent. All six players are capable of turning the match on its heels.

  • Nikhil on May 23, 2007, 15:10 GMT

    I think its nice that Pak managed to find a young captain and it displayed a lot of positive energy. However I feel it was unwise for them to take their foot off the accelerator and allow SriLanka a consolation win. Why on earth were the key players given a break? Is the Pak cap so cheap that any unproven youngster can make it to the 11. I feel the reserves should be made to sweat it out as reserves. We, I mean India and Pak need to develop a winning culture first and then worry about creating a strong reserve. A Pak team trying for a 3-0 victory would have been the right way to start. But Malik is not to be blamed, its the attitude people in our part of the world have.

  • BHATTI on May 23, 2007, 15:08 GMT

    i acree with mr BILAL poted 23.5 at 12:59.and I totally disagree with teams performance except of some individual ferpormancesses.I totally disagree with mr KAMRAN.We are just not good enough to beat good teams.

  • mahmood on May 23, 2007, 14:55 GMT

    A non-statement article really.

    1. What mistakes are you referring you? Details please. 2. What new formation and roles? Everyone is playing the same role as they were except Shoaib. The team is pretty much as the same. 3. What Younis Khan Shoaib Akhtar captaincy glare? If Shoaib Malik was to ever face the "glare" of wanna-be captains, this would be it with the presence of Razak, Afridi and Yousuf.

    I appreciate the effort but I think people would appreciate it more if you gave an evidence based account rather than indulge in conversations that are not even worthy of a taxi ride in Lahore.

  • Ifzal on May 23, 2007, 14:42 GMT

    What the big deal, so they win a couple of matches against Sri Lanka. Only a few months back they were showing there real class aginst Ireland. They still have same pathetic players as before & once they play competitive games again they will be found out. I dont think anything has changed since Ireland apart from Mota Aloo retiring (good riddance. Pakistan supporters will be bitterley disappointed.

  • junaid on May 23, 2007, 14:30 GMT

    well done pakistan team but instand of muhammad yousaf fawad allam will come malik will done not a good captancy caz he didnot gave the chance of boweling to fawad alam who is the best bowel in recent time

  • Dawar, LA USA on May 23, 2007, 14:29 GMT

    During commentary Waqar Yonius ask one question to PCB, this is also my question for all of you:

    Why PCB always arrange series in gulf just after the world cup?

    Note: So far we performed bad in the world cups and win the series in Gulf.

    Why not PCB arranges series in gulf before the world cup?

    Dawar

  • Shaq Toronto on May 23, 2007, 14:29 GMT

    A job well done ! But lets not do the early celebrations, this team still have alot to learn. We know that we have a good bench for for ODI, but we will be strugling in the Test matches against any of the top 5 teams in the world. We don't have any opening batsman with the solid defance. Stroke players like Imran Nazir will struggle in test matches. Lets build the test team without counting Inzi, Shoab Akhter and Kamran Akmal. We need replacement ready for these 3 players. Kamran is ok for the onday matches because of his batting , but we need a replacement in the test matches.

    Good Luck against Australia Shakil

  • sharhan on May 23, 2007, 14:11 GMT

    Wel yosuf is not in touch...he iz not playing as a match finisher...hiz body language want some thing else....May be he want to become a capitan of da team.....somethin is wrong wid mohammad yosuf....i hope soo he will be back in form....Wel the real task iz when dey will played on seemer pitches ya on bouncy pitches...

  • Rix on May 23, 2007, 13:57 GMT

    Yup, I am totally agree with you Malik seems good as a captain and in fact in a last match as well as he took responsibility when our most senior player (Muhammad Yousaf) failed to show even a single delightful shot. But, me still a little confused why they suddenly made 5 changes in a tem. For me Afridi must have to be there not only as a good bowler, batsman fielder but also he has an ability to lead the team. As I expect him as a vice- captain in near future so selectors should have to include him in each and every match ether it important or not. We wouldn’t go there to give chance to all the young legs our main motive is to regain the confidence which we had loosed in WC. Yup, doing good trying to show some performance as a team and as I ever says try to get some positive from each and every thing so from last match it seems Malik is responsible to lead from the front Hope they will play good cricket against SA as well

  • Ali Shah (Manchester) on May 23, 2007, 13:52 GMT

    Salaam to All,

    Yes definitely its ideal start for a new and enthusiastic captain. Overall he (Malik) looked good in the field by all means with exception of some mistakes, but hopefully he would have learnt a lot from this series. Now every time Pakistan team starts really good with new captain as we have been seeing this from past 15 years, but as a nation we can’t understand what happens after two or three years ? The whole team is again scattered into pieces and it looks that this is going to be the end of Pakistan Cricket. This is very serious matter and needs attention. We know that this team INSHALLAH will do better and will be ranked on top both in test and one days but there is need to take some steps that team doesn’t go down suddenly from top to bottom. We have got immense talent in Pakistan perhaps better than Australia; the only thing is the implementation of that talent to a winning stream. One thing more I wanted to add is that we need match winning players in the team like Aussies, if we look at their batting order from no 1 to no 8 there is no relaxation for the bowlers each of their batsmen is match winning, they dropped Michael Bevan and Darren Lehman, both of them were very good players but they were not as dangerous as Andrew Symonds and Mike Hussey are. Unfortunately this is not the case with Pakistan. In all of our teams as far as I can remember there have been some batters which are good but not the match winners and Younis Khan admitted that as well that his style of batting doesn’t suit one day.

    I am not against Sulman Butt and Fawad Alam they are very good batsmen but when it comes to match winning players both of them don’t have such abilities to go after the bowling and win the match. Why don’t selectors go for Naveed Latif or Misbah Ul Haq for middle order and go for Babar Naeem as Opener. If selectors go for the performance in the domestic cricket then they should also consider under what conditions the batsmen have scored their runs.

    Regards,

    Ali

  • parwaiz on May 23, 2007, 13:51 GMT

    No big deal, if they won 2-1.

    beat aussie 2-1, yeah, super deal than.

  • Lahiru on May 23, 2007, 13:39 GMT

    Pakistan is no match for a full strength Sri Lankan team. Sri Lankan team did not showed their full potential in the first two matches. When the must win situation came Sri Lanka just crushed Pakistan even without their premier players Murali, Vass and Sangakkara.

  • Sami on May 23, 2007, 13:35 GMT

    Its a wonderful beginning by team Pakistan, and I hope they can carry this momentum on. The team is young and still many can develop into great players such as salman butt, and yasir hameed who I think if they work a bit harder can be the best. I wish best of luck to Pakistan!

  • Raza on May 23, 2007, 13:24 GMT

    Pakistan did very well in the series as a whole. Malik's selection of new players in the last match was a positive sign regardless of the result. We do need some fresh talent in the side. I do believe that it is time to try a new keeper. We cannot keep on dropping catches and still expect to win.

  • Usman Shahid on May 23, 2007, 13:22 GMT

    Well congrats to Pakistan team, and fans as well since this is a big positive sign after the World Cup. Malik has captained well in the series but just as Kamran stated there is always room for improvement and he needs to polish off some skills. I must say that I am a little disappointed in Mohammed Yousuf's performance in the series and he must keep in mind that age is not on his side and he is the only ageing cricketer left in the team and there are tons of batting talent in Pakistan waiting. I hope Fawad Alam does not get dropped because he was only given once chance and the debut pressure got to him but I would bat him at no.3 because thats his position in Pakistan domestic cricket. Imran Nazir has shown improvement as well since he was unluckily runout in first game and 2nd game he was bowled by a good ball. He played no loose shot and all his shots were of a future classic batsmen. This is the beginning and Pakistan cricket will keep on improving and I hope one thing that we can change now that we always lacked is CONSISTENCY. Thats the word that keeps Australia apart from everyone. In my eyes Pakistan has the talent and are the only team that pose a threat to Australia on their day but we must try to make every day our day. Good Luck to Pakistan in the future assignments especially against Australia, South Africa at home and may Pakistan Cricket once again reaches its limelight inshallah.

  • Virginia Boy on May 23, 2007, 13:11 GMT

    Malik's team played well. Even though they lost the last one but it's not that they didn't fought for it. The only thing in this series was bad was alot of run outs, but every one doing the effort is good sign. They will grow up to be the CHAMP if they show more aggressiveness and mental strength to stand on the crease as Malik did.

    Over all great effort...

  • nisar haider anjum on May 23, 2007, 13:07 GMT

    overall very good performance by the Pakistani team.best wishes for them for the future.

  • Owais on May 23, 2007, 13:06 GMT

    yes u r ryt kamran khan ...They have won but still they need to work hard Gud luk to dis new looking team

  • S. Sheikh on May 23, 2007, 13:04 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi you are right wonders does'nt happen over night, it takes time to settle down and for a perfect performance. Here is a lesson to be learnt for the folks who wants too many new faces in the team and for the team to make too many changes that back fires. A meaning less match good for the new faces to perform and get practice and get use to play international cricket did'nt happen, on the other hand we should be careful not to loose test matches within 3 or 4 days time to get degraded by ICC that Pakistan team is not capable of playing a 5 day test match, there is a strong possibility it will happen if too many new faces or changes being done 3rd ODI shoud be taken as perfect example, Couple of changes or new faces does not destablize the performance of the team drasticaly and give ample time for the new faces to get adjust and perform better. Our team motive should be to fight up to the last and do not give up easily. In the end without a coach the team did perform pretty good lets get a decent coach not an outsider but from our own country there is lots of talent out there, winning without a foreign asset saves foreign exchange, and makes us proud that we do not rely on anyone and can do it ourselves, difficult to penitrate this idea in our PCB bull headed organizors. All the best for Pakistan cricket team.

  • Manhal on May 23, 2007, 13:02 GMT

    Its a start and it was a good start. Winning this series will give them a good platform for the future for the beginning of a new era of Pakistan cricket, 'The Shoaib Malik era'

  • Bilal on May 23, 2007, 12:59 GMT

    They sucked, all right. when you win while still makeing the same mistakes over and over, which brought us to this state, it's called luck. When you lose by while doing the right things, it's called hard luck. But that's the way to do it. It seems to me that nothing has changed. Same people are in charge, albeit with a different name for the captain who is too weak to challenge the "committee." Who decided to have Razak play two matches without having any "match practice" just coming out of injury? Why play Rehman, since we already have so many spinners? Why put in five new players and show our hand that we are mentally weak. We should have gone for the white wash (weather or not that would've happened is a different matter. We didn't even try) Kamran, stop putting positive spin on this team's performance, they have a long way to go. As a journalist, I believe, they need your critique more than praise. As you can see, I am not impressed with our performance. At all.

  • saad mirza on May 23, 2007, 12:59 GMT

    well done pakistan, all the player worked hard and they deserve what they have achieved.but still a long way to go.

  • kaiser mukhtar on May 23, 2007, 12:53 GMT

    As the series concluded there is enough optimism about the expected glory days lying ahead as noted by Kamran Abbasi that they have performed better than expected and defeated the W/C finalists. Its a happy start but it should not be forgotton that they still have to prove against the more formidable teams of the world who have the edge or psychological advantage over the Pakistan team. Especially the pressure opponents like Australlia and India. So the experiments should continue with the new inclusions of young blood. It was a brave decision by Shoaib Malik to include new faces into the team but he should restrain a little with the experiments so not to leave out very important members of the team and lose so depressingly but i really appreciate his effort to bring in new players and see who can be more useful in the coming years for Team Pakistan. Cronyism should not penetrate any more for the sake of the team. Country's pride should not be eroded at any cost.

  • Irfan Yousaf on May 23, 2007, 12:51 GMT

    It was good series to win. All the boys put their 100%. It was good to see all the senior players helping as well as supporting the new captain.

    But I'm touch disappointed with Shoib Malik's Captaincy. He will have to do lot of hard work to be able to compete with bigger and stronger teams. I think he needs to think of his bowling options when he fields. I'm really surprised they way he stick to only five bowling options during the whole series even though he had some other bowling options when few bowlers were having heavy beatings.

    I was quite keen to see Fawad Alam as an allrounder. He did get the chance to bat and unfortunately he failed but malik should have used and tried him as a bowler as well.

  • abid on May 23, 2007, 12:50 GMT

    the criticism has already started of the captain,

  • Hayat on May 23, 2007, 12:48 GMT

    I think Pakistan team has done. Clean sweep was a good dream to have, even 2-0 win is excellent against WC runner up. My comment is about the captain. One of the problem Pakistan has had (be it politics or othersise) leaders in the wing. I think Younis had opportunity he withdrew. And shoaib would have been worst captain (at least I believe). A captain has been appointed, he has the will and power to lead, everyone else should just accept it. It will be very bad to have captain's in waiting. I also think Shoaib M should be captain at least until next WC.

  • Ali on May 23, 2007, 12:47 GMT

    I think both Younis Khan and Shoaib Akhtar belong to an old guard who play for themselves and overall have a disruptive influence on team unity and spirit. Pakistan would not have won this series if Younis was onboard.

    Let them stay where they are and Pakistan should start from scratch in a sense (its not as if they are over enthusiactic about playing for Pakistan)

  • Azmat Siddiqui on May 23, 2007, 12:28 GMT

    Ciongratulations to Malik and Pakistan. The young cricket team will soon be a formidable combination. However I must say that Asif's attitude has to be checked now. When he gets a wicket he makes rude gestures. He is lathargic in the field. He tried so intimidate the batsman by his gestures and remarks. For a young man it is simply not acceptable. He has a long way to go. He should let his bowling speak. After getting a wicket he should shift his attention how to get another rather than involve in verbal abuse.

  • Sammy on May 23, 2007, 12:16 GMT

    Sri Lanka is low key tournaments to bring their young talents up rather than trying to win every tournament. Even with the inexperienced players in the team, they can win matches when they turn on their magic.

  • Usman Masood on May 23, 2007, 12:15 GMT

    no dboubt about that. but believe its almost same team with just one or two changes. the boys have good experience. they are working hard, and i am impressed by Rao Iftikhar's bowling he is consistent. he has often proves his skill.... but can anyone tell what was wrong with asif yesterday?

  • muneeb on May 23, 2007, 12:08 GMT

    This was all team work. The younsters are proving that they still have a lot of juice left

  • Naqeeb Ahmed, Glasgow on May 23, 2007, 12:07 GMT

    There is no harm loosing the final game but the batsmen again proved the are very unpredictable. And few unreliable as well, like Mohammad Hafeez, he has already got enough chance to prove himself worthy. Malik needs to be very clear in what players he gonna rely on to win games for him....

  • Rashidul on May 23, 2007, 12:06 GMT

    Ya...I think Shoaib Malik captained as perfectly as possible. I am sure Pakistan will do well if he leads his team with great spirit.

  • excellent on May 23, 2007, 12:06 GMT

    yeh maaaaaaaaaaaaaaan

  • Farooq Siddiqui on May 23, 2007, 12:02 GMT

    Congrats to Pakistan! I think they played as a team. I felt bad for Fawad Alam. He deserved a much better debut. I hope this one outing doesn't put a damper on his career.

  • zain on May 23, 2007, 11:44 GMT

    what happened to Asif? does he need to learn to bowl faster? rao iftikar is the right handed wasim akram lol. yeah i guess its a good start, but what worries me is that, because pakistan team were so bad recently, that their odds in betting were already so low, but if they do throw a game they would hardly win any money, but if they do really well in future, and become favourates against their opposition, then they might be tempted to throw a game :(

  • Gohar Ayub--Bahrain on May 23, 2007, 11:41 GMT

    I disagree that this performance was not expected from them. On slow tracks Pakistan is a very difficult to beat even without their superstars. But i bet this team can't make 200+ runs on bouncy tracks and against better opposition. Beleive me this series counts for none. In order to suceed regurarly PCB should prepare green bouncy tracks at home. Except 2 or may be three batsmen, nobody in team is capable of delivering things in alian conditions.

    Moreover, please don't spoil the young talented palyers. Why Fawad Alam was not allowed to bowl; what positive has been taken out by bowling M.Hafeez for 10 overs. Why M.Asif has been put under so much preassure by repeatedly saying that he is team's main bowler and giving him vice captaincy so early. He should be given chance to further hone his skills. Mohammad Yousaf was not playing with the same intensity as last year; maybe capatancy thing is still going on in his mind.

  • Usman - Islamabad Pakistan on May 23, 2007, 11:38 GMT

    DREAM ON Kamran.....!

    Only the test of time will tell the true story.

  • karthik on May 23, 2007, 11:17 GMT

    Dont get exceite too early.. wait for couple of losses.. then lets see wat the reaction is

  • Kashif on May 23, 2007, 11:13 GMT

    No doubt an excellent start with a series win, and a win against the finalists of the recent world cup. Well done to captain Mailk, and the team. Ofcourse this is just the beginning, and there is alot of hard work to come.

  • santosh on May 23, 2007, 11:07 GMT

    It was a fantastic start .well done malik.But it would be more effective if the captain is given more power in the selection and the team decisions.And y. khan has done a great mistake of his life by not leading this talented side

  • Haseeb Rahman on May 23, 2007, 10:59 GMT

    I think this is a wildly optimistic blog..Sri Lanka looked completely flat in this tournament, as they would after the World Cup and the pitches were completely flat too - the World Cup rudely showed us how our techniques are majorly flawed on sporting tracks. Barring Shahid Afridi's heroics (and 2 dropped catches) in the first match it was an even contest, and the second match only really had tharanga, chamara silva and jayawardena batting for the lankans so it's hardly an achievement either. The manner in which Pakistan collapsed in the third was all too familiar. I think Shoaib Malik has potential but how he deals with Mohammad Yousuf, Younis Khan, and Shoaib Akhtar will take time to assess. The changes in Pakistan's international competitiveness will only come from grass-root changes which, yet again, will be glossed over and blogs like this will suggest the team is on track to becoming world beaters.

  • ASIM on May 23, 2007, 10:47 GMT

    yes i agree that pak team has started well enough and all take heart from this performance.but in last matches we made too many mistakes.first of all too many new players were given chances, specially there was no need to exp with the openers when they seemed to settle well together.and then bowling and fielding was horrible. which means there so much to be done within this team. i did understand why malik did bowl himslef or with fawad alam .personally i dont think we hafeez in odi team specially in the presence of malik as bowler ,afridi and razzaq ,to me the reason why we play well on 2 odi was becoz we play with lots of specialist players which give stability to the team, all in all good start to maliks era and things will improve when younis and akhtar will join this team. wishing best of luck to pak team well done

  • Hassan on May 23, 2007, 10:46 GMT

    what a series win boys, younis khan should stil play however he would add further strengh to the batting, salman butt has proved his worth i belve and should play instead of hafeez. what is going on with shoaib tho! we need him back in the team fired up ready to take wickets, the seamers have been hit this series by the sri lankans, they need some encouragement by a premier fast bowler

  • Mohammed on May 23, 2007, 10:44 GMT

    The most important thing was to find openers, he's got 2 kids with the talent and ability to play and he and the management have to persist with Butt and Nazir and ensure they become consistent performers.

  • imdad on May 23, 2007, 10:32 GMT

    wow the begining of malik is great i loved it may allah help them success in all of their matches in cricket. Now the most important thing he has to work on is to get good opening partnership. i still do not understand why umargul imran najir and shahid afridi did not play on the 3rd ODI???. i am a supporter of pakistan team. why is shoaib aktar still injured and why pakistan team is always injured???? even a soccer player doesnot ger much injured as pak cricket player does where as in soccer u have to work 10 times harder than cricket. i also would like to know why did pak did so bad on the last ODI is it because they had too much pride?? or is it because they didnt care?? in my opinion pak should of have 3-0 victory because the srilankan team did not have some of their main player.how come the first 2 ODI they did so well and on the last one they couldnot even go close to win?????????????.so anyway good luck to pakistan team. wish all the best for them and lastly may allah help the pakistan team and the players

  • Imran Khan on May 23, 2007, 10:10 GMT

    Considering we had a young squad, I think we did quite well to beat a good Sri Lanka side, I just hope we can build on this and move forward... We have the talent, just need direction...

  • Javed Arshad on May 23, 2007, 9:58 GMT

    Srilanka won the last match, and some sanity was restored,cuz rightly said..a series clean sweep was unimaginable and also migth have put malik on a high horse (evn though that seems far from reality since the kid seems quiet humble). That said, a series win it is, none the less! so good going boys. Najaf i think did quiet well evn though his numbers dont reflect that, but i feel, a lil more confidence and much more regular games (at the absolute once and for all expense of Abdul Razzaq) will bring out a lot of match winning performances from this youngster. Unfortunately, Fawad Alam did not avail the oppertunity(in part i think its cuz of the tremendous amount of pressure put on him). But still, he deserves a longer run with the amount of promise he has shown to get selected.

    All in all..a good weeks work..but Malik..im sure you know you got a lot to learn..everybody makes mistakes..only the winners learn from them!

  • Amanzeb Khan on May 23, 2007, 9:58 GMT

    The team needs to focus on each game and try to gather a winning momentum. Each and every game is there to be won. So many changes in one game unsettled the team. At this point when we are still building a team and individual roles are being defined and discovered such sweeping changes can hurt the momentum. I am not against giving youngsters a chance but it should be done more judiciously and intelligently. Additionally, it would be better if the youngsters coming in play as a part of tightly knit winning combination rather than in a secondary insignificant squad playing a meaningless game. In the second half of the game there was a lot of inconsistent bounce in the pitch which made batting very difficult.

  • Masood USA on May 23, 2007, 9:46 GMT

    Well said Kamran, I'm sure with time this team & their new captain will get better & better.

    Masood

  • Atul Bhogle on May 23, 2007, 9:46 GMT

    Too early to comment, Mr Abbasi, but Malik does look to the the right kind of person to lead Pakistan, they just need someone who is commited to the job and applies his mind rather than a player with lots of raw talent, the kind Pakistan has in abundance.

    I don't understand how you can still call Younis Khan a captain in the wings - he was Inzy's deputy for more than a year but refused to take responsibility when it mattered. I would NEVER name him even a vice captain in future. As for Shoaib, pray that he plays atleast 3 tests and 5 ODIs in an year. Captaincy can wait.

  • Humayoon Ahmad on May 23, 2007, 9:41 GMT

    Pakistan performed really well, though they lost the final match but they also gave chance to new guys to have some match experience. Shoaib's captaincy needs some polishing and some experience as well and it should be team effort not one man man show to win matches.

  • Tariq on May 23, 2007, 9:33 GMT

    Kamran, Could you elaborate on some specific mistakes you think Shoaib made during the last match? I'm intrested in your take at a more detailed level.

    Thanks

  • Abdul on May 23, 2007, 9:31 GMT

    I'm not sure of this result. Any matches played in the middle east are always tainted with suspicion of fixing.

  • Nasar Farooq, Leicester.UK on May 23, 2007, 9:26 GMT

    Congratulations to young Shoaib and Team Pakistan, but let's not get carried away. It's the consistency in performances from 'Team Pakistan' that Pakistan fans crave for and not the odd flash in the pan- powered by individual brilliance alone, here and there! In order to win consistently,momentum is everything and so five changes to the team was not a sensible thing to do, even though the series was already won.For example, Yousuf could have been rested instead of Afridi.If Fawad Alam was included to fulfill Afrid's role, why didn't he get a bowl-even when Asif was having an uncharacteristic nightmare of a day? Planning, strategy and execution was poor in the final match. Having said all that, i agree that it was a good begining..........much tougher tests lie ahead for young Shoaib and Team Pakistan.........Good Luck!

  • Fouad Chaudhry on May 23, 2007, 9:23 GMT

    I think winning is an attitude and Pakistan lack this. I don't understand why we need to change the winning combination if we are winning. Certainly I don't mind 1-2 changes if you have won the series, but changing the whole combination is not justified. The team needs to build its morale and it can only be achieved by regular wins. Anyway it was good to see the team back on the winning track.

  • Sub on May 23, 2007, 9:22 GMT

    I dont really like the way Malik is captaining Pakistan, in the sense that he is not switching his bowlers that much, in all the matches, he makes bowler ball longer spells and despite the fact that there are more than 5 bowlers (or part timers) in the team, he uses only 5 bowlers to complete the quota of 50 (10 each) whether any of them are going through good beating or not.. He should switch his bowlers so that the batsman do not get settled so easily by playing two bowlers on different ends for longer spells. Also it was cried all the time that Inzamam did not lead from front and used to bat way down the order, why are those cries burried now ? why shoaib malik bats so low down the order ? he himself should come at no. 3 to make a platform for the others, he should lead from front.. anyways it has started good so far.. lets hope for the best..

  • Ali on May 23, 2007, 9:14 GMT

    Hats off to Afridi for providing us entertainment. Well ... Pakistan still need a opener, salman butt is not upto standard. My granny can play better than him. Hafeez is not far away from salman butt& and please please please donot bring Tofeeq Umar back. Yasir Hamid needs to improve & yousaf is totally out of form!!! Do we have any body who can play or we will keep playing marry go round with present lot. Asif was disappointment, he haa to have extra yard or two in pace to be as lethal as likes of McGrah or Pollack. Najaf Shah must be coached, he looks promising, rest of bowlers are there just to fill the open vacancies. Where are our spinners? Present lot just tosses the ball up & prays it will hit right spot & some magical wand will turn it. Is this Young team??? I am confused here. These guys has been arround when I was kid & I have my own kids now. Or they have got birth certificates from Meo Hospital stating their ages. or they hav ebeen recently RE-SELECTED!!!! For God sake stop fooling yourself & select Cricketers not Morons!

  • Shahzad Arif on May 23, 2007, 9:12 GMT

    I would like to congratulate Pakistan cricket team and Shoaib Malik for putting up such a good performance in this short ODI against one of the best ODI teams. Fair enough SL was missing 3 of their key players but one shouldn't forget Pakistan was also without the services of Younis Khan and Shoaib Akhtar. Mr. Abbassi as you said earlier there's still a lot to be desired in the team and hopefully with the help of a "good coach" all these minor issues would be resolved quickly. I think Pakistan experimented a bit too much in the last game with resting/dropping 4/5 players and bringing youngsters in but then I guess they could afford to do that. Let's hope the ***Unity*** which we saw in this series in the team should continue for years to come.

  • ahrash on May 23, 2007, 8:55 GMT

    I just wonder why oh why do Pakistan love self - capitulation. 5 wickets for 9 runs yesterday... I am worried about mental strength of the batting line up. ... but the positives: I like the look Najaf and Imran Nazir is developing as is Sami. Let's get cracking on that fielding and we will concede 30 less runs.

  • Shahid Atiq on May 23, 2007, 8:53 GMT

    Well Done Malik! We are, The Sialkotians, proud of you. Pak team, carry on...

  • Tughral T Ali on May 23, 2007, 8:53 GMT

    For once I agree with you, Kamran, about the performance of our team (its also one of the rare occasions that you have written something positive about the Pakistan team). These guys (team + management) are showing a lot of good changes. The best is the agression and commitment they seem to have. I also like the fact that they tried out so many new faces in the last ODI. It shows at least someone out there is adopting a new approach to things. Najaf Shah wasnt bad at all by the way, and Rao was great! I'm not expecting miracles from our guys, but I do find them entertaining to watch again. They give it their best and they genuinely seem to be excited to be on the field.

    Heres hoping for the best!

  • Kamil (London) on May 23, 2007, 8:52 GMT

    I was delighted to hear shoaib malik at the presentation ceremony last night, ackowledging that works needs to be done, but accepting a bit of credit for the performance as well. I have high hopes for this unit - as does every other Pakistani nut like myself. I hope things continue to go our way for many a year under the new captain and vice captain! I was also happy to see Butt, Nazir, Akmal, Malik and Hameed score their half centuries - but disappointed with mohd yousaf (not bc i expect him to have an amazing innings each time he goes to bat, but at the lack of 'jaazba') We are a passionate country, esp about our cricket - haha i mean we go on to the street with burning effigies of losing players/captains (common to us, but unheard of in this part of the world!) Long Live Team Pakistan!

  • udara on May 23, 2007, 8:52 GMT

    I think pakistan did well.I felt this was tired seies for them bcoz when they start this series they had lot of cricket.during the world cup of we were superb.we played fantastic cricket.They were very tiered that is the reson to lost this series and becoz of this they culdnt play up to their standed.Any way they will do well once they have enough rest.Good to see pakistan play well after some time. Their future is good. beco they have good young players who are with some lot of talent.

  • Usman Majeed RWP, Pakistan on May 23, 2007, 8:52 GMT

    No doubt, nice beginning for Shoaib Malik and the pakistan cricket team. But there is a space of improvement for sure especially the fielding and running between the wickets. But there is ample time to correct that(May to Sept). But for now its time to celebrate a much awaited series win.

    Good luck to pak team for the future.

    Usman.

  • jassi on May 23, 2007, 8:48 GMT

    well, to be honest no inference can be made confidently...but they palyed well as a unit and showed good spirit, some remarks,

    give an extended run to guys like F.Alam and N Shah... there's no place for hafeez,razzaq if they don't perform consistently... 1:10 ratio of good matches is simply not acceptable..

    team Pakistan is more important than younis ,inzi or Shoaib akhter or any other individual!

    thanks Dr. abbasi...

  • Meesum Raza on May 23, 2007, 8:46 GMT

    Yes rightly said kamran, I would like shoaib Malik and the board to work on following things in the team.

    1)Self Belief 2)Tell each player that you have to own your game. 3)Communication Skills 4)Planning . i.e whenever they play a game they should have 2-3 plans so that if one plan fails they should have alternatives to win the match instead of giving up. 5) Try to improve the Infra-Structure.

    I hope my comments will help,

    Regards.

  • mohammed akram khan on May 23, 2007, 8:30 GMT

    Hi All,

    I totally agree with you that a new begining has begun for Pakistan under Malik. He did make mistakes but i hope he will learn what mistakes he has made in the begining of his innings as captain rather than later. I also strongly believe that Shahid Afridi should be made as vice captain though he has performed against a weaker opposition.

  • Chacha Koora Kirkit on May 23, 2007, 8:26 GMT

    Was the final one result fixed?

    When was the last time Pakistan clean swept a series? Suspicious I think!

  • Talha Ahmed on May 23, 2007, 8:07 GMT

    The result of the series was in our favour and more positives can be drawn of it. So, this is the time to be optimistic, to enjoy, to celebrate and to hope.

    But, it is imperative that we establish a new culture of improving from our victories. We should analyze and accept our mistakes and look for ways to alleviate them. Hence, apart from the rewards, the board should also give the captain and his colleagues a hard time about the abundance of run outs, Opening bowlers going at a fortune per over and the obvious underutilization of the bowling resources at hand.

  • Adeel Azhar on May 23, 2007, 8:03 GMT

    Great job Team Pakistan. I think the new spirit in this young team will definately put some pressure on the senior players whether they can keep pace with these youngsters. I am perticularly pointing to Yousuf, he must understand where does he stand in this new Pakistan ODI team.

  • Mustan on May 23, 2007, 7:52 GMT

    While this has been a good start to Pakistan, it is too early to conclude or predict anything. I am a Sri Lankan fan but I like Shoaib Malik - he has impressed with his skills as a player and does have the ability to be a great ODI player. However, as for captaincy, with support from his team and time, he would do well but being Pakistan, neither of them can be taken for granted.

  • Jassy on May 23, 2007, 7:50 GMT

    An under strength SL side comfortably beat this bunch of no-hopers...false dawn again! Pakistan nneed to be able to win without the drug cheats... we will see if anything fundamental has changed

  • Adnan Kapacee on May 23, 2007, 7:33 GMT

    Shoaib Malik has shown a good head and he has the making of a great captain if not influenced alot by the so called seniors. The Pakistan team has undergone overhaul which was pleasant in the eyes of the fans. Let us all support this team. It has potential to challenge the best. My main worry is how this team would play on moving wickets. Lets not judge them on flat wickets.

  • Abdur Razzak on May 23, 2007, 7:30 GMT

    an important start for a new era.but i think younis khan's arrival would not disturb malik for any reason.no doubt younis is a team man. in fact his presence could help malik in the middle as he has the experience of captainig this pak side before.shoaib no doubt is a question mark,but a match winner for sure.so the challenge for malik would be to handle shoaib.the nex step should be to find a good coach.

  • Trevelyan - Colombo on May 23, 2007, 7:29 GMT

    Well Done Pakis.... You too played with a young side. Apart from Ausis, all other teams win only on their given days... luck.. counts a lot... Imagine if SriLanka had a fluke win in the world cup finals.. what a shame coming again and loosing to a young pakistani side... Only the Ausis can maintain the status as world champions... Not ANY OTHER team in the world.

    trevelyan777@hotmail.com

  • Naveed Abid on May 23, 2007, 7:23 GMT

    Malik is good choice Afridi is one of the best allrounders

  • Syed Zeeshan Ali on May 23, 2007, 7:14 GMT

    Your key player must play for white wash. Why not shahid Afridi played 3rd one day?. Try to add two or three new faces for some exeriment but why add five new faces in only one game. Should Australia change in one game five face from his winning combination.

  • Farrukh on May 23, 2007, 7:12 GMT

    Keep going Pakistan Team....best of luck

  • CD - From NewsAllAngles on May 23, 2007, 7:05 GMT

    Lets not forget it was a very very weak Sri Lankan team. I mean without Murli , Vaas and Sangakkara it was always going to be easier for the opposition.

    Lets hope the big guns of Pakistan are also available for coming games , and all the best to Malik and Pakistan Team in Future.

    CD - NAA>

  • Tariq Salman Alvi on May 23, 2007, 7:03 GMT

    Alhamdolillah we came back from disatrous World Cup to beat the World cup finalist in a three match series under new captain and without a coach. All credit to the selectors, captain, team management and team members for this excellent performance. A note of caution that we must learn from every game whether we win or loose as the learning process goes on. Pakistan being a Muslim country has clear guidelines about the learning process as Prophet (PBUH)has mentioned that learning process starts from the cradle and end up at death bed. So whole lif is for learning whether it is a game or any other matter. No one can claim that he he is perfact and has nothing to learn. We learn from elders, seniors, friend, foes and from children. History provide us lessons for the future, so that we do not make the same mistake intentionaly. Kamran you are right that expectations were not high but they have performed well in their first test and specially our new captain who has given good account of himself in all the three matches with wisdom,consultation and when the chips were down he played a captain's innings in the last match.That is what is expected from a captain to lead the team from the front, but still he has to learn and with experience from international exposure inshallah he will improve. It was good to give chance to the other players in the squad once the team has won the series. Fuad Alam needs encouragement as this is game of cricket and it happens that you failed in your first outing but do not loose heart but learn from the first ball he received, a slower ball from the medium fast bowler, unexpected delivery but professional bowlers exploit the situation with variation according to the situation. So always be ready to expect anything and inshallah you will learn from experience. Shahid Afridi Allah (SWT) has given special potential to you, but keep a cool head and work hard in all deprtments of the game, batting, bowling, fielding and discipline and inshallh you will provide the best of the entertainment which a cricket match could provide the cricket loving fans. Hard work, character and discipline is the message which Islam teaches to the mankind, so keep learning and practice the principle of Islam and you will become a better player. We need to built our junior teams right from schools and colleges, so that we have a good bentch strength, to replace any one from the senior team. It will provide competition to all the players, so they will work hard to keep their place in the team. I would like to take this opportunity to congatulate the Nation on this success and inshallah we will have many more successes if we keep on working hard, be honest to our work whether in the selection committee or just a player or captain.

  • iqbal jafri on May 23, 2007, 7:02 GMT

    you are absolutely right kamran, it was really unexpected, beating world cup finalist is not a easy task, although srilanka didnt had their main bowlers playing but in card its not written who played and who didnt, the bottom line will be the new pakistan team beat srilanka in a series, malik is certainely a good captain, he showed in this series that he learns from his mistakes, in the first match afridi's performance was good, but the catches he dropped showed that he want to let down his captain, even in the second match in award cermony shoaib named afridi as a motivational catalyst, i think its all because malik knew that afridi want to be contender for captaincy as every one know that according to pcb statement every captain's performance is based on series performance. but i think all the team senior as well as junior players should support him, malik will certainely bring laurals to the country, good luck team pakistan. Jafri

  • rana kashif on May 23, 2007, 7:02 GMT

    Thanks Allah there is some good news for pakistan cricket.As a big fan I,cant explain how frustrating last two months were.shoaib malik has a good cricketing brain and he is a very good choice for captain.It was good see pakistan team full of energy hopefully they can continue like this.asif as a vice captain is really a bad chice guy is new to cricket and he has been under emmence pressure for all that doping scandle.all the best wishes to pakistan team

  • Haroon on May 23, 2007, 7:01 GMT

    Good start. Better than expected.

  • Khalil on May 23, 2007, 6:57 GMT

    Sadly Kamran I think you're deluding yourself. The 'Team' has barely been together for a couple of weeks and already fractions are appearing. It was obvious from his body language that Abdur Razzaq is not a happy bunny. This was plain to see in his performances and body language in the first 2 one-dayers. Losing Razzaq will be a massive blow to the Pakistan 1-day team as he has endless times in the past guided them home from perilous positions.

    Then there was Mohammed Yusuf also not looking too happy....and these 2 are supposedly the milder of the senior players. Can you imagine Shoiab or Younis playing under Malik and what their reaction would be? Team Pakistan? I don't think so. More likely a return the murky Wasim-Waqar or Javaid-Imran-Safraz power-hungry eras'. There is more in-fighting and back-stabbing to come in this team and don't for a moment think Pakistan are back!! This might sound pessimistic but as you will see it will happen to be correct in the end.

  • usman on May 23, 2007, 6:57 GMT

    Oh...puhleez...nothing is right with Pakistan cricket.lets not be gung-ho about such performances..a series win over tired/overworked/flat world cup finalists that too with a lot of luck.

    My point is everyones talking about so much talent so much, i think we are in denial..if there is talent it does somehow beat the system and come to the forefront and we havent had a half decent batsmen in over a decade. Pakistan team cant put up a decent fight without Shahid Afridi, then why have Shoaib Malik as captain who will be upstaged/replaced by Afridi if it continues to happen. The dimwits they are cant even run between the wickets properly, they are just a bunch of overpaid perennial under achievers who specialize in letting themselves down.

  • Snk Baba on May 23, 2007, 6:55 GMT

    Pakistan middle order looked more stronger without Younis.

    Pakistani bowling lacked that venom without Akhtar.

    If Pakistan would have played their first match team, we could've whitewashed Sri Lanka.

    All in all, a great beginning for the Pakistani Cricket after the dismal world cup.

  • Hasnain Shaban on May 23, 2007, 6:48 GMT

    Very true Kamran, I agree with your comments. And yes the clean sweep would surely have been an unimaginable result but the 'boys' did a good job overall beating the World Cup finalists. Something to ponder on...would the return of Younis Khan change the way the team reacts? Or would a Shoaib Akhtar return create ripples once again?

  • Tahir Aka ISLAM on May 23, 2007, 6:47 GMT

    Asalaam Alaykum

    I am little disappointed with the final game, it showed a spot which pakistan need to fix going from 61-1 to 70-6, which all but ended the challange. However overall i think pakistan cricket has a bright future and so to does shoaib malik.

    One thing i cannot understand is why fawad alam dubbed "the best allrounder in domestic season" wasnt given an over, but i guess shoaib has his reasons.

    Anyways Good luck Pakistan.

  • H.Malik on May 23, 2007, 6:38 GMT

    Dear Kamran ,, a better begining than expected but I would say it , " A Fluke begining and much the same as highly expected YOYOs display " . The series win was not a win they got by their any thing action but it was gifted to them by a depleted , exhausted and not focused SriLankan players . Once they same depleted side got to work for the last hurrah , the result is anf should be an eye opener for so so CALLED Wishfull Thinking of the 11 YoYos led by the same old thinking and the plans . The Way they folded & could not complete even 50 overs , says a lot about " WE HAVE BEEN THERE BEFORE " ..... The stardom went into the Head of VCAP , as you sow so shall you reap have been said long long time ago but it still hold goods for the PCB . Now his career and his behavioure is under scrutiny for the next 12 months and you can see the pressure of being under focused for just one day , how he leaked the runs in his first spell and it is mind bogling to watch , CAP throwing the ball to him over after over seeing what he had done in the first 2 overs ( poor Captaincy is an under statement in this regards ) . The career of this talented young man has been hanged out to dry even before it really got started fully ... Thanks to mindlessness of the PCB and the selectors ...

  • Muhammad Tariq on May 23, 2007, 6:29 GMT

    I think it was a good chance in the 3rd ODI to give chance to the new and younger players because the series was already won. And Pakistan did so.Now the combination of TEAM PAKISTAN has been made under Shaoaib Malik. All the players wand to do something for their country, most of them are young blood and all are very committed individuals. When Younis will come back this team will be much stronger because Younas is the type of guy who enjoys his game and there is alot of sincerity in Younis with his game and also the team mates. Inshallah Pakistan will do better in the future against all the teams. I wish them best of luck. GOOD LUCK "TEAM PAKISTAN"

  • Arsalan Haque on May 23, 2007, 6:29 GMT

    Not a bad series. Should raise player confidence and team morale. I understand the appointment of malik to lead but i feel for afridi aswell. The guy should atleast be Vc, I mean cmon asif cant lead in absence of malik, say in test matches or if malik is ever injured. But afridi can, maybe even better than malik. Shahid is a good motivator in the team and a lil bit of responsibility can help bring out the better of both his performance and leadership. After all he does contribute to pakistans wins. A few things about mailk is hes not placing slips n it shows hes not all out attacking his opponents, second he was unable to prevent singles in later overs, i know its too soon to point these small things but a look at the few months ahead n you know you cant afford to be late. But still pakistan have done good, if lankans were missin a few key players so were we missin akhtar younis and inzi. Apart from 3 seniors we were playing a much younger side then they were. We won it like we use to back in the days and it feels awesome.

  • caro on May 23, 2007, 6:28 GMT

    nothing will happen its all foolish things , they are just playing with pakistan.... and dont be optimistic abt that once they will go to abroad they will be equal to zimbabwe........

  • srivathsan on May 23, 2007, 6:24 GMT

    YES, the begining is good.DEFEATING SRIANKA even without their strike bowler is not an easy joke.Pak. team deserves all the credit for the victory.Victory appears more sweeter for pakistani fans when viewed from the backdrop of WC debacle.As you rightly said malik would have felt more comfortable in the absence of younis khan & shoab akhtar.He should be allowed some more time to settle down & the people as well as the PCB SHOULD BE PATIENT.GOOD LUCK SHOAB MALIK.

  • Mamun on May 23, 2007, 6:24 GMT

    The 3rd ODI will bring the flying fans back on earth. Considering the fact that Sri Lanka were runners up in the last world cup, many of us thought we're the best or second best after beating the SAME NAMED team in first 2 ODI, forgetting this team is only 2nd half of the original team. The targetting and then thrashing of Asif yesterday will teach the young inexperienced and immensely talented bowler the pressure of staring at quality batsmen.

    By resting Afridi in the 3rd match, it was clear that Pakistan were ready for a defeat. Afridi is now a so important player for the ODI team which was somewhat obvious in the last world cup and South Africa tour. It's a very good sign to see him taking such an iconic role on the field. Looking at the roles of Malik and Afridi on the field, I hope no conflict/competition arise between them in later times. No idea why Asif was chosen as the vice-captain. It shows the PCB is still not thinking.

    Mr. Abbasi is an emotional writer. He just can't see many facts under emotion. The way he criticizes Inzi's captaincy, I wonder why he was let to captain the team for those many years. Or is it that Inzi forgot everything of captaincy only in the world cup? And Team Pakistan? A long way to go to welcome them yet.

  • ayyaz on May 23, 2007, 6:23 GMT

    it was not a tough series,v cant say malik is a good captain on the basis of this series.he is on the place of inzi and he has to show that he is capable for inzi's place

  • Haseeb - Kuwait on May 23, 2007, 6:21 GMT

    Lets Hope For The Best And We Should Support Our Team In All Situation

  • Muneeb on May 23, 2007, 6:07 GMT

    you and your freak optimism.

  • khalid on May 23, 2007, 6:04 GMT

    a wonderful new begning .

  • Ahsan on May 23, 2007, 6:03 GMT

    I m pleased with the way shoaib fought till the end...i wish him best of luck 4 future

  • S.H.Moulana on May 23, 2007, 5:57 GMT

    Congratulations Pakistan! We are glad to see the up and coming youngster doing well but we condemn the attitude of Mohamed Asif he may intimidate with his bowling but not with his abuses and intimidations on batsmen facing him. It was dirty and very ugly to see him dragging a cool Mahela for a an unwanted confrontation. Let him take a lesson from the Pakistani greats of the past, like Wasim, Waqar and Imran and so on....He is already nicknamed as a 'drug cheat'. He has a good future let him not ruin it by his ungentlemanly behaviour in this gentlema's game.

  • Mabsoos Ahmad on May 23, 2007, 5:56 GMT

    Kamran Sahib is one of the best optimistic along with me. It is a good idea to label the team “a better beginning than expected”. However, the series has been won by Pakistan with a margin of 2-1 but as far as the last ODI is concerned, it is a true reflection of Pakistan Team Management. This is the difference between Australia and the Sub continent team. The Aussies would have never tried so much in the last ODI. History says that they do try one or two players in a match but do you remember they have disturbed the combination by changing in wholesale. It ruins the rhythm of the players who has been performing well enough. To drop Shahid Afridi from playing eleven is ridiculous and the lack of planning going forward. It is very unfortunate that when Afridi picks up his momentum some how or the other, he is dropped. He is a great entertainer and ambassador of ODI cricket and by dropping him you are cheating with the public who just lost their zeal in the match. First ODI, he single handedly won the match for Pakistan and second ODI it was his bowling which, gave relief to Shoaib and the Pakistan to clinch the series, then why Shoaib and the Management dropped him from 3rd ODI. There is something black since he does not deserve to be dropped because he was in prime form with bat and bowl. It demoralizes the players and going forward it is a sincere advice that the Management along with the captain should not repeat mistake that the person who is performing well and is the master for your series win is being dropped.

    Let us come to the point raised by Kamran Sahib that it is a good beginning. I agree with him partly not fully because they have made such a silly mistake in the 3rd ODI that it is a cancerous for building a team. There should a fixed plan and it should not be disturbed. Try youngster but not on the expense of inform players. They have to improve their running between the wickets as most of the run outs were pathetic. The selection policy is still, the area, where you need some improvement. Firstly, before selecting any players, it is the duty of the selectors to identify the talent of the players. See if he is technically correct or not then we should stick with him and give fair amount of chance to demonstrate his skill. The only grey area , in my opinion, is the lack of perfect bowling (Fast/Medium) all rounder. If you are able to search and fill the gap of Abdul Razzaq, this team will be awesome since ODI is all about all rounder. To sum up this series, we can say, Shoaib has gained something but still he has a lot to prove.

  • WASIM SAQIB on May 23, 2007, 5:56 GMT

    The Abu Dhabi series is over,Pakistan won the series mainly because of Shahid Afridi's heroics and Partly because of Srilankan generosity as they rested Malinga and Jaisuriya in the second match, Pakistan could have made a clean sweep but they decided to return the favour by resting Afridi, Razzak,Sami, Nazir,Umar Gul,although this experiment was much needed in order to guage the true potential of the players like Najaf,Fawad and Rehman.None of these young players could capitalize on the chance given to them. We cant say anything about Fawad as his stay on the crease lasted only one ball,I was not impressed by Najaf or Rehman,I dont think Rehman is suitable for ODI cricket,he was too erratic earlier on,and his fielding and batting were not upto International standards. Najaf Shah bowled too straight coudnt move or swing the ball he is not in the league of Asif,Sami,Gul or Rao he will have to learn to move the ball if he has to play for pakistan. I was surprised to see that Asif was also unable to move the ball and therefore he couldnt trouble any batsmen maybe it was his off day but his poor performance allowed Srilanka to Post a huge total. Mohammad Yousaf is completely out of form maybe he needs to be rested for One Odi series.

  • Adeel Basit on May 23, 2007, 5:54 GMT

    Though it was not expected but somewhere deep insight i was hoping for this result. All went well and it was a good team effort which was really boasted with absence of Younis and Akhtar, though they on thier day can be mercurial to any team. I wish the passion, aggression and unity displayed in this Mini Tournament shall be maintained in future as well. Well Done Paki Team! We are proud of you!

  • Pem on May 23, 2007, 5:51 GMT

    Well done Pakistan It was a great start for the new captain and the young team. I always believed Pakistan is a better team than Sri Lanka. If Sri Lanka loses couple of their best players they become very ordinary. But Pakistan has the ability to field totally new team and still win against any opposition. Afridi is my favorite and on his day no attack is safe. Thanks for the wonderful performance.

  • Azam on May 23, 2007, 5:45 GMT

    The team played well and it was refreshing to see the enthusiasm and team spirit. however i still belive that they should have opted for shahid afridi as one day vise captain and mohammad yousaf as test vise captain. muhammad asif is a very good bowler but he is too raw to become the vise captain and that extra pressure has visibly affected his bowling. neverthless it was a good start and hopefully they will build on it. best of luck to pakistan. i would appreciate everybodys feedback on the vice captain issue.

  • MK Beg on May 23, 2007, 5:36 GMT

    yes, a good beginning beating a under-strength SL side but as i mentioned a lot of work is required to hone their fielding and run-calling skills. what ever happened to the word "waiting" or "aa jaa" which was used a lot by previous teams when calling for quick singles. the next job is to get these guys a good coach who can improve their batting, bowling and fielding skills. the raw talent is there. Good Luck to Malik and his charges

  • sayf on May 23, 2007, 5:29 GMT

    shoiab akhtar, afridi and umar gul will win pakistan back the pride they had won 15 years ago. thell defeat australia next year. im sure of it. go team pakistan

  • YO on May 23, 2007, 5:23 GMT

    Man, your blog sucks big time. Typical sensationalist journo stuff.

  • jude on May 23, 2007, 5:20 GMT

    Still a lot of work for the pakis to do. immense talent just need the right coach to bring out the talent locked within the youngsters.

  • fahad on May 23, 2007, 5:16 GMT

    No doubt about the Malik's Captaincy and a team spirit of Pakistan. The little mistake in last match was the five changes in one match, which would be the disaster if they continue like that. No doubt there are good players in Pakistan team but better to continue the first combination first b/w salman and imran. but in the end i want to say it was the great effort by youngsters and i hope to be the same and more accurate in the coming series.

  • Salman Butt on May 23, 2007, 5:07 GMT

    Well summarized Kamran. The decision of going for a young team led by a young captain has to be supported regardless of how the results turn out initially. I consider this series win a cherry on top of a bold but correct decision by PCB.

  • OB on May 23, 2007, 5:01 GMT

    Kamran I agree, nobody expects perfection so early. However, our batting line-up did indicate very much 'Pakistan Inconsistency' where in one match we beat teams by huge margins and in the very next match we lose by equally huge margins. Malik showed good heart and fought till the end but none of the others looked like having any such plans. I guess consistency is the biggest challenge ahead of Malik and whoever is selected as the coach of Paki team.

  • Sankhadeep on May 23, 2007, 4:58 GMT

    Pakistan certainly has shown their mettle and glimpses of their mercurial nature both on and off the field.

    By all accounts,a betting man would not have put his money on this Pak team beating the World cup finalists. But they did and that too twice and its testimony that this team,when together can achieve whatever it sets its mind on.

  • loljk on May 23, 2007, 4:53 GMT

    first post! yeh it is kind of funny to call many members of the team young because numerically they are in thier 20s but many of them have been playing first class cricket since thier mid teens and some even have been playing international level since thier late teens. ie: afridi, razzaq, malik... etc etc.

  • Habib W. Ahmed on May 23, 2007, 4:52 GMT

    Finally a fresh breath of air after world cup fiasco and current political events in the country. I wish Pakistan team and Shoaib Malik all the success. Its good to see such a good team spirit on display, The only few changes which would made this team even better for future is to get rid of senior players like Yousuf , Younus and Shoaib. All of them are more suitable to longer version of game and young blood is indeed the way forward. One more thing which I would like to add in last is that the two debutants should be given more opportunities.

  • Ahmad Goheer on May 23, 2007, 4:52 GMT

    Kamran, you are right on. It was very very important for Pakistan to win the series ... and whatever you and others say here and elsewhere recently, about the team spirit, about other possible captains missing, about team meetings, strategizing, youthfulness all around ... this all is great, but I think the fact that this will now take Shoaib Malik as a captain from this win to the next series and those whose job is only to sit on the outskirts and critique everything will simply have to allow that. Had one of the first two games gone the other way and had SL won the series, it wouldn't in real terms have mattered much, SL is afterall a very good side, but Shoaib would have been thrashed from left right and centre for everything and THAT wouldn't have been too good ... so yes, I am like all of you pretty happy with the result ... and more so that it has laid the very first stones of foundation very solidly for the new captain. Cheers!

  • Nuruddin Lakhani on May 23, 2007, 4:51 GMT

    Congratulations to young Pakistan Team and the new captain on winning this series. I guess changing the combinations especially the openers did not work out for Pakistan in the last game.

    Mohammad Hafeez brought the jinx of losing every game when he plays, regardless of his performance. Anyway, I think that building a good opening pair should be the top agenda for Shoaib Malik as a captain, and Nazir / Butt combination appears promising and we should persist with it for a little while before making changes. Fitness and sharp fielding are other imporatnt aspects of the game that this new team need to focus on. Our pace bowlers should be allowed some rest between the games so that burden of heavy and busy schedule should not not burn them out. So rotation should be worked out in a way that new combinations should not fail.

  • Muhammad Murtaza Haqeeqat on May 23, 2007, 4:44 GMT

    Great...Wonderful...Nice.... Pakistan team has done gr8t job in Abu dabhi one day series but still there are lots more work to do...and my quesition is that why Malik and selectors didn't select AFRIDI for the third match why they rest him...I think they should have played with AFRIDI then they had chance of winning the third ODI and make a whitewash of the series...but at last I want to say Well done SHOAIB great captaincy... Muhammad Murtaza Haqeeqat from Afghanistan

  • chakram on May 23, 2007, 4:41 GMT

    i think ur..right!!

  • Imran on May 23, 2007, 4:34 GMT

    I would treat the whole series with cautious optimism. Even though there were successes, the whole affair still clearly showed Pakistan's long-standing weaknesses. I would like to point out a few:

    1) Inability to build on partnerships. 2) Excessive run-outs and general carelessness. 3) Fielding is still not international standard. 4) Getting freaked out after bowling one bad over. 5) Getting freaked out after losing two quick wickets.

    etc.

    In general, we need a lot more discipline. We have a new team which can be moulded into a formidibale force or we can let everyone go lazy and careless and keep being upset by meek teams like Ireland etc.

    I just hope that Pakistan gets somebody that can polish them and bring about their best. Who will?

  • Arslan on May 23, 2007, 4:32 GMT

    i dnt think pak really tried 2 win this last match considering malik didnt bowl .....also we werent @ full strength...disaapointed in the batting collapse though...styl cant count on ny opening pair.....akmal/malik r looking gud ...shud've played razzaq for more match practise....he looks terrible wid bat

  • EAMIRAN on May 23, 2007, 3:52 GMT

    ---- and it wasn't even St. Patty's Day.

    To talk about team spirit and unity is fine, but it will only get you so far. Pakistan seriously lacks real talent at this time, and no matter how you polish the skills of the present lot, they are not going to sparkle. For this, we can thank our 3rd rate domestic set up.

    Since Inzi emerged in 1992, we have produced only two top class batsmen. Yousuf, a natural, who only realized his true potential a few years ago, and the hard working Younus Khan. In other words, in 15 years we have produced two top class batsmen. That is pathetic!.

    To compound the problem, Pakistan have not really produced anyone seriously quick and in the class of our great quicks of the past, barring Shoaib Akhtar, whose perennial fitness problems continue unabated. Asif is top class but his medium pace will suffer in conditions like those seen in Abu Dhabi, especially if there is no wicket taking quickie at the other end. On top of all this, many would like to see the back of the afore mentioned players for one reason or the other. If that ever comes to pass, we would have trouble winning a test against Bangladesh.

    It appears we are heading towards a New Zealand like side, with few, if any, world class players, some bits and pieces players, many mediocrities and maybe good team spirit (how long it'll last is another matter). But we can never hope to emulate NZ's performance in the field, mainly because we lack mental and physical toughness, a brilliant captain who deserves his position in the team, and last but not least, fielding skills! We could become competitive from time to time but will never win any major tournament, just like NZ.

    Team unity is important, but to excel you have to have individual brilliance and an abundance of it. That, I'm afraid, we do not have.

  • Rahat Minhas on May 23, 2007, 2:48 GMT

    It was an excellent experience for our team and the captain as positivety flowed in the team. In this over aggressive behaviour 5 memebers of the team were changed for the third ODI the team lost the match for this reason alone, maybe a wrong strategy but the new captain is only going to learn by making some mistakes and being innovative. For the long term future some strong decisions or changes can be made in the short run to take in more players, so that replacements for every player is available in the future. So let us be patient and let the new captain and new team can get established before we sound too critical as we know that the main problems are quite apparent bad running, bad fielding and fitness problems..lets concentrate out criticism restricted to actual problems and their solutions and improvements, rather then wholly based on personalities!!

  • Zaid Atique on May 23, 2007, 1:20 GMT

    Malik, you are the man!

  • waj on May 23, 2007, 1:17 GMT

    Yes Pakistani team is notgoing to turn into Australia all of a sudden and win every single game. The important thing was that new players were given the opportunity to perform and display their skills. Najaf Shah looks promising but he needs more experience at the international level to truly be a decisive force. Fawad Alam was disappointing but we can't really assess his skills on one bad shot and i feel he didn't really get a chance to show us what he can do and we really haven't seen the best of him. Malik played a captains innings but it is pretty clear that Pakistan's once formidable middle order is now very vulnerable without Inzi, Younis, and a struggling M.Yousef(Largely because i think he feels he has to carry the load in the middle like Inzi did and it is too much pressure on him). As far as bowling is concerned Rao should definitely be given a place alongside Asif and Gul and Hameed seems to be in form even though he played a horrible shot to get caught out.

  • Nasir Ayub on May 23, 2007, 1:01 GMT

    Not a finish the Pakistanis may like. With all the talent and ability they have, the Pakistan team proved on numerous occassions that when the lose, the lost miserably. They palyed so well through out the series but lost the last match without any appearent fight. Another thing that the team management must work on is that our team still depends on individual performances rather than a whole team effort (probably except the 2nd ODI) If M. Asif couldn't do his normal, the Lankans put a huge total on board. I have a feeling that just like the whole fans, the team also expect Asif (or any particular batter or bowler) to do the early damage and if he fails, the team comes into a little pressure. Malik has to work on this also. For Malik, for a young team and for Pakistan it was a great start. Lets hope they learn from mistakes and improve their skills as professional cricketers. On a point which Mr. Abbasi mentioned about the absence of Akhtar and Younis and Malik's controle. Shoaib though problemestic with discipline in past but in an interview i heard Malik referring him as a best friend. Younis on the other hand r efused captaincy and we saw Shahid Afridi (senior than Younis as cricketer) caused no problem for a young captain. I think their return will strengthen the Pakistan team.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on May 23, 2007, 0:34 GMT

    A better beginning than expected OR a sad ending that wasn't expected?" Its like saying; the glass is half empty or the glass is half full. Or, I missed the train. Or, like the Arabs say: "The train went without me." These are just expressions aur vo bhi dil ko behlanay ko. Definitely a clean sweep would have raised the morale of the team even higher but for this, they shouldn't have made so many changes in the team for the 3rd ODI. Those who believe in total revamp of the team must learn from this series. First, how it affected Sri Lanka when they rested the inform Jayasuriya and Lasith Malinga and they lost that match. Secondly, how these players lost their rhythm in the 3rd match because of not playing one game, yet their presence inspired and lifted the morale of the other players. Thirdly, how adversely it affected the Pakistan team when they rested inform Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Sami. In my opinion both these players should have been in the team for the 3rd ODI.

    And, I was right about the series prediction and also that Kamran Abbassi will initiate a new thread after this defeat. :-) I have already written the reasons of this defeat which I had predicted in the previous thread only after seeing the team selection and by the end of Sri Lanka's innings when they posted 296 runs on board. I knew it would be a one sided affair and thats exactly what happened.

    The reason is, according to the law of averages expecting from Salman Butt to put up another man of the match innings was asking too much. I was expecting some fireworks from Shoaib Malik, Hafeez and Hameed but, not match winning performances and they did not disappoint me. Hafeez, like always, after a very good start ended his innings abruptly and this time not by playing a stupid shot, but by ending it through a suicidal run out, what a waste of an innings. And Hameed did not wait for Hafeez, he threw his wicket just like that and joined him in the pavilion a few minutes later. At that stage, Fawad Alam should have come in instead of Mohammad Yousuf. Because, the much desired youngster of the year came in to bat when there was too much pressure for any player to cope, survive and consolidate the innings especially when three top order players have gone within the space of a few overs and Fernando's inevitable ball ended up his hype. I feel sorry for the poor chap. If he is also a bowler, I wonder why he didn't get a chance to bowl? What was the point in giving Hafeez all the ten overs, why not test Alam?

    Najaf Shah is so, so but I would be wrong in judging him by seeing him bowl only 10 overs and that too on a flat track. There was nothing on the placid wicket for him to prove his worth except for a few good deliveries that beat Jayasuriya. But, without any batting abilities just to be there in the ODI team purely as a bowler is not really an asset unless you are exceptionally good like Mohammad Asif is. Even Mohammad Sami, Omar Gul and even Rao Ifti can hit a few boundaries and sixes or play a support role when needed. I am not aware of how good Najaf Shah is with the bat, he scored a duck like Alam. But, was unlucky imo the ball was way outside the off stump. And, Abdul Rahman is a useless player he should not have been in the team. Shoaib Malik should have talked to him to take singles rather than allowing him to waste the balls and build up the pressure. Malik admitted that only today he came back into his batting form but, not good enough to win the match.

    Fielding and running between the wickets needs attention. Until and unless the grounds in Pakistan are improved the fielding cannot improve. No player would be willing to dive to save a boundary and take risk of getting injured. Since it is not in their psyche to dive at domestic level, it won't come to them as their first nature as it is for players from other countries do and that is 'coz "the grass is greener on their grounds." I mean, the surface is not so hard. Sri Lanka and West Indies are poor nations but there is plenty of rain and the surface is not as hard as it is in India and Pakistan.

    Mr. Naseem Ashraf should spent some money in building new grassy grounds in Pakistan with not so hard surface and he can do that by saving money which he so lavishly spend on his tours. Was there a need for him to be there in Abu Dhabi? Was the Sri Lankan Cricket Board Chairman there too? I am not aware of it, or is that a practice for these high ranking officials to accompany the team when the team tours abroad? Does he ever go to Faisalabad, Sialkot, Peshawar, Hyderabad or even to Karachi to see any domestic match? Has he ever thought of improving the facilities and playing conditions locally? President Mushy should also take a note of this, since he also travels to India to watch a cricket match which involves a huge amounts of money for his security set up and the other expenses that incur for his private plane etc.

  • Ashaq on May 23, 2007, 0:02 GMT

    First of all total respect to the srilankans for completely out playing Pakistan in the final game.

    Will the selectors keep patience with these players is another issue. I think if they had stuck with the likes of Wajahatullah Wasti,Mohammed Wasim and Saleem Elahi even they may have turned in to world class.

    Instead what we have is a never ending game of musical chairs,players being picked performing okay for a while, then losing their form.New players are then bought in to the squad they also sing from the same Hymn sheet.Then we return to the first set of players.

    How long before we see the likes of Toufiq Umar,Imran Farhat,Faisal Iqbal, and Hassan Raza being reselected.To get players to perform consistently you need to give them a consistent run.

    The England squad were doing the exact same thing in the early to mid-nineties until Duncan Fletcher Was made coach.According to Duncan Fletcher you can only Judge the worth of a player in odi format,when he has played atleast 25 games in a row.

    With people already seeing Afridi as the defacto captain.How long before we have calls for Malik to be stripped of the captaincy,and Afridi to be installed as the Skipper. In my opinion very little will change until we get rid of this Ad-Hoc system.

    Lala Javed.A.Khan esq. I now understand why you are getting so worked up.My dear old chap how naive of you to think, that I would impinge upon your territory. I am afterall residing in good old Blighty,thousands of miles away from Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver So my dear fellow do not get so worked up you will give yourself High blood pressure, Ulcers, diabetes and all these other stress related diseases we hear about nowadays.Dont be such an old fogey, you can try your luck with all the MidWifes in Canada for all I care or whatever else takes your fancy.

    I was afraid we may have a miscommunication if I spoke in the "lot lizard mimbo".So I hope the "BrownSahib speak makes everything clear:-)So be a good sport old boy no harm done, cheerup. You should really get out more,Maybe take up Polo or, fencing,perhaps a timid felow like you would be better suited to a game of bridge at the Rotary club. stop watching those darn soap operas they are putting strange ideas in to your head. well anyway wishing you and that Midwife the best of luck:-)

  • ADNAN MIRZA on May 22, 2007, 22:40 GMT

    Dear Mr. Abbasi I am writing you because I am extremely disappointed with PCB for making Shoaib Malik captain of Pakistan team. He is the same guy who wanted the media to pay him for interviews because he has an inferiority complex about the amount of money he is making compared to the Indian star players.I think he will reinstate the betting culture in the team and we will have the same shameless defeats as we had in the past. God have mercy on us Long live Pakistan cricket thanks Adnan

  • khansahab on May 22, 2007, 22:36 GMT

    There is no mention on Cricinfo fixtures of this forthcoming Pakistan vs South Africa series. Can someone tell me when it will be played?

    This might be a better beginning than expected but there are a lot of negatives to be taken from this series, some which were certainly UNexpected. Pakistani cricketers are poor at learning from their mistakes but I can only hope they do.

    The most obvious blemishes first. Salman Butt played a nothing shot. It was an unusual dismissal and one which ought to haunt him constantly. I don’t expect a professional cricketer to play that type of shot at this level. You could see that he did not read the length of the ball and he was totally puzzled where the ball was going. Most people on this blog thought that he is a long term answer to Pakistan’s opening fiasco but I repeatedly stated that he needs more experience domestically. Yes he demonstrated some consistency in the first two matches but looked out of sorts in the third match, where Pakistan were under severe pressure.

    Yasir Hameed is more able but he has a tendency to play that silly pull shot which has got the better of him on quite a few occasions now. He has the talent but he has demonstrated poor learning ability. I first noticed this problem with him three years ago and he hasn’t got rid of it.

    Hafeez played very well until his silly decision to run and then stop and run back. Maybe there was a run there but poor running between the wickets (and this applies to all batsmen) is a self explanatory ailment.

    Mohammad Yousuf’s form has been worrying me lately. I wonder if it’s anything to do with the captaincy and vice captaincy going to the juniors with Afridi also being proactive in the decision-making process. It was pathetic to see him getting LBW to Fernando considering the amazing form he has been in for the past two years. Maybe he should seek retirement from ODI’s with Fawad Alam or Mohammad Hafeez (or Misbah-ul-Haq, Asim Kamal or Hasan Raza) taking his position in the middle order. I did not want to admit this prior to this Sri Lanka series, but Yousuf seems increasingly jaded, which is astounding, considering the amazing 2006 he had.

    The tragedy of Fawad Alam! First he gets neglected for the first two important matches. He is selected to play in a relatively unimportant match. Faras Ghani (Cricinfo writer) called him the “star” of Pakistan’s recent domestic season. If his inclusion only in this unimportant match is not relegating enough, he was not given a chance to bowl. This is especially noteworthy considering his reputation in the domestic circles as a “crafty partnership-breaker” (he could have been used when Jayaweredene and Silva were thrashing the bowlers) and also the fact that he took 5 wickets in that Twenty20 final vs Sialkot. Malik was also playing in that match! What is the justification for this slipshod treatment of this youngster? Is Shoaib Malik jealous? Sure Fawad played a poor shot but this kind of treatment does make you nervous and makes you feel inconsequential.

    Najaf Shah was noticeable although I wouldn’t say it was a dream debut. But he has a long way to go, that much is certain.

    Rao should be an automatic selection if you ask me. Asif looks like he gets tired too easily, maybe that’s because the effect of the drugs wearing off :). I would prefer if Rao is made the vice captain in Asif’s place. That is because Rao has not got many chances to display his talent yet and I believe he is more than capable even in the Test arena. He can bat and if played his batting will only get better. He looks like a good candidate to take over Abdul Razzaq as Pakistan’s premier bowling all rounder. Where he isn’t so good is the death overs but his stinging accuracy with the new ball makes up for everything else. He has been consistent which is his greatest asset.

    For me the biggest positive of this series was Malik’s innings in the last match. It was an excellent knock played with guts and determination. The significance of that innings cannot be undermined as it denotes that Malik will not let captaincy affect his batting. Rahul Dravid is not as shrewd a captain as Ganguly or Azharuddin, but if you ask me the reason why he is still captain even after the WC disaster is because his batting has become more responsible with his captaincy and for the Indian think-tank, that benefit overcomes everything else.

    Finally what is this obsession with playing 6 or 7 bowlers but using only 5 to utilise the 50 overs? I don’t understand this tactic from Malik. Especially since in today’s match Malik himself could have bowled a few overs along with Fawad to add some variety to the attack. I just don’t understand it; Malik needs to sort this strategy out.

    Nice to see the team spirit and despite my critical tone, Malik has passed the first test. We saw two things which are a rarity in Pakistan cricket; Salman Butt scoring in excess of 30 in two consecutive innings and Afridi being considered for Man of the Series. Will things only get better? I hope Inshallah they do!

  • Nadeem on May 22, 2007, 22:11 GMT

    why did not Shoaib bring Fawad Alam to bowl?

    Nadeem UK

  • Vineeth Rai on May 22, 2007, 21:38 GMT

    Dear Mr.Abbasi, Good Article.I fully agree when you say Shoib Malik Made mistakes. I think where Pakistan lost the match was right at the start when they decided to rest Imran Nazir & Afridi, 50 percent of the momentum was handed back to SL. I truly believe Paks should have gone for a clean sweep and ridiculed SL who were World Cup finalist. That would have given Malik a very confident headway start to his tenure as Captain. Anyway onething we know these two countries have good brotherly relations and certainly SL would not have preferred a clean sweep at the hands of first round exited WC team. So in my opinion more than SL, Pakistan would have wanted to give a graceful send off to Moody by fielding a more than depleted side. Over to you guys.

  • mubashir on May 22, 2007, 21:21 GMT

    hmm happy that pakistan has won the series--a clean sweep would have been the best start for the new paki team but a 2-1 series win is also gud--pak could have won the match if they had played the same 11 that played in the 1st 2 matches but we had to try new guys out so the result dont matter-- one thing which i didnt like abt malik in the last game was that he didnt give fawad alam bowling--or i guess he forgot that he is an allrounder--when hafeez was being hit 6 in an over y did he not call up fawad alam or he could have come himself--he did bowl well in the 2nd match- on the whole the team is gud we just want gud replacement of razzaq and i guess that will be done my shoiab akhter when he returns !!aur fawad alam --i feel sorry for fawad alam--better luck next time !!!i feel sorry for akmal too the way he got run out.. PROUD 2 BE A PAKISTANI

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  • mubashir on May 22, 2007, 21:21 GMT

    hmm happy that pakistan has won the series--a clean sweep would have been the best start for the new paki team but a 2-1 series win is also gud--pak could have won the match if they had played the same 11 that played in the 1st 2 matches but we had to try new guys out so the result dont matter-- one thing which i didnt like abt malik in the last game was that he didnt give fawad alam bowling--or i guess he forgot that he is an allrounder--when hafeez was being hit 6 in an over y did he not call up fawad alam or he could have come himself--he did bowl well in the 2nd match- on the whole the team is gud we just want gud replacement of razzaq and i guess that will be done my shoiab akhter when he returns !!aur fawad alam --i feel sorry for fawad alam--better luck next time !!!i feel sorry for akmal too the way he got run out.. PROUD 2 BE A PAKISTANI

  • Vineeth Rai on May 22, 2007, 21:38 GMT

    Dear Mr.Abbasi, Good Article.I fully agree when you say Shoib Malik Made mistakes. I think where Pakistan lost the match was right at the start when they decided to rest Imran Nazir & Afridi, 50 percent of the momentum was handed back to SL. I truly believe Paks should have gone for a clean sweep and ridiculed SL who were World Cup finalist. That would have given Malik a very confident headway start to his tenure as Captain. Anyway onething we know these two countries have good brotherly relations and certainly SL would not have preferred a clean sweep at the hands of first round exited WC team. So in my opinion more than SL, Pakistan would have wanted to give a graceful send off to Moody by fielding a more than depleted side. Over to you guys.

  • Nadeem on May 22, 2007, 22:11 GMT

    why did not Shoaib bring Fawad Alam to bowl?

    Nadeem UK

  • khansahab on May 22, 2007, 22:36 GMT

    There is no mention on Cricinfo fixtures of this forthcoming Pakistan vs South Africa series. Can someone tell me when it will be played?

    This might be a better beginning than expected but there are a lot of negatives to be taken from this series, some which were certainly UNexpected. Pakistani cricketers are poor at learning from their mistakes but I can only hope they do.

    The most obvious blemishes first. Salman Butt played a nothing shot. It was an unusual dismissal and one which ought to haunt him constantly. I don’t expect a professional cricketer to play that type of shot at this level. You could see that he did not read the length of the ball and he was totally puzzled where the ball was going. Most people on this blog thought that he is a long term answer to Pakistan’s opening fiasco but I repeatedly stated that he needs more experience domestically. Yes he demonstrated some consistency in the first two matches but looked out of sorts in the third match, where Pakistan were under severe pressure.

    Yasir Hameed is more able but he has a tendency to play that silly pull shot which has got the better of him on quite a few occasions now. He has the talent but he has demonstrated poor learning ability. I first noticed this problem with him three years ago and he hasn’t got rid of it.

    Hafeez played very well until his silly decision to run and then stop and run back. Maybe there was a run there but poor running between the wickets (and this applies to all batsmen) is a self explanatory ailment.

    Mohammad Yousuf’s form has been worrying me lately. I wonder if it’s anything to do with the captaincy and vice captaincy going to the juniors with Afridi also being proactive in the decision-making process. It was pathetic to see him getting LBW to Fernando considering the amazing form he has been in for the past two years. Maybe he should seek retirement from ODI’s with Fawad Alam or Mohammad Hafeez (or Misbah-ul-Haq, Asim Kamal or Hasan Raza) taking his position in the middle order. I did not want to admit this prior to this Sri Lanka series, but Yousuf seems increasingly jaded, which is astounding, considering the amazing 2006 he had.

    The tragedy of Fawad Alam! First he gets neglected for the first two important matches. He is selected to play in a relatively unimportant match. Faras Ghani (Cricinfo writer) called him the “star” of Pakistan’s recent domestic season. If his inclusion only in this unimportant match is not relegating enough, he was not given a chance to bowl. This is especially noteworthy considering his reputation in the domestic circles as a “crafty partnership-breaker” (he could have been used when Jayaweredene and Silva were thrashing the bowlers) and also the fact that he took 5 wickets in that Twenty20 final vs Sialkot. Malik was also playing in that match! What is the justification for this slipshod treatment of this youngster? Is Shoaib Malik jealous? Sure Fawad played a poor shot but this kind of treatment does make you nervous and makes you feel inconsequential.

    Najaf Shah was noticeable although I wouldn’t say it was a dream debut. But he has a long way to go, that much is certain.

    Rao should be an automatic selection if you ask me. Asif looks like he gets tired too easily, maybe that’s because the effect of the drugs wearing off :). I would prefer if Rao is made the vice captain in Asif’s place. That is because Rao has not got many chances to display his talent yet and I believe he is more than capable even in the Test arena. He can bat and if played his batting will only get better. He looks like a good candidate to take over Abdul Razzaq as Pakistan’s premier bowling all rounder. Where he isn’t so good is the death overs but his stinging accuracy with the new ball makes up for everything else. He has been consistent which is his greatest asset.

    For me the biggest positive of this series was Malik’s innings in the last match. It was an excellent knock played with guts and determination. The significance of that innings cannot be undermined as it denotes that Malik will not let captaincy affect his batting. Rahul Dravid is not as shrewd a captain as Ganguly or Azharuddin, but if you ask me the reason why he is still captain even after the WC disaster is because his batting has become more responsible with his captaincy and for the Indian think-tank, that benefit overcomes everything else.

    Finally what is this obsession with playing 6 or 7 bowlers but using only 5 to utilise the 50 overs? I don’t understand this tactic from Malik. Especially since in today’s match Malik himself could have bowled a few overs along with Fawad to add some variety to the attack. I just don’t understand it; Malik needs to sort this strategy out.

    Nice to see the team spirit and despite my critical tone, Malik has passed the first test. We saw two things which are a rarity in Pakistan cricket; Salman Butt scoring in excess of 30 in two consecutive innings and Afridi being considered for Man of the Series. Will things only get better? I hope Inshallah they do!

  • ADNAN MIRZA on May 22, 2007, 22:40 GMT

    Dear Mr. Abbasi I am writing you because I am extremely disappointed with PCB for making Shoaib Malik captain of Pakistan team. He is the same guy who wanted the media to pay him for interviews because he has an inferiority complex about the amount of money he is making compared to the Indian star players.I think he will reinstate the betting culture in the team and we will have the same shameless defeats as we had in the past. God have mercy on us Long live Pakistan cricket thanks Adnan

  • Ashaq on May 23, 2007, 0:02 GMT

    First of all total respect to the srilankans for completely out playing Pakistan in the final game.

    Will the selectors keep patience with these players is another issue. I think if they had stuck with the likes of Wajahatullah Wasti,Mohammed Wasim and Saleem Elahi even they may have turned in to world class.

    Instead what we have is a never ending game of musical chairs,players being picked performing okay for a while, then losing their form.New players are then bought in to the squad they also sing from the same Hymn sheet.Then we return to the first set of players.

    How long before we see the likes of Toufiq Umar,Imran Farhat,Faisal Iqbal, and Hassan Raza being reselected.To get players to perform consistently you need to give them a consistent run.

    The England squad were doing the exact same thing in the early to mid-nineties until Duncan Fletcher Was made coach.According to Duncan Fletcher you can only Judge the worth of a player in odi format,when he has played atleast 25 games in a row.

    With people already seeing Afridi as the defacto captain.How long before we have calls for Malik to be stripped of the captaincy,and Afridi to be installed as the Skipper. In my opinion very little will change until we get rid of this Ad-Hoc system.

    Lala Javed.A.Khan esq. I now understand why you are getting so worked up.My dear old chap how naive of you to think, that I would impinge upon your territory. I am afterall residing in good old Blighty,thousands of miles away from Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver So my dear fellow do not get so worked up you will give yourself High blood pressure, Ulcers, diabetes and all these other stress related diseases we hear about nowadays.Dont be such an old fogey, you can try your luck with all the MidWifes in Canada for all I care or whatever else takes your fancy.

    I was afraid we may have a miscommunication if I spoke in the "lot lizard mimbo".So I hope the "BrownSahib speak makes everything clear:-)So be a good sport old boy no harm done, cheerup. You should really get out more,Maybe take up Polo or, fencing,perhaps a timid felow like you would be better suited to a game of bridge at the Rotary club. stop watching those darn soap operas they are putting strange ideas in to your head. well anyway wishing you and that Midwife the best of luck:-)

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on May 23, 2007, 0:34 GMT

    A better beginning than expected OR a sad ending that wasn't expected?" Its like saying; the glass is half empty or the glass is half full. Or, I missed the train. Or, like the Arabs say: "The train went without me." These are just expressions aur vo bhi dil ko behlanay ko. Definitely a clean sweep would have raised the morale of the team even higher but for this, they shouldn't have made so many changes in the team for the 3rd ODI. Those who believe in total revamp of the team must learn from this series. First, how it affected Sri Lanka when they rested the inform Jayasuriya and Lasith Malinga and they lost that match. Secondly, how these players lost their rhythm in the 3rd match because of not playing one game, yet their presence inspired and lifted the morale of the other players. Thirdly, how adversely it affected the Pakistan team when they rested inform Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Sami. In my opinion both these players should have been in the team for the 3rd ODI.

    And, I was right about the series prediction and also that Kamran Abbassi will initiate a new thread after this defeat. :-) I have already written the reasons of this defeat which I had predicted in the previous thread only after seeing the team selection and by the end of Sri Lanka's innings when they posted 296 runs on board. I knew it would be a one sided affair and thats exactly what happened.

    The reason is, according to the law of averages expecting from Salman Butt to put up another man of the match innings was asking too much. I was expecting some fireworks from Shoaib Malik, Hafeez and Hameed but, not match winning performances and they did not disappoint me. Hafeez, like always, after a very good start ended his innings abruptly and this time not by playing a stupid shot, but by ending it through a suicidal run out, what a waste of an innings. And Hameed did not wait for Hafeez, he threw his wicket just like that and joined him in the pavilion a few minutes later. At that stage, Fawad Alam should have come in instead of Mohammad Yousuf. Because, the much desired youngster of the year came in to bat when there was too much pressure for any player to cope, survive and consolidate the innings especially when three top order players have gone within the space of a few overs and Fernando's inevitable ball ended up his hype. I feel sorry for the poor chap. If he is also a bowler, I wonder why he didn't get a chance to bowl? What was the point in giving Hafeez all the ten overs, why not test Alam?

    Najaf Shah is so, so but I would be wrong in judging him by seeing him bowl only 10 overs and that too on a flat track. There was nothing on the placid wicket for him to prove his worth except for a few good deliveries that beat Jayasuriya. But, without any batting abilities just to be there in the ODI team purely as a bowler is not really an asset unless you are exceptionally good like Mohammad Asif is. Even Mohammad Sami, Omar Gul and even Rao Ifti can hit a few boundaries and sixes or play a support role when needed. I am not aware of how good Najaf Shah is with the bat, he scored a duck like Alam. But, was unlucky imo the ball was way outside the off stump. And, Abdul Rahman is a useless player he should not have been in the team. Shoaib Malik should have talked to him to take singles rather than allowing him to waste the balls and build up the pressure. Malik admitted that only today he came back into his batting form but, not good enough to win the match.

    Fielding and running between the wickets needs attention. Until and unless the grounds in Pakistan are improved the fielding cannot improve. No player would be willing to dive to save a boundary and take risk of getting injured. Since it is not in their psyche to dive at domestic level, it won't come to them as their first nature as it is for players from other countries do and that is 'coz "the grass is greener on their grounds." I mean, the surface is not so hard. Sri Lanka and West Indies are poor nations but there is plenty of rain and the surface is not as hard as it is in India and Pakistan.

    Mr. Naseem Ashraf should spent some money in building new grassy grounds in Pakistan with not so hard surface and he can do that by saving money which he so lavishly spend on his tours. Was there a need for him to be there in Abu Dhabi? Was the Sri Lankan Cricket Board Chairman there too? I am not aware of it, or is that a practice for these high ranking officials to accompany the team when the team tours abroad? Does he ever go to Faisalabad, Sialkot, Peshawar, Hyderabad or even to Karachi to see any domestic match? Has he ever thought of improving the facilities and playing conditions locally? President Mushy should also take a note of this, since he also travels to India to watch a cricket match which involves a huge amounts of money for his security set up and the other expenses that incur for his private plane etc.

  • Nasir Ayub on May 23, 2007, 1:01 GMT

    Not a finish the Pakistanis may like. With all the talent and ability they have, the Pakistan team proved on numerous occassions that when the lose, the lost miserably. They palyed so well through out the series but lost the last match without any appearent fight. Another thing that the team management must work on is that our team still depends on individual performances rather than a whole team effort (probably except the 2nd ODI) If M. Asif couldn't do his normal, the Lankans put a huge total on board. I have a feeling that just like the whole fans, the team also expect Asif (or any particular batter or bowler) to do the early damage and if he fails, the team comes into a little pressure. Malik has to work on this also. For Malik, for a young team and for Pakistan it was a great start. Lets hope they learn from mistakes and improve their skills as professional cricketers. On a point which Mr. Abbasi mentioned about the absence of Akhtar and Younis and Malik's controle. Shoaib though problemestic with discipline in past but in an interview i heard Malik referring him as a best friend. Younis on the other hand r efused captaincy and we saw Shahid Afridi (senior than Younis as cricketer) caused no problem for a young captain. I think their return will strengthen the Pakistan team.

  • waj on May 23, 2007, 1:17 GMT

    Yes Pakistani team is notgoing to turn into Australia all of a sudden and win every single game. The important thing was that new players were given the opportunity to perform and display their skills. Najaf Shah looks promising but he needs more experience at the international level to truly be a decisive force. Fawad Alam was disappointing but we can't really assess his skills on one bad shot and i feel he didn't really get a chance to show us what he can do and we really haven't seen the best of him. Malik played a captains innings but it is pretty clear that Pakistan's once formidable middle order is now very vulnerable without Inzi, Younis, and a struggling M.Yousef(Largely because i think he feels he has to carry the load in the middle like Inzi did and it is too much pressure on him). As far as bowling is concerned Rao should definitely be given a place alongside Asif and Gul and Hameed seems to be in form even though he played a horrible shot to get caught out.

  • Zaid Atique on May 23, 2007, 1:20 GMT

    Malik, you are the man!