New age June 4, 2007

The Afro-Asia Cup: An exercise in futility

Cricket's administrators are already in disrepute yet they remain shameless

This has been a miserable year for cricket.

Bob Woolmer's death--murder or natural causes--has been horribly compounded by the pitiful charade played out by policemen, pathologists, and journalists speculating on the cause of death. Being uncertain about cause of death is not a new phenomenon. Doctors and pathologists in a hospital near you are inevitably dealing with the same confusion, even about patients that had every pulse and breath monitored closely for days prior to death. Imposing certainty on medical practice is an exercise in futility. From the facts released to the public I don't think it is possible to know how Bob died, which makes you wonder why his body was released for cremation before the issue was settled?

The World Cup was probably the worst in history, a consequence of greed and myopia that engulfed the ICC and the host organising committee. A World Cup that meanders on and on without the home team and their spectators joining the party is a blow to cricket as a major international sport. Another exercise in futility. Even Australia's brilliance wasn't properly rewarded when the final ended in farce.

Now we stand on the brink of the biggest exercise in futility of all: two games of festival cricket between an Asian XI and an African XI, with neither side able to muster its first choice players. We have a glut of international cricket. Players are overworked and injuries are more prevalent. Who really cares if Asia beats Africa? Who really believes that the individual performances will have any meaning? Cricket's administrators are already in disrepute yet they remain shameless. With every move they confirm that they are out of touch with the soul of cricket. And this Afro-Asian car crash in a side street is as soulless as it gets.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • testli5504537 on September 4, 2010, 10:11 GMT

    it is not sad to feel that PAK team players are once again in the media not for their perfmance on the field but of the field. Congratulations yo PAK team official for highlighting this nation by their deeds. Mr. Ijaz Bhatt is soleley responsible for whole episode of match fixing. What is he doing/ Is he just enjoying and playing with the hearts of millions of team fans. Shame be upn him and also with Bhatt and the ever famous Asif. If Asif was found guilty, why he was included in the team recently....shame shamme upon also to Yawar Sayeed. Believe me it is the PAK cricket board responsible for this inhenoius act.Why there is no discipline in this team, right after the one and only Mr. Imran Khan retired from this team? Why those misbehaving regularly are not being treated properly? There is favourism in his team. Sme of the players are playing on behalf of their approach not by their talent of perfromance.Please forward this message to Sir Imran Khan. He should be the team Chairman...

  • testli5504537 on June 12, 2007, 21:49 GMT

    Saima & Javed A Khan-----> One Person, stop fooling others!!!!!!!

  • testli5504537 on June 12, 2007, 19:51 GMT

    I agree with Kamran.

  • testli5504537 on June 12, 2007, 17:36 GMT

    Good to know that bootlegger Mushy didn’t tamper with that Champagne he gave to Bob Woolmer ;-)……he must be relieved…so “Thanks to Allah…..”

    But what about Dr Ere Seshaiah? He must have smoked some potent substance in his Shisha before his autopsy. He definitely erred that day.

  • testli5504537 on June 12, 2007, 17:01 GMT

    As it's been expected for more then a week now, the incompetent Jamaican police has finally acknowledged that Bob's death was due to natural causes. And in a very predictable and spineless manner that PCB is famous for, Dr. Ashraf says that there will be no legal ramifications from Pakistan side.

    OK, let me get this straight, the whole Pakistan team was DNA tested, finger printed, questioned under suspicion, maligned in the media (Mostly Indian and Western media), not to mention Bob's family put thru an emotional roller coaster all because of the morons who happened to be on the investigation team ONLY to get a "NO OBJECTION" from our PCB at the end of this fiasco.

    Bravo, Mr. PCB Chairman, Bravo. Maybe if you bend over a bit longer, they will drop the doping charges also.


    If you think that Indian media is not biased against Pakistan then I have some nice property on Mars that I can sell you. Real cheap. You will feel right at home ;)

  • testli5504537 on June 12, 2007, 15:24 GMT


    Either you didn't read my post or you were not wearing your glasses, I clearly stated that "one thing on which we both agree is that PCB should hire a domestic coach." I wrote it in Plain English and not Punjabi, so I fail to understand why you couldn't comprehend it. I think you need to consult a lawyer and have him read the Qayyum report and then you will find out Akram was banned from captaincy, but not from a coaching job hope you understand the difference.

    Qayyum report also fined Waqar Younis but it seems you have no problem with it, also the long association of Javed Miandad with Asif Iqbal and his association and relationship with Dawood Ibrahim does not ring a bell in your mind. Don’t you think that you are exhibiting double standards on the issue? You can infer judgements and twist the facts based on your own prejudices but it will not change the reality, which is that "ISS HUMAM MEIN SAB NANGEY HEIN".

    Qayyum report was flawed and was not conclusive and was damaged by the perjury committed by Ata-ur-Rehman and the "tampering of evidence" by Rashid Latif who in order to protect himself and his friends "Basit Ali and Saeed Anwar" edited the tapes,(which were the main evidence). Rashid Latif clearly wanted to be the Captain of the team and so did Aamir sohail, that is why they blew the whistle, and not because that they possessed some higher degree of integrity. I have said it before and would recommend it again that you should read the Qayyum report again and then infer your judgements.

    Our argument started when Wasim Proposed the Idea of making a Fast bowler fund and started working with the young bowlers on voluntary basis. In my opinion in such a role where he is not traveling with the team and only working on voluntary basis is only an attempt by him to redeem himself and since he is not moving with the team no harm can be done so all the criticism from your end was un-necessary.

    Javed you and Khansahab and a few others who appear occasionaly for your support are the only people on this Blog who consistently display prejudice, Jingoism and regionalism.In the name of "Pun" you have crossed almost every limit to humiliate Punjabis.I have requested you guys before and will request again to stop this "Fitna-Gari" as there is no end to it and nobody will gain anything from it.You will continue to insult others and get insulted in return.

    I would also request Rext and others to use civil language and refrain from severe personal remarks.

    Its only a request so please don't take it personally.

  • testli5504537 on June 12, 2007, 13:41 GMT

    People love playing for their Countries, not for their Continents. They game of cricket is not big enough for Continent vs Continent.

    When Antartica can field a decent team perhaps more interest will be generated?


  • testli5504537 on June 12, 2007, 12:07 GMT

    Pra Muhammad Asaf June 9, 2007 6:04 PM, I like your "statorgy" which sounds like "chat-orgy" keep on entertaining us cow boy of lower Punjab.

  • testli5504537 on June 12, 2007, 11:56 GMT

    The delay in the appearance of the posts made me think whether Kamran Abbassi is on a vacation or the recent acquisition of cricinfo by ESPN has effected the delay by any chance? Not sure what the reason may have been but, its good to see the blog-khana called Pak Spin is not closed.

    khansahab, your observation about the performances of a few players is fair and square, 'coz I have also talked about Rao Ifti in the past that he is a very unassuming bowler, very much underrated and he has been in and out of the team a few times and remained at the mercy of the selectors. The first time I saw him bowling was in the series at home when India visited Pakistan and in that match he clean bowled Tendulkar with a beauty. Immediately there were comments from the Indian experts on TV that, Tendulkar has the tendency to get out cheaply by new bowlers and a few examples were cited, which I reckon as rubbish, that ball was too good for anyone. And, Rao Ifti impressed me with his accuracy and even today he bowls with that zeal, enthusiasm and accuracy. I have also observed his batting skills and he certainly has this ability to dig in for a while and chip in a few useful runs and he can also play big shots with ease. This batting skill needs to be honed by him more than anyone else helping him out, but its also the job of the coach and the Captain to think about his usefulness and utilize him often, rather than ignoring him. This is what Lateral Thinking is about - use your resources to the best of their abilities, instead of looking for more.

    Secondly, I cannot disagree with you on Mohammad Asif's bowling in the death overs. He has been very expensive in the death overs and, recently he has proved it in the Afro-Asia matches also that he can be taken in for a ride and, his 69 runs in ten overs and 83 in 9.5 overs speaks a lot against him. I guess its for this reason Inzi used to stretch his first spell to the maximum, just like Shuan Pollock is being used by SA. Something has to be done by the Pakistani guru's rather sufi's in this respect and Asif himself needs to iron out his weakness.

    Regarding, tableegh this is the umpteenth time I am writing against it, that these tableeghis are no less than Jehovah’s Witnesses and there is no place for them in cricket. You can be as religious as you wish but don't show off and tell the world how religious and how pious you are. And Afridi, being an Akhroat doesn't do much thinking b4 he talks so, is Malik but, I guess thats the trend in Pakistan these days to gain popularity you have to do all this on the TV. About camp Afridi, like I said on camp Akram, this too seems to be a fad and players try to get popular or stay in the news even when there is no cricket. I was reading that news in DAWN on camp Afridi and, I was thinking on the same lines as you wrote about slogging, but prolly you missed the last point of that report, he mentioned that he would like to invite key players or the ex-heroes to the camp to give their input or coach the Karachi youngsters and he also mention that in the past there used to be a healthy participation of Karachi players in the national team and not anymore! So, he wants to bring back that equation. In my opinion thats a long shot coz it has something more to do with politics rather than cricket and merit.

    About slogging, whether he can teach anyone how to slog or not is another issue, 'coz not everyone he would be coaching would be an akhroat and not everyone would have that much power to slog, but I reckon there are hundreds of thousands of youngsters who want to emulate Shahid Afridi and this madness is not only seen in Pakistan but, in India too. He is their icon and in the recent twenty20 in Bangalore, they all came to see Shahid Afridi, its a shame that he didn't get a chance to bat. Read Jamie Alter's recent column on how Afridi injects all the oomph.

    Very recently I have met a group of Australians who were returning from the Caribbean i.e., after the WC and I got a chance to discuss the world cup performances with them. They said, even though Australia has won the cup, but there was no fun in cricket but, they had a good time partying in the Caribbean. I was surprised to hear from them saying, that apart from their Ashes rivalry with England, which is always a crowd puller, the second most popular team and a crowd puller in Australia is Pakistan. They mentioned specific names of a few players like, Imran Khan, Javed Miandad in the past and Shoaib Akhtar and Shahid Afridi in the current lot. Whether they perform or not is another matter but a majority of the Australians used to go only to see these players and Afridi in his last visit to Australia has thrashed McGrath, Brett Lee and Shane Watson.

    Yes, Shahid Afridi should have been sent to open the innings in the Bangalore twenty20. Also, Malik's decision to bowl first after winning the toss baffled me. They could have easily put on a huge score, never mind that but lets see how the upcoming affair at the "Scotland Yard" will fare. I wonder if anyone has noticed the number of matches England is going to play this year. After these test matches they are playing ODI's against the WI and then India and then SL and the number of matches are close to twenty? Take a look at this schedule:

    In between there is a twenty20 WC in SA. And, why Pakistan plays so few matches?

  • testli5504537 on June 10, 2007, 20:46 GMT


    Its strange that you are so upset about my comments about Mahesh Bhatt,You labelled him "liberal" when he was clearly going to make a Propaganda movie against Pakistan and Pakistani team.If he is casting Pakistani stars in his movies he is not doing any favour to them, he mostly makes low budget movies and he saved a lot of money by starring Pakistani artists,You dont know what was his budget for that Meera movie so you really cant comment that if he lost any money on it.He has cashed big time on Atif Aslam's popularity.Do you think that since he gave small jobs to Pakistani artists so he should be given a licence to ridicule our Team and Country?I dont think so. (BAGAL MEIN CHURI AUR MOO MEIN RAM RAM).


    Records are made to be broken,Inzimam may break Miandad's record,but he will never be able to get the stature of Miandad,so don't sweat it.

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