New age September 27, 2007

Afridi halts the shots

I, for one, am disappointed with Afridi
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I have always supported Shahid Afridi. His wild talent holds a mesmeric attraction. I have called for his inclusion in the Test team and his elevation to the one-day vice-captaincy. If harnessed, I have contended, Afridi could be a more consistent match-winner for Pakistan.

Nonetheless, he has as many critics as he has fans. For a while he threatened to confound his critics with a rare consistency with bat and ball. But something popped in Afridi's brain about 18 months ago and he has never recovered.

First Afridi "retired" from Test cricket, the weight of national expectation had become too burdensome. When he returned, he had developed a worrying reluctance to bat up the order, claiming the he was now focusing on his bowling. This focus has produced distinct improvement but his batting has declined. The reluctance to bat at the top remains, which is a worrying sign for a senior and experienced cricketer who should really be accepting greater responsibility.

Yes, Afridi was man of the tournament in the ICC World Twenty20 but his batting was a disappointment. Now Boom Boom has concluded he cannot fast and play cricket against South Africa. These are not the actions of the champion that his fans have believed him to be.

I, for one, am disappointed with Afridi. I worry that all of this betrays an underlying lack of confidence in his own ability or at least a lack of willingness to apply his mind in the way that the bigger challenges in international cricket require.

Unless Afridi regains his purpose, Pakistan must write him out of their Test script. He cannot command a place as a Test legspinner ahead of Danish Kaneria. Indeed, his real value in all forms of cricket is as an allrounder, and even if he sees himself as a bowling allrounder he must not ignore the fact that batting is an important element of his role. Concentrating on bowling is an insufficient excuse for an allrounder to neglect his batting.

Afridi, hero of millions, must rethink his approach. His descent down the batting order is alarming. His reluctance to play Test cricket is worrying. If he fears for his place he should fight for it. An Afridi batting cameo can turn a match but without that string to his bow he cannot pull on heartstrings. And without that string to his bow there is serious doubt over his longevity.

I hope Ramadan helps Afridi return with the determination to fulfill his proper role in Pakistan cricket. Don't halt the shots Shahid.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • M S Shaikh on July 8, 2010, 5:04 GMT

    Some people are God gifted. I have seen in action many renown cricketers from the world over, like 3Ws, Sobber, Kanhai,Loyed, Richard and kali-charan. Barington,Boycot,Mankad, Mushtaq Ali,Pankaj Roy, Poly Umriger, Redpath, simson,and many others but never seen players like Shahid Afridi who is so strong to hit hard the ball that once it sart flow from his bat non can stop it. Like ballers if speed meter of shots speed is used i believe & bet that speed of Afridi shot is more than all time batsmen from all ove the world. Even Bradman, black bradman and Tandulakar have no powerful shots compared to Afridi.

    Criticts is good thing but it should be healthy in the light of ground reality and not critic for critics sake...

  • Haiman Basher on October 8, 2007, 7:58 GMT

    Afridi is concentrating on his bowling! Don't make me laugh.Next time he bowls a faster one, pls do have a closer look.Every now and he chucks a faster one. IMHO, he has always been another Chukhtar who was never caught...

  • Farewell to Great Inzi on October 8, 2007, 4:50 GMT

    So after all these PCB walas have forced Inzi to retire. Pakistan will always miss great Inzi. The only good thing PCS has done in recent past is to make sure that Mohd Yousaf is back. They should also talk to Razzak as he is still the best all rounder in Pakistan. It is so easy to criticise talented keeper like Akaml but there is no one even close to him in domestic cricket. All the kids playing in under 19s or A teams are far behind Akmal. What a stupid analysis that one dropped catch from Akmal was the sole reason for Paksitan's defeat. That Danish Kaneria sucks bcoz he cant get any major batsman out on his own even after bowling 100 overs. Abdur Rehamn has shown him the way and it is about time to kick danish out of the team.

  • Calgary Highlander on October 7, 2007, 21:20 GMT

    Afridi is still an effective cricketer. He can bowl and field consistently. I'd have him over Kaneria on my Test side any day simply because he, while not as good as Kaneria, can still bowl. His fielding is considerably better, (Have you seen Kaneria run?) and he still has a better chance at producing with the bat then Danish.

    He's still an effective cricketer and, while he refuses to play to his full potential, his 70% isn't bad by any means.

  • yajuvender on October 6, 2007, 19:24 GMT

    Javed Monttreal khan...you wrote.."fasting in Islam is not like abstaining from food only, it is much more than that. It also helps to train the body in surviving under extreme, harsh and adverse conditions "....Then I think afridi's home is in a desert & he cant afford the luxury life of on field cricket..how smart is that!!!

  • for LITTLE maharashtrun and OILY malabaran on October 6, 2007, 15:11 GMT

    hey you spooky little maharashtrun and oily smelly malabarun you know nothing about cricket and u talk all bull chit and cow dung, u r all eternal loosers and cry babies --- javed khan is doing a gr8 job by putting u guys in ur own shitty slots that is where u belong, u can't match his wits so you guys are now showing ur true haldi colour just like your smelly patlees, at least he writes about cricket and also add funny bits to perk up this blog by adding some garam masala to spice up and ignite ur smelly backs & thats fun whereas you guys never write anything about cricket u simply splatter ur own gunk and dirt all over ur faces and mess it up on ur own feces ur posts are as ugly as ur looks just like ur heroes srisaanth and dhoni they are the height of yuckliness now australia is bashing india in india and all indians are crying like all india radio and blaming australia for using harsh words, ha ha ha how conveniently u all have forgotten how ur holi harbhajan was saying f - you f - you f - you to mj clarke after he clean bowled him in 20/20 semifinal and how uvraj sing was spitting f you f you f you after catching hussey? remember? now r u getting a taste of ur own medicine and running patlees in dhotees? stop cribbing and crying australia has already won 2-0 it cud've been 3-0 if ur rain bhagvan had not come to ur rescue and dont expect anything from ur tin-ten-tul-kar bagvan to do any miracles he is gone with the wind like a khas-ee bukra wait till it is 6-0, u r all pathetic loozers and jeepers and pakistan will come to india and whip u with another 5-0 before u go 2 australia and get ur baby elephant sekrewd there at the hands of the kangaroos ---- wot will u name the cross baby? kaleefant? pandoo rao **** jindabad.

  • Tariq on October 6, 2007, 9:59 GMT

    Why single out Afridi? Pakistani team has another player who should be pointed out more frequently than any other person. Wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal. He's the reason Pakistan lost against SA and many previous games. He's the worst keeping hands in today's cricket but still finds a place in Pakistan team. Its hard to believe that Pakistan is unable to produce a quality keeper in last few years provided its rich history of great keepers like Bari, Latif and Moin Khan. Boucher, Gilchrist, Dhoni and Sangakara are class acts while Kamran Akmal is extremely ordinary with gloves and has nothing to offer in batting. All above mentioned keepers are not only best keepers but also one of the best ODI/Test batsmen today in world cricket. So why pointing Afridi, what about Mr. Akmal?

  • Omer Admani on October 6, 2007, 5:51 GMT

    Javed Khan, I am wondering whether this blog is about you or Afridi? ;) I just noticed the ridiculous amount of literature directed at you. The second question I wonder about is, how does this man know so much about Kamran Abbassi? In every post he says something informative about Kamran Abbassi like, 'And Kamran Abbassi, too, felt like ...'. Your comments on Biology remind me of a certain Biologist as well.

  • WASIM SAQIB on October 6, 2007, 5:23 GMT

    I was not expecting such a disgusting performance on the final day, Pakistan gave away the match without any fight,Younis Khan who was on the attack through out his innings as soon as he completed his century went in a shell,Misbah also was extremely slow,the way the team batted on the final day it seemed they had no intention to win or save the match.Although Shoaib Malik is a new captain but as a player he is experienced enough to know that if he will adopt Inzi's way of leadership he will not survive more than couple of series.I hope that Kamran Akmal along with the openers will be dropped for the Lahore test.

  • Muhammad Asif on October 6, 2007, 4:16 GMT

    If you are not prepared to digest the reaction of the people then just don't act that way. Justification can't turn a wrong into right but rectification can. Full Stop.

  • M S Shaikh on July 8, 2010, 5:04 GMT

    Some people are God gifted. I have seen in action many renown cricketers from the world over, like 3Ws, Sobber, Kanhai,Loyed, Richard and kali-charan. Barington,Boycot,Mankad, Mushtaq Ali,Pankaj Roy, Poly Umriger, Redpath, simson,and many others but never seen players like Shahid Afridi who is so strong to hit hard the ball that once it sart flow from his bat non can stop it. Like ballers if speed meter of shots speed is used i believe & bet that speed of Afridi shot is more than all time batsmen from all ove the world. Even Bradman, black bradman and Tandulakar have no powerful shots compared to Afridi.

    Criticts is good thing but it should be healthy in the light of ground reality and not critic for critics sake...

  • Haiman Basher on October 8, 2007, 7:58 GMT

    Afridi is concentrating on his bowling! Don't make me laugh.Next time he bowls a faster one, pls do have a closer look.Every now and he chucks a faster one. IMHO, he has always been another Chukhtar who was never caught...

  • Farewell to Great Inzi on October 8, 2007, 4:50 GMT

    So after all these PCB walas have forced Inzi to retire. Pakistan will always miss great Inzi. The only good thing PCS has done in recent past is to make sure that Mohd Yousaf is back. They should also talk to Razzak as he is still the best all rounder in Pakistan. It is so easy to criticise talented keeper like Akaml but there is no one even close to him in domestic cricket. All the kids playing in under 19s or A teams are far behind Akmal. What a stupid analysis that one dropped catch from Akmal was the sole reason for Paksitan's defeat. That Danish Kaneria sucks bcoz he cant get any major batsman out on his own even after bowling 100 overs. Abdur Rehamn has shown him the way and it is about time to kick danish out of the team.

  • Calgary Highlander on October 7, 2007, 21:20 GMT

    Afridi is still an effective cricketer. He can bowl and field consistently. I'd have him over Kaneria on my Test side any day simply because he, while not as good as Kaneria, can still bowl. His fielding is considerably better, (Have you seen Kaneria run?) and he still has a better chance at producing with the bat then Danish.

    He's still an effective cricketer and, while he refuses to play to his full potential, his 70% isn't bad by any means.

  • yajuvender on October 6, 2007, 19:24 GMT

    Javed Monttreal khan...you wrote.."fasting in Islam is not like abstaining from food only, it is much more than that. It also helps to train the body in surviving under extreme, harsh and adverse conditions "....Then I think afridi's home is in a desert & he cant afford the luxury life of on field cricket..how smart is that!!!

  • for LITTLE maharashtrun and OILY malabaran on October 6, 2007, 15:11 GMT

    hey you spooky little maharashtrun and oily smelly malabarun you know nothing about cricket and u talk all bull chit and cow dung, u r all eternal loosers and cry babies --- javed khan is doing a gr8 job by putting u guys in ur own shitty slots that is where u belong, u can't match his wits so you guys are now showing ur true haldi colour just like your smelly patlees, at least he writes about cricket and also add funny bits to perk up this blog by adding some garam masala to spice up and ignite ur smelly backs & thats fun whereas you guys never write anything about cricket u simply splatter ur own gunk and dirt all over ur faces and mess it up on ur own feces ur posts are as ugly as ur looks just like ur heroes srisaanth and dhoni they are the height of yuckliness now australia is bashing india in india and all indians are crying like all india radio and blaming australia for using harsh words, ha ha ha how conveniently u all have forgotten how ur holi harbhajan was saying f - you f - you f - you to mj clarke after he clean bowled him in 20/20 semifinal and how uvraj sing was spitting f you f you f you after catching hussey? remember? now r u getting a taste of ur own medicine and running patlees in dhotees? stop cribbing and crying australia has already won 2-0 it cud've been 3-0 if ur rain bhagvan had not come to ur rescue and dont expect anything from ur tin-ten-tul-kar bagvan to do any miracles he is gone with the wind like a khas-ee bukra wait till it is 6-0, u r all pathetic loozers and jeepers and pakistan will come to india and whip u with another 5-0 before u go 2 australia and get ur baby elephant sekrewd there at the hands of the kangaroos ---- wot will u name the cross baby? kaleefant? pandoo rao **** jindabad.

  • Tariq on October 6, 2007, 9:59 GMT

    Why single out Afridi? Pakistani team has another player who should be pointed out more frequently than any other person. Wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal. He's the reason Pakistan lost against SA and many previous games. He's the worst keeping hands in today's cricket but still finds a place in Pakistan team. Its hard to believe that Pakistan is unable to produce a quality keeper in last few years provided its rich history of great keepers like Bari, Latif and Moin Khan. Boucher, Gilchrist, Dhoni and Sangakara are class acts while Kamran Akmal is extremely ordinary with gloves and has nothing to offer in batting. All above mentioned keepers are not only best keepers but also one of the best ODI/Test batsmen today in world cricket. So why pointing Afridi, what about Mr. Akmal?

  • Omer Admani on October 6, 2007, 5:51 GMT

    Javed Khan, I am wondering whether this blog is about you or Afridi? ;) I just noticed the ridiculous amount of literature directed at you. The second question I wonder about is, how does this man know so much about Kamran Abbassi? In every post he says something informative about Kamran Abbassi like, 'And Kamran Abbassi, too, felt like ...'. Your comments on Biology remind me of a certain Biologist as well.

  • WASIM SAQIB on October 6, 2007, 5:23 GMT

    I was not expecting such a disgusting performance on the final day, Pakistan gave away the match without any fight,Younis Khan who was on the attack through out his innings as soon as he completed his century went in a shell,Misbah also was extremely slow,the way the team batted on the final day it seemed they had no intention to win or save the match.Although Shoaib Malik is a new captain but as a player he is experienced enough to know that if he will adopt Inzi's way of leadership he will not survive more than couple of series.I hope that Kamran Akmal along with the openers will be dropped for the Lahore test.

  • Muhammad Asif on October 6, 2007, 4:16 GMT

    If you are not prepared to digest the reaction of the people then just don't act that way. Justification can't turn a wrong into right but rectification can. Full Stop.

  • for JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on October 5, 2007, 17:24 GMT

    JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA

    Pls stop ranting and keep the trap shut ..IT STINKS..this is a cricket blog n not your personal rona-dhona page!! you sound like another of those unkempt mullas of lal mandi.As for commenting on Hinduism..do not try to provoke trouble..you wouldnt others to comment on your religious paractices would you? On tendulkar and maharashtrians..and the so called young looks..well it would help you if you read a bit of history about Marathas.. (as per your logic..the chinese and japs and [mongloids] dont ever stand a chance at anything!!)..and please keep the being pathan crap to your paindu pathan self!! its a persons will and determination to succeed along with hardwork that brings victory in any sport!!

    Sadly Inzi has opted to retire from cricket today..he was a hundred times better than afridi.. even any gully cricketer will help you win once or twice given the number of chances that afridi receives.

  • EAMIRAN on October 5, 2007, 17:11 GMT

    A cowardly move by Pakistan has back-fired. Preparing a slow, low, turner to escape the battery of SA pacers is not only cowardly, but shows a thought process that is flawed. A winning strategy is always to play to your strengths, not what you think your opponent is weak at. The latter should be a sub-strategy within the overall scheme of things. Pakistan's match-winners remain their pacers, not their spinners. Spinners have occasionlly won them a few games, but in large have played a complimentary role. If Pakistan had prepared a seaming track, Asif, Gul, and a 3rd seamer might have had a better chance of restricting SA to a manageable total. This track completely negated both bowlers considerable skills i.e; seam and swing. If the intent was to create dead pitches and have a pacer just bowl enough overs to take the shine off, spare these 2 assets of Pakistan, as they are already injury prone, and select genuinely quick bowlers like Shoaib Akhtar. Dale Steyn showed that only truly fast bowlers can cause hesitation and confusion on such tracks bowling slower deliveries along with bouncers and yorkers. This proved the undoing of our batsmen, in particular with the odd ball keeping low. If Akhtar was not allowed to play, the PCB should have selected a raw fast bowler like Mohd. Irshad, or anyone else capable of hurling the ball at 90+mph, regardless of their ability to swing and seam the ball. Such a bowler could not have done much worse. It is also true that if a seaming track was prepared, our batsmen would have struggled, but they struggled on this pitch anyway. Atleast there was an outside chance of our pacers performing some magic of their own. Hopefully with Yousuf, Inzi (albeit for 1 test only) back in the fold, and an in-form Younus Khan and Malik, the management will have the guts to produce a sporting wicket, although I have serious doubts.

    Finally, not much more can be said of our openers and butter-fingered keeper that has not already been said. Time for a complete change - 3 new debutants would be refreshing.

  • Moon on October 5, 2007, 14:56 GMT

    Inzi will be back and i hope he will guide Pakistan to a victory inshaAllah. If someone like Saima Khan (a.k.a. Javed A Khan) thinks that Younis Khan is better player than Inzi and Yousuf then he/she must be living the time of life that doesn't officially get counted in a person's age. and by the way you know 'Reema' she is 'Reema Khan' now. All in all Aunty Shamim (from Islamabad) was streamlined (by those enthusiastic girls), now its your turn! A word of wisdom for Uncle Javed A(fridi) Khan, posting on a single blog by different names and localities will not do any good to your cause and you are going bonkers sending meaningless posts, by the way you must have heard 'Budha Sathya Gaya Hay'

  • Nadeem on October 5, 2007, 14:17 GMT

    Once again Inzi shade is bad for team. He just wanted to play for his record.

    Talented players like Yasir Hamid, Misba and Faisla Iqbal will be out from the team because of old dump Potato.

    Nadeem Lahore

  • Muhammad Asif on October 5, 2007, 13:48 GMT

    Lets apperciate the big Inzi for the joys that he brought on the faces of millions of Pakis around the world.

  • Roshan on October 5, 2007, 9:33 GMT

    Javed Angry khan...Ha..ha ha...for once I see you frustrated...When you couldnt defend a simple fact you start criticising other's religion & ways of fasting...Thats what shows your cheap mentality & this is the precise reason why people in the western countries dont trust religiously programmed persons like you....Do i need to say anything more...will see u in the next blog...bye

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on October 5, 2007, 7:27 GMT

    One doesn't need to be a school teacher or a scholar to answer a simple question from an ignorant bloke. But, when the question is ridiculously ridiculous from a dolt and that too, when he is repeatedly attacking and insulting my religion and openly challenging my belief system that, fasting doesn't affect physical performance then, it becomes my business to respond.

    In my earlier post I have responded in light humour. But, I don't like the way some people are repeatedly ridiculing the religious aspect and making this fasting issue look like a hoax to cover up one's deficiencies. After having written so much on this particular thread, I said, I won't respond anymore and ignore these dorks like other regulars have done. Mais, c'est moi, its me I can't resist this continuous indirect bashing of my religion and my belief system. If someone needs a stick you don't need to give them a carrot or turn a blind eye. I can give scientific as well as religious explanation in defending this argument.

    There is a scientific proof about how the BMR or Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR is the amount of energy expended while at rest in a neutrally temperate environment) increases or decreases with and without the fluid and or calorie intake and how it affects human performance. Metabolism is the total of all catabolic, exergonic, anabolic, endergonic reactions. Instead of going into the complex detail of how the human body or the physiological aspects of the molecular system works and how the molecules are broken down, converted, stored and used as packets of energy etc., etc., let me put this in figures as it sums up better.

    About 70% of a human's total energy expenditure is due to the basal life processes within the organs of the body (among all the human organs liver being the highest consumer of energy i.e. 27% of the 70%). And 20% of one's energy expenditure comes from physical activity and another 10% from thermogenesis. If you wish to know more about thermogenesis find out yourself as I do not wish to drag this post into a scientific hypothesis.

    In BMR, the conversion of chemical energy to mechanical energy is necessary for movement. Therefore when there is physical activity, the conversion of chemical energy increases that means there is more energy expenditure and, during fasting with absolutely no further intake of fluids or calories, the energy is derived and consumed from the basal life process, which means giving less energy to the vital organs and giving more energy to the muscles, tissues and bones, which rapidly effects the normal movements and performance. As the energy is dissipating and depleting very fast, that makes not only the muscles weak but, the vital organs such as liver, heart, brain and kidneys start failing or under performing.

    Although every person's metabolism rate is different from the other, but the % basal life process mentioned above have been generalized and narrowed down to the average person. Weight training and aerobic training have a definite impact on metabolism but, outdoor physical labour in hot and humid conditions compounded with no fluid or calorie intake has proved to be extremely dangerous and could even be fatal.

    Even aging is linked to energy expenditure, the idea is as old as the industrial revolution the machine that runs fast wears out more quickly. So the notion was born that humans and animals might experience similar fates. An example: the average age of a housefly is one week, and in one week it travels a distance that an elephant covers in 60 years. The life span of houseflies can be extended by preventing physical activity. Also, the fact that the longevity of fruit flies varies inversely with ambient temperatures. They do not survive in extreme temperatures, human bodies too are very fragile, without air-conditioning and heating it is difficult to survive in extreme conditions. Fasting does help in training one's mental and physical strengths but that doesn't mean you go about challenging and stretching your own mental and physical abilities beyond what is expected of you.

    The purpose of fasting in Islam is not to prove one's ability in demonstrating how good one can perform to achieve a level of excellence in sports. There are two main aspects of fasting, spiritual and physical. The first and foremost reason for Muslims to fast during the month of Ramadan is to attain Taqwa, i.e., God's consciousness and to develop one's own attitude and behaviour, so as to be cautiously and consciously aware in the worship of Allah and to attain nearness to Him, and in so doing, correct oneself.

    There are thousands of other benefits in this aspect i.e., for the attainment and contentment of the spiritual mind and for the physical endurance and for the will power of human mind and the body. But, fasting in Islam is not like abstaining from food only, it is much more than that. It also helps to train the body in surviving under extreme, harsh and adverse conditions but, that doesn't mean you exert outdoor manual physical labour or exercise all day in hot and humid conditions - that is not a normal course of duty for anyone.

    PS The latest news that Inzi and MOYO will play in the second test at Lahore means, Butt is sure to go and who else, Hafeez?

  • Munda punjabi from delhi on October 5, 2007, 7:17 GMT

    Ya ya only dimwits cant understand why fast whole day and the use it as a reason for loss.????Its just up to brilliant men like u javed khan of montreal (on EI) to say we lost cos of fasting and if win by mistake say we won briliiantly despite fasting. Fasting reason is good excuse either ways. Stop fasting if its bothering you so much.

  • Omer Admani on October 5, 2007, 4:13 GMT

    Well, I have always held that Younis is the second best batsmen in the Pakistan team. He is also an aggressive player. The question is whether he can go on and make a double-hunred?

    I am surprised no-one has raised issue of Malik's captaincy. I am not saying we should change the captain, I am just saying if there are a few good critiques of why he was about dead wrong in most of the test match, and once these thoughts are floated around, he might eventually improve.

    I saw a much more defensive captain than Inzamam. He basically let Kallis hurry to his 100 so that the players could go outside. He never brought in the field and he could have saved 50 runs in either of the innings (even more). To be honest, I never expected that bad level of captaincy since I thought he has been playing cricket for awhile (and I thought he could be no worse than Inzamam).

  • ruchit on October 5, 2007, 1:26 GMT

    To Mr Javed A Khan:

    JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA at September 28, 2007 4:14 PM

    Here is my rejoinder to your comments on poor Ramesh's ignorance about the strenghts in wrists of Pathan. Fully agree with you.

    But Mr. Khan cricket or for that matter even greatest of wars in decided on the matter between your twin ears and not by power of your wrists. Afridi certainly lacks that matter between his ears. I dont know if you are a Pathan yourself but I have read and seen a lot of jokes on how dim witted Pathans can be perpetrated by Pakistanis themselves . Frankly dont take this is as an insult but I think your comments were too harsh on poor Ramesh.I have liked your posts in the past but these comments were totally uncalled for And mind you I am not a South Indian or Maharastrian of tiny built.. For that matter those things don't matter most of the times. Builts can be deceptive.

    Hi Kamran,

    Please post this one. I genuinely want to express my anguish and disappointment on Mr. Khan's comments.

    Regards.

    Ruchit Khushu

  • ati on October 5, 2007, 1:18 GMT

    People who saying much about faisal iqbal and younis khan every time they played good innings when pakistan need.

    Faisal 139 against india, 60 odd against srilanka to save the test match, 83 odd against australia at columbo at 75 for 4 , above 50 runs in england to save the test match for pakistan. he does not have too much of regular chance and now they want misbah ul haq to play what the politics in pakistan cricket. botg younis khan and faisal give the slap on those guys face who talk about there skills.

    thanks.

    i dont want name some blogger

  • Andy Singh on October 5, 2007, 0:06 GMT

    What is the problem over here? If you dont want to play it is fine. British did noy play on Sunday for long time. No body is going to call you fanatic for that. The Sohaib Malick incident is a completely different thing though.

  • WASIM SAQIB on October 4, 2007, 23:16 GMT

    Pakistan needs 278 to win and 7 wickets are left, although Younis Khan is going great so far but given his recent behavior pattern even his good innings in the recent past have seldom been of any use to the team and tommorrow if he throws away his wicket in his trade mark fashion after completing his 100 then his century will be only a personal achievement and all the doubts I have about him will be validated.

    It is imperative that he stays on the crease until the Tea break and he should be fully supported by the other batsmen if Pakistan have to save or win this match.

    IMO Pakistan team is in such a precarious situation just because the selectors failed to select a balanced team on merit,Hafeez and Salman Butt did not deserved to be in the team, and why in the world we are preparing slow pitches which are only suitable for Danish Kaneria its true that he takes wickets but his strike rate is 65 as compared to 39 of Asif and 44 of Shoaib he is too slow to take wickets and is also often quite expensive.

    IMO his bowling is no longer a mystery for the leading batsmen of the world,in the next match I hope that a test Cap is given to Sohail Tanvir and the openers should be replaced by Yasir Hameed and Khurrum Manzoor.

    There are rumors that Inzi might be playing his last test in Lahore if that is true then Shoaib Malik and Yasir Hameed can open that will make room for Inzimam.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on October 4, 2007, 18:28 GMT

    For decades, night cricket in Pakistan is as popular as the festivities of Ramadan itself and day cricket was absolutely unheard and non-existent during this month. Thanks to the ICC for shoving up a schedule to the respective cricket boards which they have to accept it or pay fines. Not only the fines but, then you are in direct confrontation with the ICC. As it is Pakistan is a target and a victim, and there are so many accusations against them like, ball tampering, drug abuse, indiscipline, bringing ill repute to the game, bringing religion into the game, if they refuse to play a series or a tournament in the holy month of Ramadan they will be labeled as fundoz and terrorist in the cricketing world too. Our kind and gentle neighbours have already tried their best to do that by twisting and highlighting Malik's speech. Their motto is "Love thy neighbours."

    Some dimwits on this blog have no clue about the way of Muslim fasting and have never ever experienced how difficult it is to fast for long hours in hot and humid conditions even without playing any sport and they are repeatedly uttering and citing some stupid examples and analogies. I don't need to say anything more to them. But, Awas has rightly pointed out "never mind the 40C temperatures, even on a beautiful spring day it is impossible to sprint around the whole day when you are fasting". Those who don't know what Muslim way of fasting is all about and those who have never experienced it in their nunni - munni - C life, are talking with so much authority as if they have been fasting all their life and playing test cricket under the blazing sun.

    Like, I said before this is not XBOX cricket and this is not your 'Karwa Chauth ka Baratt' that you can drink water, juices and unboiled milk or eat fruits during your fasting. I am sure that the other side of Roshan-daan must be the same as the back-side of the Moon, because both are so bright from the front and the rear is as dark as the inside of the "ugaal-daan." Both of you are welcome to fast chez nous, I promise you a good party. As we say for first timers i.e., those who keep their first fast, it is their "Roza Kushaiye" - a celebration and party time for ALL. And Chanda we will do your Ameen as well, followed by night cricket in your pichly gully - with a tape ball! Howz that?

  • Sajid on October 4, 2007, 18:03 GMT

    I am agreeing with Raja Pakistani above.

    Replace Salman Butt by Khalid latif, Mohd Hafeez by Khurrum Manzoor or Taufeeq Omer, Kamran Akmal by Sarfraz Ahmed.

    We need a wicket keeper right now. Kamran Akmal please join Indian league with ur god father Inzi. Thanks

    Sajid Khan Quetta

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on October 4, 2007, 18:02 GMT

    Faisal Iqbal is a rubbish player. In his very first international inning I sensed he would not make it big. He is a solid domestic performer but he is one of those players who just don’t have it in them. What I find amusing is that he has been considered to be Inzamam’s replacement in the team. Although Inzi is not amongst my favourite players, I don’t think Faisal is quite at that level. An excellent player in the domestic circuit is Saeed Bin Nasir who equals Misbah ul Haq in terms of domestic recognition although Misbah has a better first class average. I think the selectors should give Saeed a chance in the future because of his 50+ average in List A games.

    Unfortunately despite Younis’s potentially match-winning or match-saving innings, nothing new has been established regarding his calibre. It has been a funny story with Younis; ever since his promotion to no 3 in Tests his average has catapulted but his consistency has declined. He was a better bet batting at no 5 or 6, which is reflected in his ODI batting average. Last year I would have stated that, let Younis bat lower down where he will be more productive. However, Younis’s frequent recent failures at no 3 have compelled me to assume that enough is enough and his time is over. He is a very talented man but if he was a world class player he would have demonstrated the same level of performance at no 3 as he did at no 6. Imran Khan is revered in Pakistan but two of his suggestions that have failed miserably are making a permanent place for Younis at no 3 and retaining Sami in the squad for most of 2005 and 2006. Here I have to give credit to Wasim Saqib who has constantly provided accurate predictions regarding Younis’s performance.

    I was hoping to see a solid performance from Salman Butt since this series is being played in the Subcontinent, but he was disappointing. Fasting is no excuse for sub-standard performance. He does not have a permanent place in the side. He lacks mental strength and experience. I don’t know how many wickets Akmal has deprived Kaneria of. I am glad people have started noticing that Akmal is crossing the line now. Osman Samiuddin wrote a critical analysis regarding Akmal’s wicketkeeping recently. Akmal needs to go. We all drop catches but sometimes we just have to take them. Dropping Kallis is like breaking your fast before Iftaar- you just can’t do it. Here credit has to be given to Omer Admani who started the anti-Akmal campaign on this blog when most of us thought Akmal would be a permanent fixture for years to come. What I don’t believe is when people used to say that Akmal is the second best wicketkeeper-batsman after Gilchrist. Currently Akmal may only be matched by Ramdin or Prior as far as wicketkeeping or batting skills are concerned. In my opinion Sangakarra, Dhoni and Boucher have always been better wicketkeeping batsmen than Akmal. It is pathetic to read that Kallis has scored half of South Africa’s runs in this match. I have a lot of sympathy for Hafeez because he is a wealth of talent. But his place is lower down in the middle order and nowhere near the top order. As long as he is used as an opener or no 3 batsman, he will not succeed. In fact I don’t think Pakistan needs Hafeez’s bowling in Tests.

    Abdur Rehman has been a revelation but I always expected him to fare better in Tests than limited overs’ cricket. It is in ODI’s and Twenty20 where I feel his selection is questionable. What I don’t understand is why Rao was not played. He can make the ball swing on those pitches that don’t offer much assistance. A team should always play a minimum of three fast bowlers regardless of the pitch conditions. Every team has players who are vulnerable against pace for the first few deliveries and take time to settle down. Despite having a weakness for spin the South Africans came prepared very well. Pakistan have not performed to potential and this home series against a tough side seems set to evoke questions that have been constantly raised ever since the retirement/sacking of Saeed Anwar, Aamir Sohail, Wasim, Waqar, Rashid, Moin and Saqlain.

    Javed Bhai, your posts regarding "Younas-isms" were hilarious. Thank you!

  • Nadeem on October 4, 2007, 17:58 GMT

    Danish is a great bowler. Unfortunately our keeper is dump. He was not carrying him correctly. As usual, he dropped cates on his bowling only. So our Captain gave more bowling to new bowler Abdul Rehman. So he can save career of his buddy Kamran Akmal. This is unfair with Danish.

    If Wicket keeper is good and Danish bowls 40 over he can easily bowled out any team in this wicket.

    We need a good wicket Keeper.

    Nadeem USA, LA

  • Saima Khan on October 4, 2007, 17:51 GMT

    Mr Moon You said: A little question from younis khan, where was this batting form and strike rate(93 runs of 99 balls) a week ago?

    Do you know any cricketer in the world who scored well in each innings? Must be in your home backyard, where ur father is bowler, Mama is WC (Like Kamran Akmal)and yor are the umpire and the batsman.

    Please come to the real world, outside ur backyard. No one can perform in each match. look at Misba he was good a week ago now he is suck. Younuis Khan has a very good average of 48.74, this proofs that he has a great player.

    Javed write article long but they have some meaning. Not like some one called himself moon with his dark face.

    Younis Khan is great player better than Inzi and Yusuf.

    Saima Khan Islmabad

  • Moon on October 4, 2007, 15:16 GMT

    Mr. Kamran Abbassi, as someone on this blog pointed out that Javed A(fridi) Khan is jobless, now looks like you have given him a full time job to keep writing on this blog, but some of his posts are too long and boring. 'Cut The Crap' Uncle Javed, Please!

  • Raja Pakistani on October 4, 2007, 14:54 GMT

    Replace Salman Butt by Khalid latif, Mohd Hafeez by Khurrum Manzoor or Taufeeq Omer, Kamaran Akmal by Sarfraz Ahmed.

    Well done Younis Khan, you played wondeful inning at ur home ground.

    Raja Pakistani Sialkot

  • Moon on October 4, 2007, 14:52 GMT

    wow, this guy Abdul Rehman has made a strong debut and he has somehow showed it to Kaneria about the role of a spinner, as i always said kaneria is most over rated, now i just hope he(Abdul Rehman) sends kaneria packing. Before Javed A(fridi) Khan was Spelling and Grammar (Proofreader) checker for this blog now he has started proofreading for tv commentators as well. Uncle, i advised you before too, you should start your personal blog anywhere on the globe except pakspin. Rather you should become a permanent member of our fellow crow blog or may be even start writing a 1000 episode soap opera for some indian channel. A little question from younis khan, where was this batting form and strike rate(93 runs of 99 balls) a week ago?

  • Muhammad Uzair-Attock City-Pakistan on October 4, 2007, 14:51 GMT

    I think that after reading these comments I can write an article for any newspaper. Thanks to Kamran and other guys.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on October 4, 2007, 14:31 GMT

    At the end of the second day's play, I said, Pakistan will either loose this match by an innings or 10 wickets. Follow-on didn't take place so neither innings defeat nor the number of wickets are in the counting now. Pakistan's tail-enders defended bravely to avoid the humiliation of follow-on and frustrated the South African bowlers. Earlier, Shoaib Malik did everything possible to get the team out under 250.

    When Butt departed, knowing Malik and his weaknesses, it was expected that he will try to hit out a few sixes to get past the target of 250 before running out of his partners, and will get out in the process. In the next over he was gone exactly the way it was predicted. Malik's mental block as a test player is, he considers himself a player who is good for a sixty, seventy score. The only test hundred (148) against Sri Lanka was a match savings innings and he played it with a purpose to save the match and won the match eventually. Malik needs to change his attitude, he certainly has the potential to play longer innings but he has the same mental block as "Yousuf Youhana" used to have.

    Earlier in his career, Mohammad Yousuf used to score a good fifty, sixty runs and used to throw away his wicket. Everyone used to say that he is a solid bat for a fifty and, in those days it was enough for an fob's to be content with that score and to cement a place as a dependable middle order batsman. Later he learned to convert his fifties into hundreds and last year he mastered the art by scoring those 9 hundreds in one calender year and surpassing the record of Sir Vivian Richards. Malik should learn from the maestro who probably would be playing the second test at Lahore.

    Today, despite the South African's imposing a daunting lead of 423 runs Younus Khan played a very brisk knock by treating fire with fire, aggression with aggression. There were comments all around "aaj yae roza nai hai" it was also obvious from his big smiles and the grin on his face. I was hoping Faisal Iqbal to play a similar second innings 100 that he played against India in Feb. 2006 on this ground when he scored 139. I reckon he played with so much confidence in that innings by hitting out Tendulkar, who was bowling round the wicket and targeting his legs mainly to contain him from scoring. But, Faisal moved further away to his left to give himself more room and played some unusual and unorthodox shots on the off-side in the cover region with so much perfection and innovation and one of them was a big six. But, today he got carried away in the dying moments of the day and threw away his wicket. The quick scoring by Faisal and Younus brought the winning target below 300. Scoring 300 runs in one day is possible, especially if you breakdown the target into small achievable portions.

    Now, it all depends on how Younus Khan continues the momentum tomorrow, more than that his presence on the field is more important. Zaheer Abbass was saying if Younus stays through out the day tomorrow then Pakistan can save the match and that would be a real "marry kill." You don't have to be an expert to say that, if Younus stays there till the end of the day, Pakistan will win the match 30 minutes before the close of play. But, that would be a record for scoring that many runs at the Karachi stadium. Highest 4th innings record is 315 against Australia. Hence 423 is a long way to go, a win is highly unlikely but not impossible, cricket is a funny game, strange things can happen. And, Waqqa Younas says: He (Younus) is a kinda "Batman" who can steal the game from the opposition. Robin (Jackman) wasn't his partner then to nod in affirmative, it was Ian Bishop.

    Omer Admani, its not that I don't enjoy Waqar's bloopers, why do you think I write them here? I am sharing them with those who enjoy it and teasing the payNdooz who think its OK to be like this. As regards Ian Chappell, I consider him as OK but, the most hilarious of all the commentators is Geoff Boycott with his Yorkshire accent.

    During the same third test at Karachi, between India and Pakistan in Feb. 2006, during a break Sanjay Manjrekar asked Waqar and Boycott: "What is the best sight or, the best moment you think in this match so far?" Waqqa said, 'being a fast bowler, I liked the way Asif clean bowled Sehwag, Laxman and Tendulkar; seeing the wickets flying in the air is a very pleasing sight for me.' Boycott said, "to me the best sight was Shoaib Akhtar knocking off Tendulkar on the ground with a "booncer" on his helmet" and Sanjay Manjrekar wasn't very amused by that comment.

    Boycott smiled and explained, "Tendulkar - the best batsman in the world, Shoaib Akhtar - the fastest bowler in the world, its like a battle between the two giants (never mind the size - he grins) and for me it was the most pleasing sight to see Tendulkar falling off on the ground after being struck on his helmet by Shoaib Akhtar's "booncer". He terrorized and traumatized Tendulkar and Asif capitalized from the other end."

    IMO, Nasir Hussain is one of the good commentators, he is fair and honest in his comments and also gives very good logical reasonings and explanations rather than mere blabbing like Ranjit Fernando or Siva Rama Khrishna the cuckoo!

  • Awas on October 4, 2007, 13:51 GMT

    As I said before, I have no problems with players fasting but one needs to draw a line. Either you fast or play for your country. It’s impossible to do both. Here PCB needs to put its foot down on this. If someone wishes to fast then fine but let’s give another player a chance then. Never mind running around in 40 degree heat, even on a beautiful spring day it’s impossible to sprint around the whole day without liquids. How many times have we seen players getting cramps batting during an innings due to dehydration even whilst taking liquids?

    JAVED A. KHAN if contrary to what is being said about Butt’s “some stomach ailment” and it was the case of dehydration due to fasting then someone really needs to kick his butt out of the team. By the way are you sure and how did you get this info? Good retort to Roshan-daan. Your use of desi words in certain situation is often hilarious.

    Kallis was brilliant to score a hundred in both innings. This should prove to be a match winning performance. What a player he has been for SA over the years. Certain people were demanding a good knock from Younus. He is certainly delivering it but would it be enough? I doubt it. I can’t expect our team to break the record and overhaul this massive total of over 400.

  • Roshan on October 4, 2007, 10:49 GMT

    Mr. Javed Montreal Khan....Afridi has 5 test hundreds...3 against India & 2 against WI....The one that you are missing is against WI that he scored in UAE! That means no hundreds in Australia, SA, England, Newzealand...Can a subcontinent player be termed as good unless he scores in these countries? I guess yes but only when someone is as blind as montreal khan.

  • Roshan on October 4, 2007, 10:37 GMT

    Javed Montreal Khan...Please stop acting like a school teacher..I think Faisal is bright enough to answer a question that is directed to him & he does not require your "legal counsel" services to defend a statement..why cant you come out of your superiority complex??? Coming back to the point as you have correctly acknowledged that a doctors work can also be laborious in terms of mental fatigue so lack of energy & proper fluid in the body can also divert his attention & can cause a serious mistake while operating on a patient...Doctors error can be more fatal regarding the fact that it is irreversible & can cost patient his life. But I think you will not understand a sophisticated example...lets come down to your level....Consider a soldier who is guarding your territory while under attack & he decides to take Afridi type decision of not doing his duties & staying at home fasting for Ramadan...Then I think his actions are also justified....Mr. Khan please come out of your stone age menatality...its 21st century

  • Omer Admani on October 4, 2007, 9:57 GMT

    Regardless of what Zaheer Abbas says (whoever made him an international commentator?), I think Pakistan should easily play out these 120-odd overs. Nel and Kaneria have already shown top-order batsmen how to bat on this wicket. The turn is so slow that if the batsman plays late there shouldn't be a problem. The fast bowlers shouldn't be able to, in theory, take a single wicket. Pakistan could also put SA on the backfoot by attacking Harris initially a bit. There strategy is simple: Harris bowls from one end, whereas the fast bowlers rotate. There is a bit of overdependece, thus, on Harris. To hit him for a few boundaries and not treat him like Muralitharan now (like Devilliers was treated like Donald Bradman and Kallis was asked to complete his 100 so that the fielders can go back and take a rest) would redeem some sense. However, you never know with Pakistani batsmen as demonstrated by them in the first innings. SA might just still win this one with Pakistan having batsmen like Faisal Iqbal, Salman Butt, and Hafeez, who might as well take a few tips from Kaneria and Nel. This pitch has slow and low turn, it is not even good for spin bowlers. The ball spins a lot, but it is just that...play late and Pakistani openers might as well carry us to the last ball of this match (pun intended!).

  • Saima Khan on October 4, 2007, 6:27 GMT

    This is a time to kick out Kamran Akmal, Salman Butt and Mohammad Hafeez. I am totally agreeing with Omar & Osman Samiuddin's logic above about Kamran Akmal.

    Saima Khan Islamabad

  • pkr on October 4, 2007, 4:27 GMT

    "JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA" feels the need to make it explicitly clear that he is not in his homeland but in Canada (that too in caps), probably hoping that this would make his arguments "carry more weight".

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on October 4, 2007, 4:21 GMT

    Posted by: Roshan at October 3, 2007 11:11 AM for Faisal - New york ....

    What a load of cow manure! Roshan, what a ridiculous analogy that you gave. I am sure you know that Roshan means bright? But, you are such a dimwit dolt to make a comparison like that. Of course, a surgeon can perform a life saving surgery even when he is fasting. A friend of mine is a cardiothoracic surgeon and he performs surgeries every single day and he never misses a single fast during Ramadan.

    Surgeries are performed in operation theaters where the temperature is controlled to maintain comfort level which is necessary for the patient and the doctor and, there is no physical manual labour involved in it or no running around or sprinting all day under the sun @ 40C temperatures! Of course, surgery needs skill, attention, concentration but you don't get out of breath or sweat like a pig. Have you been playing X-BOX cricket all your life?

    After giving that stupid example you are so proudly asking Faisal to think and hoping that someone will give you a pat on your shoulder for making that 'wise' comment. Its you who need to think and not him.

  • pakistani on October 4, 2007, 2:56 GMT

    Hello everyone

    Pakistan on verge of defeat in first test. everytime i said until the bad politics not thrown out of the pakistan cricket , pakistan cricket never ever come to its true color. again and again i am saying we dont need stylish batsman we need batsman who knows how to defence , how to improvize, how to manage there innings. after miandad no one come near to him to make these things happen, even inzamam i am saying this even i am from his province but thatz correct. in the current team Muhmmad yousuf is the only batsman who have near to these qualities. asim kamal and yasir hameed some how partial put in that . they can manage even though they are not much improvizer. we dont need batsman who hit 2 fours 1 six and than back to dressing room. we should throw out muhammad hafeez, salman butt, kamran akmal younis khan and give some youngster the chance like taufeeq umar, khurram manzoor, khalid latif, shahid yousuf, yasir hameed, sarfraz ahmed. we should also go shahid afridi in place of kaneria i think afridi is far more better bowler than kaneria ( so called trump card).

    thanks

  • ubaid on October 4, 2007, 2:06 GMT

    Some dudes here like the "Munda Punjabi from delhi" and " Raj12345"obviously don't have a clue about what this forum is for. Personal attacks leave a bad taste and give you a clue about the offenders personality. Please sir, go do your laudry somewhere else. To my other fellow bloggers: I apologise for the distraction but felt it had to be said.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on October 4, 2007, 1:29 GMT

    Ref. Pranab Kumar Sarkar's post dated October 1, 2007 2:40 PM. in Afridi's praise.

    Mr. Sarkar you've very eloquently described Afridi's talent in your own words, others have not been able to express out the way you did and you gave Afridi the due that he deserves i.e., some nice accolades and praise for his wise decision. The one line from your post says a lot: "Afridi is a totally different kind of a talent, one which the world has never seen before and probably won't see again in the future."

    There are a few others who not only love to bash him but, they also have nothing else to write here except criticizing my views. My request to those poor pathetic time killers is, yes my posts are boring for them and yes, I have a lot of time to write (actually I type @ the speed of light, and my hand / mind co-ordination is very good, so don't be envious) but they are worst than me to sit and read my so-called gibberish and also have the time and the nerve to respond. If they wish to do something better in their life, why don't they do something more constructive and positive in their - such a meaningful life?

    Back to Afridi as the thread is on him and your support that you have extended, the point to be noted is when other Pakistani supporters praise him some say 'they are blowing their our own trumpet.' Especially when I write about Afridi's talent, people think that he is my relative or cousin or whatever. I reiterate my point, I don't support him blindly and I don't fall short or slow in criticizing him i.e., when he goes overboard. But, the problem with some of his "exhaust fans" is, they have very high expectations from him and they feel very disappointed when he fails and start dissing him.

    The only one thing that I disagree with you is about your comment in your post i.e., "Afridi is better limited overs player than a test player." If you look at the stats his test average and his test centuries are more than his ODI performance. For the not so bright "Roshan-dan" from the dark lobby, I know that Afridi has scored 5 test centuries, first one at Chennai against India, two against India in Pakistan and a 78 ball hundred in Caribbean. Can't remember about the 5th hundred. So, you can chew the cud and eat a humble gobra pie to brighten up your memory and enlighten us where he scored the 5th hundred?

    If I ask Mr. Abbassi to write a new thread on any subject does not mean Mr. Abbassi is always convinced by me. Obviously he too, like me was disappointed to hear that Afridi is not playing in the test matches. Mr. Abbassi has his own views and I have mine, we are two different people, two different entities. Omer Admani still doesn't believe that. As an avatar of the blog Mr. Abbassi always creates a situation in his writing where there is room for "praise & criticism" both.

    It is for the bloggers to thrash out their views and that is what a blog is supposed to be. You don't have to be a yes man. Too much agreement kills the blog, like it happens in the other blog where you see the stereotype response: "excellent thread M"..."great article M. you've said it M" .... "wonderfully written M"....."couldn't have been better M"....."you are on spot M". An ignorant MF can do nothing - except to agree like, Nipper the HMV © fox terrier.

    Omer Admani, I know you have been campaigning since a long time against Kamran Akmal and asking Mr. Abbassi to write a thread on him. If I am not mistaken, after Akmal's edgy batting that won a test for Pakistan against SA in SA, sometime in January, 2007 Mr. Abbassi wrote a new thread, "Akmal earns a pardon."? I don't think anyone will disagree with you if you ask for Akmal's replacement. I agree with you that his 41 odd runs are no good in comparison to the catch he dropped of Jacques Kallis i.e., really Tabarnak!

    Harray Krishna - Harray Rama you are "discombobulated" because you are using the thesaurus too much. In order to express your superiority you are displaying your shorty with a long handle! You could have simply said "confused" instead of bamboozling the words with such discomfort and agony, it gives the impression that the airy and pompous words are creating some kinda rectal aneurysm. Remember: "where words are bound little sense is found." And small doesn't mean airy, pompous and puffy. The only thing about which men take pride in saying: "mine is smaller than yours" - is when they are talking about their cell phone. I am sure you weren't displaying that, right?

    Salman Butt is a latest example of what happened to him on the second day, which was solely and purely owing to fasting. Butt was fasting, he got dehydrated and he collapsed, he was rushed to the hospital, reportedly they had kept him on a drip all evening. The next day he played because he wasn't fasting and a few good shots from Butt prompted Zaheer Abbass to say," Butt has been through a lean patch in the past, and he still is in that patch, but the way he played those two shots just now, one can expect he can "pour-doose a marry-kill today!" The miracle was Butt Sahab played to his usual potential by scoring a paltry 24 odd runs but, under the circumstances it wasn't a bad partnership with Malik.

    Wasim Saqib, you are the judge, the jury and the adjudicator of this case, hence you can say "its a general consensus." "aNo me Lard, I am nat agree." :-) Finally, I am quoting a line on "Fame" by someone very famous, its for poetry lovers to find out "whose line is it anyway!"

    "Fame, like a wayward girl, will still be coy" Like Younis, Afridi by no means a decoy Some say he is a twister, a tornado, is there to destroy Whether it is Ricky Ponting the punter, or the mighty Roy the maiden-over that he bowled made them look like a toy When he is on a song - his batting, a real treat and a joy!

    Afridi ---> when his pistol misfires, he knocks off his opponent with the butt. (not Salman's) ;-)

  • Omer Admani on October 3, 2007, 23:14 GMT

    Javed Khan, Agree with you to the extent that Akmal needs to shut his mouth and concentrate on his wicketkeeping.

    But Waqar? Whenever I am bored by Zaheer Abbas and the South African company, I am always hoping Waqar comes to commentary. He is hilarious, especially when he says 'boundary'. Also, at times he makes less sense but the way he says things, it is always funny and captivating for the audience. Maybe you need to change your perspective and treat it as a bit of comedy. No disrespect to Waqar, I really do enjoy his commentary. Besides, unlike Ramiz Raja and Zaheer Abbas, he at least makes sense half the time. You have to fetch Zaheer Abbas's logic from the moon, whereas Ramiz Raja never entertains himself with any analytical talk: All he does is glorify, as though writing an adventure in fiction (kinda like Tony Greig).

    I think, though, that Ian Chappel is the best commentator out there: 1) He is not afraid to speak his mind 2) He analyzes the game (tactics and so on) and the audience understands cricket better 3)When the game drifts onto boring parts, he recalls stories from the past to keep the audience interested.

  • ali_a on October 3, 2007, 17:18 GMT

    It seems like Mr Abbasi keeps dropping my e-mails on this blog. Prompted me to write one more.

    As I have been saying all along in 20/20 and earlier in WC + SA tour, Pakistan batting keeps on struggling. The latest episode in the first test against SA is no exception. Again thanks to some late middle and tail end batting Pak avoided a follow-on.

    Some how my fear about Younis and/or Afridi batting poorly to have Pakistan (and most notably Shoaib Malik) loose, is becoming more clear. I cannot understand Younis who had such a good summer in county cricket struggling so bad here.

    Maybe its because of our dead wickets that need to be blamed. So much for having one of the best pace attacks in the world -- but PCB insistence on making bad batting pitches (starting from against India last year and now). PCB is killing Pakistan batting and cricket with their dead wickets. Maybe they just want to win local matches to gain public support for the team. But its definitely hurting the team on overseas tours.

    Mr Javid A Khan, I don't understand you. In your very first writing on this article you mentioned that you asked Kamran Abbasi to write something about Afridi's missing first test. And when he wrote one and comments starting coming out, you are writing one article after another to defend Afridi and his decision. If you think he did the right thing, why ask Kamran to write about it? It only goes to show that you want an opportunity to go after some people's comments. Not a good thing to do.

    Personally, I don't care if Afridi plays or not. I consider him more a liability than an asset for Pakistan. He is a true "Tulaeah baaz", just swing on every ball w/o thinking. Afridi give other people some chance- I know you got your millions for not going to ICL + for a good show in 20/20. Now let some serious players play. And if Muhammad Yousuf does not want to play, so be it. He may be the one of the greatest players in Pakistan. But I am very disappointed at the way this bargaining over money has been going by players and PCB over ICL.

    Playing cricket is a job just like any other job. People do well and they get reward for it. But the rewards/prize that have been going on lately, seem a little excessive. Now I hear that Inzi is going to retire and will get 1billion rupees as compensation. It looks to me that PCB is buying his resignation. May be then he won't go to ICL and try to take other players like Yousuf?

    In the end, I do want to criticize ICC about the 20/20 final prize money. I read in Dawn newspaper that only the winning team was given a prize money of $490,000 while the runners up did not receive anything. I ask ICC a question, was it a fair award. Here you're encouraging cricket as a game, sports but at the same time you're also giving a message that there is second place, and winner takes it all. I don't know how many other sports do this. This definitely does not happen in tennis or golf. Maybe that has prompted PCB to give generous awards to all the players.

  • Sach on October 3, 2007, 17:11 GMT

    Afrid could develop into a Shaun Pollock type all rounder - the way he is bowling there is now reason why he cannot replace one of your specialist spinners - or mybe drop Hafeez/Butt - who face it-are not going to win you matches. Good posts guys keep them coming! Except for JAVED A. KHAN -does this guy like the sound of his own keyboard or what ;-) zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • Asad on October 3, 2007, 13:55 GMT

    Certainly, Shahid Afridi is a great player and I have supported him from the first time I saw a Pakistan cricket match. I once found myself praying, when Pakistan needed 36 to win from 14 balls in a One-Day years ago, that the current batsman, Moin Khan would get out and Afridi would come out. After seeing an awesome performance from him in his previous match I felt sure that Boom Boom would score sixes and fours and Pakistan would triumph. However, he tried to lost the ball over mid-on and was caught out, first ball. Pakistan went on to lose the match.

    Afridi has always possessed a wild flair of inconsistency. When he bats, he bats like a great batsman, but he rarely preserves his wicket and usually lasts only 4 or so overs.

    Afridi's bowling in the recent 20-20 world cup was amazing, but his batting, except for his knock against Bangladesh, has been poor.

    If only Afridi possessed the cool, commanding flair of Misbah-ul-Haq, along with his brawny body and muscular arms, he could have batted Pakistan to victory in any match.

  • Roshan on October 3, 2007, 11:24 GMT

    Hmmmmm....For Javed Montreal canada I think afridi is no short of sir Don Bradman.....Let common sense prevail & stop glorifying a player who is good but not exceptional by any standards...& please also consider his 1 out of 15 success ratio!!!! Would you please also tell me when was the last time he scored a hundred out of subcontinent?

  • Roshan on October 3, 2007, 11:11 GMT

    @ Faisal -New york ....

    Just imagine you or any of your dear one is struggling with life or death & only doctor that can operate on you to save your life take the leaf out of Afridi's book & says I cant operate due to the fact I am fasting, what will your position be??? One cant leave his/her normal duties simply because he is fasting or its the month of Ramadan....just think

  • Harry Krishna on October 3, 2007, 10:08 GMT

    Javed A. Khan,

    You remind me of no-one so much as Ian Chapell - a man who above all else - loves to hear the timbre of his own voice.

    I'm sorry but your diatribes are simply far too long and discombobulated to read. I suggest you let Kamran Abassi edit these monologues or perhaps a weekend away at a writer's workshop to sort out the length and accuity of your prose. Bigger is not always better.

    Brevity is indeed the soul of wit, while you monsieur, are verbose to the point of ridiculousness.

  • Farooq on October 3, 2007, 9:11 GMT

    For Dawar,

    It is not fair, good writing. Ask Asim Kamal to move to Lahore as like Javed Miandad & Saeed Anwar. Once they moved to lahore, they become permenant memeber of the team.

    Farooq LA USA

  • WASIM SAQIB on October 3, 2007, 5:55 GMT

    Javed A Khan:

    There is a general consensus on this blog that you are the only one on this blog who is in a state of denial about Afridi as a test player,although I respect your passionate support for him as a fan, but it is not going to change the fact that Afridi as a batsman is highly inconsistent. I did wrote a post to criticize Yousuf's selection but decided to wait as I was hoping that Mr Abbasi will start a new thread which never happened. I think that the selectors are giving up against Player power Yousuf should not have been selected in the first place,he had no practice and his fitness was also questionable.The way Nasim Ashraf bribed him to break his contract with ICL made me sick to the stomach,I have criticized Yousuf a lot when he joined ICL and I have no sympathy for players showing rogue behavior we have plenty of talent available in the country all we have to do is to show some faith in young players and we should stop worshiping these old players as Idols they have proved they only play for themselves and not for the country. Furthermore the selection of Kamran Akmal, Salman Butt,Faisal Iqbal and Younis Khan has been extremely questionable I was hoping to see some new faces,the overall defensive approach and the exclusion of Sohail Tanvir was also a huge disappointment.My assessment of the whole situation is that somebody in the higher management didn't wanted Pakistan to win.

  • Elle on October 3, 2007, 5:33 GMT

    When Kamran first came to the attention of the SA cricket fraternity, he was brought in as a substitute for Moin (or Latif, I can't remember now) when he was injured. He made SUCH an impression on Ali Bacher, that the good dr offered him a job and SA citizenship...to play in (and eventually for) South Africa.

    I wonder what went wrong. I still believe he is a much better keeper than what he displays on the field... I just dont think HE himself believes that...

    Pakistan in a lot of trouble through some really bad fielding..and not-so-great captaincy either. Yes, they pegged SA back, but still allowed them to get 50-60 more than they should have gotten. Malik and Butt will have to salvage whatever they can. I cannot see how Pakistan would want to lose a test at Karachi. Its like SA losing at the bullring...Or Australia losing in Sydney...

    @JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA

    You are a Keats fan too!!!!!???? Nice ;-)

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on October 3, 2007, 3:57 GMT

    By the Moon and the Stars - this thread is about Shahid Khan Afridi so obviously people are writing about him. Do you think people should be discussing here about the astronomical aspects of gravity or the back side of the moon? Or, about quadruple primates, orangutans, chimpanzees or the arboreal primates of Chambal? Then, you are on the wrong blog chanda, go next door and play knock, knock!

    Dawar, please don't say "unfortunately he (Mohammad Yousuf) is not selected." He opted out for 'very private reasons' - doesn't want to announce that he cannot play in Ramadan, because he cannot give up fasting and cannot play - there is nothing wrong in it - but the way they are covering up his statement and bashing Afridi in the open is, weird. Thats what I have said, this is hypocrisy and double standards.

    A word of advise for Kamran Akmal, "he should keep his big mouth shut and keep the gloves open for a catch." the ball knocked on his knuckles and popped off, away from his body. And he still has the audacity to say, "Shabash, Shabash, koi baat nai Danny Bouy!" Giving "Kay-lis" (as Waqar Younis says) a life is the turning point of this match. IMO, Pakistan will loose this match either by an innings or by ten wickets, because the Pakistani players have no temperament, no patience, no nothing, they are playing a test match in the same spirit as they have played the twenty20 tournament.

    I hope a few of you must have heard Waqar Younis and his constant bloopers! At least three times he referred Shoaib Malik as Shoaib Akhtar. And the funny thing is, he was calling Hashim Amla as Herschelle Amla, and he said this not only on the first day but also on the second day right before the commencement of the game. And, then he said, "now the players are getting in a "hurdle" before the game.

    And, the weirdest of all the comments was his reply to Kepler Wessels in defending Shoaib Akhtar's case. He said: "His case should not have come out of the dressing room anddaa, who doesn't have a fight in thaa dressing room? Me, Waseem, Amir Sohail andda Ijaz Ahmad, we always used to have disagreement with each other, andda we even hadda fights in the dressing room. Butta, thatt, nay-war came outta dressing room!"

    Oh, God what was he saying and why? Shouldn't someone give him a smelly old pair of socks … and say ...'shove it!'

    Its not just the players, it is the so-called expert commentators like, Waqar 'Younas,' who need lessons in English and also needs to stay awake! He can be as crude, uncouth and as uncivilized as he wants to be in his Chakk, Pind, Tehsil or Zilla in Australia. But taking up a job for a living at the expense of ridiculing the nation is not acceptable. 'Anddaa' he should spare us from the grammatical blasphemies and murdering of the language in broad day light inside the commentary box, his blabbing is heard all over the world by millions! Imagine another slip of the "tong-you" in Ramadan or about the Muslims might create another uproar in the dark courts of not so white men! Waqar, please spare us from your pay&do-ism.

  • Raja Pakistani on October 2, 2007, 21:55 GMT

    I am totally agreeing with Dawar’s note above. He brought valid issues. Asim Kamal has been ignored by every one.

    He has marvelous records in test cricket. He played well in test matches. PCB/Captain put him stamp of test player.

    What about Misbah he played well in 20/20 but why he was considered for the test also, even though his past test records in very bad. Dawar mentioned his records above. Why not same people put stamp of 20/20 on Misbah?

    First of all Asim was never consider for One Day or 20/20.

    But now he is completely out from test cricket too. Two days prior to first test he scored brave 49 against SA. Team was in problem that time and he saved it. But he is not with the team again.

    Why Why Why???? Raja Pakistani

  • Omer Admani on October 2, 2007, 21:48 GMT

    Accordng to Osman Samiuddin's logic, Akmal's 20-odd average is what keeps him ticking in the team, when he keeps on dropping catches of people like Pieterson, Kallis, Gibbs, and so on...well, even in this match, after dropping Kallis on 30-0dd, and making a rare 41, he sits at -80 or thereabouts. Nevermind the fact that without Kallis's stay Pakistan could have wrapped up the batsmen from one end rather quickly. But this is nothing. It was not long ago that he dropped 6,7 catches in an inning in SA, lost us the champions trophy by dropping Styris, dropped Lara in the world cup, and kept on missing catches and stumpings in 20/20. Also, he lost us the series against England by consistently dropping catches. The selector seems to think it is a dilemma. But, by no standards, is this a dilemma anymore...any replacement for Akmal would be better. His extra 10 runs of average in batting will never compensate for the multitude of his dropped catches.... On the other hand, the captaincy was poor on the field. It was unbelievable that Devilliers was treated like Donald Bradman. Also, it was beyond my understanding what Malik was doing by not pulling in the field in on the 5th and 6th ball, so that he could bowl at the tailender the next over. I could siply not understand the logic behind the captaincy and it was more or less like chaos.

  • Dawar, LA USA on October 2, 2007, 15:51 GMT

    Especially in the absence of Mohammad Yusuf in the first Test, Asim Kamal was the best choice. But unfortunately he was not selected.

    Once again we lacked someone who could stay on the wicket firmly against the good bowling attack of South Africa. Asim Kamal has proved to be a solid middle-order batsman whenever he is given a chance. He scored 99 runs playing against South Africa on Oct 17, 2003 in his first Test appearance at Qadhafi Stadium in Lahore.

    Although he was not able to make a record for scoring a century at Test debut, 99 is never a bad score against South African bowlers. Kamal has played Test matches against Australia and India as well. He was always there to respond positively when the whole batting line collapsed.

    In fact, most of his scores were achieved in crucial situations where Pakistan needed to build a partnership after some sort of debacle in the batting line-up.

    He is firm in his technique and plays the ball with concentration and treats it according to merit and situation. He is never in panic and that is the key to success for a middle-order batsman. Being a left-handed batsman, his importance increases automatically. There are some world-class bowlers who look struggling against a left-handed batsman and a left-right combination always puts the opposition in trouble.

    If we consider his overall Test record till date, we find he has scored 717 runs in 12 matches and 20 innings he has played. He has scored eight 50s in 20 innings and two out of those eight 50s were 90+. Captain may try Asim Kamal as a opener. He has better batting technique than all openers we tried after Saeed Anwar departure. We tried many openers and no one have been settled yet, so why not Asim Kamal.

    Here are some statistics of the players who were prefered over Asim Kamal in the first test match.

    Misba-ul-Haq Total Match: 5, Hs 28, Average 13.33 Faisal Iqbal Total Match:18, Hs 139, Average 25.76 Salman Butt Total Match: 14, Hs 122, Average 29.88

    Is it fair?

    Dawar LA USA

  • Moon on October 2, 2007, 15:49 GMT

    Batting averages don't matter much when you are actually playing in the middle and they can't change the result of the games either, its prime example is Kevin Pietersen, whose batting average is more than 50 and probably he is 2nd in world ranking but still he never managed to provide any significant victories to the English team, sometimes i feel like he plays for himself, i often saw him scoring centuries in the already lost matches and still jumping with joy. Although Afridi's batting average is half than Tendulkar's but still Afridi has managed to contribute in almost equal amount of victories as Tendulkar has. Players like Dhoni, Pietersen, Bevan, Hussey have maintained higher batting avergaes because of going 'Not Out' every now and then. So, instead of fighting over the batting averages, let's discuss something better. talking about Kaneria, he is the most over rated bowler in world cricket, look at his dismal performances, he is only successful in county cricket so he should go back there, looking at his performance in spinner friendly wicket of karachi against South Africa (which are not good players of spin) he managed first wicket in his 29th over and only after contributing 80 odd runs. By the way Javed A(fridi) Khan, are you a personal spokesman for Shahid Afridi? you are going little overboard by justifying afridi, aren't you? Mr. Kamran after Pakistan loses this test series against South Africa, can we hope to see Inzi back?

  • syed muhammad hussain on October 2, 2007, 6:59 GMT

    Dear Kamran:

    I would like to bring your attention to the issue of Mr. Kamran Akmal. It would be nice to see you compile the data of dropped catches and missed stumpings by Kamran Akmal since inception of his career.

    Furthermore, can you please shed light on the fact that why is kamran akmal being repeatedly picked in pakistan team despite being shambles behind the stumd and clown in front of it.

  • Omer Admani on October 2, 2007, 5:49 GMT

    Little master Kamran Akmal has dropped another catch again. Kallis on a low score. I guess as long as he is in the team, Kaneria will never be able to take wickets. Pakistan will also keep on losing one series upon the next because of one man that stands between Pakistan and victory and that one man Pakistan has no answer to: Kamran Akmal

  • ali_a on October 1, 2007, 22:27 GMT

    Wow so many comments!

    People have written a lot to this blog and not much for me to write. Afridi may have opted out of tests because of Ramadhan.

    But I saw it differently here. If you notice lately Afridi's been a little upset at not being made a captain. I believe his latest move to pull out of tests could also be related to that. Last year he pulled out of tests against England citing that there are too tiring only to reverse his decision after getting some importance from PCB.

    If you look at the 20/20 post final show, he seemed to be leading the team to the field. He was very quick to point out before the 20/20 about not getting any money from PCB for rejecting an offer from ICL compared to other cricketers who were compensated for not playing English county cricket.

    Personally I was very disappointed with Afridi's batting performance in 20/20 final, he seemed to not even realize the grevity of the situation when he played that shot. Somehow, I felt that he wanted Pakistan (but most notably Shoaib Malik) to loose, so he can promote himself for captaincy. Anyways, all I can say is 9 out 10 times when he goes out to bat, I know that he would be out on one of his slogs -- caught trying to his straight up in the air and it always happens. I don't recognize Afridi as a specialist batsman. Even Imran whou used to his sixes in his short innings learned with age. I think if Pakistan plays Afridi again, it should be in the role of a bowler who can bat a little bit and nothing more.

  • Pranab Kumar Sarkar on October 1, 2007, 14:40 GMT

    Afridi seems to be getting into the same trap in which Irfan Pathan got caught in for a while. People, sometimes do tend to expect more from sportsperson than they can actually do. What Afridi can or can not do, only he is the best judge of that. If he feels that he is uncomfortable with test cricket, then it should be left at that. What Kamran or others feel about his ability or his choices doesn't matter.

    The basic things is Afridi is a totally differnet kind of a talent, one which the world has never seen before and probably won't see again in the future. He is mercuriosity personified. Its really hard for someone of his breed to sustain the kind of performance that he deliveres. Its wild and altogether crazy, like a tornado which rises only when various forces of nature culminate together to raise hell in broad daylight. And such perfomances can not be delivered day in and day out, becauwe there is no method in it, only pure mayhem. In the test scenario it gets even tougher. So if feels he can not deliver, then his decision should be respected. A confident Afridi playing only the limited overs game is anyday better than a confused one who keeps struggling to retain his place in the longer form of the game.

    If one tries to live upto the expectation of others one ends up falling to his own expectation. Afridi should do what he thinks is right for him and stick to his decision. In any case these days the volume of cricket is so much that players need to ascertain their priorities and stay true to them. And one can not deny the fact that Afridi is better limited overs player than a test player, which is proven emphatically by the fact that the over the years his consistency has improved in the shorter versions of the game and his exploits at the test level are far to irregular.

  • Bob Byrnes on October 1, 2007, 14:14 GMT

    There are some folks who are trying to prove that Afridi is a good test player...which certainly he is not, I am from Yorkshire & I have seen many greats playing on my home turf & trust me the nottingham pitch specialy early season is one of the toughest to survive, forget scoring, & I can bet afridi can not last on that pitch for more than 5 overs & that too with lots of luck! He could have been a great one day player but he doesnt have enough patience & respect for the bowlers thats why once he decides to retire I dont think there will be many who will remember him. Obviously these are my personal thoughts & subject to criticism.

  • Owais on October 1, 2007, 12:34 GMT

    And Kamran Akmal drops yet another catch, when Kallis was on 32 - this time Abdur Rehman was at the receiving end ???? why cant we have a blog on the wicket keeping issues facing Pakistan ?

  • Dr Sarfraz Nazir on October 1, 2007, 10:58 GMT

    Just seen Kamran Akmal grass another chance. This chap dropped sitters against SA before and against Englans and were instrumental in those defeats. Kallis has gone on to make another century. Can someone tell the selectors that we have much better keepers in Pakistan than this guy. He is demoralising for bowlers and is denting Pakistani cricket. He has got to go.

  • Elle on October 1, 2007, 9:45 GMT

    Posted by: Awas at September 28, 2007 1:21 PM Hmmmm...Yes, I know full well who Shahrukh Khan is...Just threw that into the mix for a giggle or two. ;-)

    Back to this blog... Afridi has opted out of the tests. Fine. Whether we agree with his decision or not, in the end it was his decision to make and one has to respect that he did what he believes is the right thing for him to do.

    As cricket fans, (or any other sport for that matter) we would probably want to see the players we support every single day. And I guess we want them to perform at their best level every single day too. But, like us, the players are only human. They have families, they have personal lives, they have needs and wants and yes, sometimes fears too. So, although I am still not happy for NOT seeing Afridi's presence on the field (yes, whether we like him or not, the man HAS a presence on the pitch that is HIGHLY noticable when he's not there), he made, what I am sure was for him, the right decision.

    Now, back to the first test. As I write this, I see South Africa is 190/2. Nice. Always thought the batsmen will be the Proteas' saving grace on this tour. But unless the bowlers pull something glorious out of the hat, the Proteas will suffer.

    I see Mohammad Yousuf is not playing. My, my. Now this will be interesting. Very interesting. My fellow blog postees, I see you all on the flip side of this one!

  • Hassan on October 1, 2007, 7:04 GMT

    For God's sake, if PCB feels pressured to play a player from Karachi, they should have chosen, Asim Kamal or Fawad Alam. Faisal Iqbal is most pathetic player ever. It seems his uncle somehow gets him in the team. Asim Kamal deserves to be ahead of many players to be in test team, including Shoaib Malik himself. Pakistan cricket would never prosper if they keep nepotism in.

  • Don on October 1, 2007, 7:04 GMT

    Shahid Afridi is plain lucky that he has played cricket at the international level for so long. Here is a good example of a person who has overstayed his welcome. Agreed that he took the cricket arena by storm with that fastest one day international century. But that seems to be so many eras back now. But test cricket is a different ball game altogether. I agree with kamran Abbasi's final assessment that unless he concentrates on his game he has no role to play in the test team. The Pakistani batting line-up is always volatile. Anyone can come in and go out anytime. Mohammed Yousuf, after the most unbeleivably consistent batting performance in the history of the game - is not playing the first test against South Africa. At any rate, there will be at least a dozen players in Pakistan today who are, were and will always be better test batsmen than Shahid Afridi.So, what difference does it make if he decides to not play test cricket. Its good riddance. Coming to his bowling, at least he is smart enough to know that his bowling alone can help him prolong his international career. But try as hard as he will, he is not the second best leg spinner in Pakistan today. The first and second spots will be fought between Danish Kaneria and Mushtaq Ahmed. If Pakistan has to play Afridi as a leg spinner alone, they are better off playing Mushtaq instead.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on October 1, 2007, 6:51 GMT

    IS MOHAMMAD YOUSUF OPTING OUT DUE TO FASTING AND RAMADAN? SAYS WHO?

    People like sugarcoating of statements don't they? Yes, I am referring to the press release or the reason given to the media by the PCB that due to a big gap from international cricket, Mohammad Yousuf is not match fit, hence he has opted out.

    If it was not Ramadan, had he not been fasting, a gap of 2 months or 4 months from the international cricket scene wouldn't have mattered, Mohammad Yousuf would have played for Pakistan. But, just because he cannot give up fasting and he cannot cope the stress of fasting and playing, he opted out on the pretext of long absence from the game, hence he is not match fit! They can't dare to say they dropped him, right? Because it was only a day ago the PCB Chairman persuaded him to play for the country and he said, "he can do anything for the country." (but, he will not play in Ramadan!!! There is a hiss followed by a big sssssssssshhhhh because it is not for our eyes or for our ears)

    No one is going to question this anymore, no one is going to write a new thread on this blog or any blog. Perhaps this post of mine will not appear for readers. I guess, no one would even bother to criticize that, this is the so-called "nakhrey-baazi or dramay baazi" (acting, fits, tantrums or whatever) of Mohammad Yousuf because he doesn't carry a reputation like Afridi. He is a gentleman as Dr. Nasim Ashraf says. Besides, this is not as blunt or as straightforward as Afridi declaration to opt out, Yousuf is not a blunt and straightforward person like Shahid Afridi. This news is a sugarcoated pill for the masses to swallow it without a gulp of water - this is a gentlemanly way of dealing with a situation and to avoid a 'situation'.

    There is such a contrasting ambivalence of feelings that is being portrayed here by the PCB and the media in displaying the two scenarios, between - Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Yousuf. One is being accused and labeled as an actor who throws conniption fits either to gain attention or to avoid from a possible weakness leading to personal embarrassments, which is far from reality but, for being outspoken he is being tried in the public.

    Perhaps it is due to his inability to empathize with other people. Afridi or Akhroat as they call him, may find it very difficult if not impossible to understand the effect of his behaviour or the decision that he so often takes and which not only affects his fans, supporters or others around him but, eventually it affects him and it also reflect his performance and he always pays a price for that. It is also because there is such a high level of expectation from him that nothing is taken for granted of him, they (fans and critics) except no less than a boom boom innings from him. Whereas, when some other people throw tantrums in a very subtle way or by sugarcoating the whole scenario and their way of expressing anxiety or frustration is nullified, obscured and taken for granted. Chalo koi baat nai, theek hai. And they get away with this unnoticed.

    Double standards, two-facedness, hypocrisy, sanctimony or should I say impartial and dishonesty or what else?

    Has Mr. Kamran Abbassi got anything to say or defend Mohammad Yousuf's action? I doubt, but please let this post be read by the bloggers! Merci beaucoup.

  • Munda Punjabi from Delhi on October 1, 2007, 6:47 GMT

    Javed khan from montreal. Lol He likes advertising Montreal as if he got a diploma or Phd in front of his name. Afterall he prorbaly just got a passport from Canada which has refugees in thousands from Pakistan, who live solely on Employment Insurance, near Parc or Jarry subway area. usuallly nearabout Liege Street. With amount of time Javed puts in his its obvious he is living on EI.

    Anyway Its funny to read his posts. He seems to be trying hard to swallow the bitter pill that India defeated Pakistan twice in T20 WC. The fact that Pakistani batsman were inept to chase a 140-150 total twice is not taken into consideration.He keeps on saying the Indian bowlers were medicore and even if one accepts it,then obviously Pakistani batsman could not even face medicore bowling TWICE LOL LMAO.

    Swallow the bitter pill buddy. INDIA won becasue of better skills and better way of handling pressure and are now T20 Cahampions and sooner you swallow the fact,the better you will be able to sleep. Merci beacoup. Het btw i live in montreal too ,hold a candian passport too and was not here as refugee but on points system so stop writng where you are from because its obvious you are from Waziristan and we all know what its famous for nowdays.

  • Umair Muzaffar on October 1, 2007, 6:03 GMT

    Even if Afridi is using Ramadan as an excuse, still it is essential for Pakistan team to help him get into his rhythm. There certainly has been a slide in his batting form ... that warrants support rather than ridicule.

    He is not a batsman alone ... when a Younis does not perform we still keep him ... although Younis is just a batsman. This is true for all the specialist batsmen.

    Even if Afridi fails in batting every other time ... he still brings that energy to the filed with his personality that can change the course of the game. The PCB should get him some help ... even a psych counseling arrangement should be entertained.

    I have seen Afridi play in Australia, in a Test against Warne and McGrath at their peak --- and he stood his ground ... not by hitting them mindlessly --- but by very effective groundstroke play.

    He can do it ... he just needs some counseling ... and counseling does not mean, "Asking him what position he wants to play?" ... but by reasoning with him and his idiosyncrasies.

    Umair

  • Hassan Abbas on October 1, 2007, 5:37 GMT

    @khan sahab You r right about his age, I have seen him playing in my streets as i used to live in 13-D gulshan-e-iqbal, where afridi as played most of his street cricket. But, does that matter? I mean there are thousands of sports personalities in the world who dont show up their real age. I dont think its an issue, so plz stop discussing this irrelevent stuff.

    For all those people who still believe that afridi was responsible for the loss in T20 final, have a look at Mohammed hafeez who got hit all around the park by gambhir, droppes a catch and it went for six (Pakistan lost by 5 runs in the end) and gave a simple catch to the slip fielder when cae on to bat. So, as I said earlier its a team game, exactly as Afridi or any other player cannot single handedly win a match for pakistan, he or any other player cannot lose one either.

  • Hassan Abbas on October 1, 2007, 5:23 GMT

    Mr. Kamran, you and many people here say that Afridi is not as good as kaneria. Well, have a look at kaneria's record after taking out his performances against Bangladesh 41 matches,164 wickets at 35.67 runs apiece, whereas afridi averages less than kaneria and has a better strike rate with the ball, even though he doesn't get to bowl as any overs as kaneria and as we all know legspin bowling is all about rhythm. Please stop bragging about kaneria's abilities, he is not a legend,he can easily be replaced by anyone and believe me Afridi is his best replacement, this is something I have been saying for years that afiridi should be considered a regular bowler in the test side and not an all rounder.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on October 1, 2007, 0:44 GMT

    The only change they can make by bringing in an extra fast bowler i.e., Rao Iftikhar Anjum in place of Mohammad Hafeez to relieve some pressure from Gul and Asif bowling in tandem, they do need a change fast bowler and there is none other than Rao. I wonder why Sohail Tanvir is left out from the test squad?

    The reason they might keep Hafeez in the team is because, not only he is another option for spin bowling with his delayed action, but he can score some runs at the top order as well. Malik can also bowl and IMO he must bowl, so there are a lot of options for Malik in the spin department. If I am in Malik's place, I would choose Rao Ifti over Hafeez. After seeing Malik's interview, I don't think he is going to drop Salman Butt.

    This is a big gamble that he is taking, Butt's poor form and a poor start means the middle order is under pressure from the outset. We have seen how good Younis Khan is batting these days and we don't know how Mohammad Yousuf would play and whether he may be fasting or not is another issue, but a big gap since he has last played an international match, means he could be rusty and may not click from the beginning. This is just a possibility and my apprehension but, MOYO is a great player and he can adjust very well. In any case Pakistan cannot afford to loose the first test that will put the whole team under pressure for the rest of the series.

    Also, there is a lot of talk about keeping Abdul Rahman as he is a specialist spin bowler. So, he will be in, along with Danish Kaneria. I have said this before that Kaneria is a very dangerous bowler especially when the wicket is crumbling and on the last day he is unplayable. BUT, Malik has to make aggressive field placements otherwise, there is no chance. Kaneria bowls with more aggression when the field is very attacking. And last but not the least point is Akmal's keeping. Unfortunately he stays and there is no other wicket-keeper in the side, I wonder why? Anyways, all the best for Pakistan team.

  • Hassan Abbas on October 1, 2007, 0:39 GMT

    For God's sake stop blaming afridi for losing the final of the World cup. He did his job with the ball, didn't let Yuvraj to fire. What did Shoaib Malik and Younis khan do? Can anyone here justify me how he can say afridi lost us the match and not younis khan and shoaib malik? Afridi deserved to be man of the tournament because he was consistent throughout, he was adjudged MOM by the team of commentators and experts not by emotional people like u who start blaming a guy on a half bad performance (half bad because he played his part well with the ball).

  • I A Khan (UK) on September 30, 2007, 21:13 GMT

    Dear Sajno tay mitro, Yaar bhai logo why are you wasting time in writing anap shanap about a cricketer who has given so much to his country. The two tests are just two matches; nothing is going to happen if Afridi does not play. I wonder there are so many thugs in the country who are looting our beautiful country with both hands and they are planning to start another KHABA programme through presidential election and instead of writing and condemning on such issues “hum aik koumi hero ki pagri ucchal rahay hain” I M AGREE with Javed A Khan , had Afridi won final for Pakistan through his batting, people like KHANSAAB(AA Khan) would have said , “O Afridi deserves some rest and he has full right of not playing while fasting because he won’t be able to give 100%. As a nation we have a very short memory, Nawaz Sharif’s example is in front of us, every one knows he( and his family) ruined Pakistan but after seeing Mushy’s thugs loot khasoot when Nawaja wanted to come back we forgot all about his past and started liking him. Similarly who is not aware of Zardari 10% -- 60% but when Baynazer will come back our AWAM will go mad to see her in the government and will forget what she did to the country. My fellow country men please do consider other issues which our country is facing at the moment rather then criticizing our national hero.

    Let us be realistic, it is very easy to criticize any one while sitting in comfy bed room with our bums on easy chairs or lying on sofas. I was really disappointed to see when not body had courage to welcome the Finalist Pakistani Team back home. Why are we treating our heroes like this? No wonder these people (like Abdul Qadir & Inzimam) deserve much more respect.

    Let Afridi live in peace in Ramadan and expect him back with all of his explosive shots.

  • Sufyan on September 30, 2007, 19:02 GMT

    with all due respect to the "commenters and the writer" above, why cant we just respect the decision of a man who just opted out for the personal and better reasons, i know people have been writing that other players are playing but how many of them will be fasting and playing and honest answer is may be none apart from one or 2 exceptions who have to prove some other issues. then there are people who inquring about him playing him in T20 cup, the answer is 20 20 is just a four hour match and pakistan played more than half of their matches in the evening, in comparioson to that test cricket is full day job and has to play under burning sun all day until iftar or just before it. SO lets just hope for the better things and not jus critise the man for the sake of it.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on September 30, 2007, 17:35 GMT

    Wasim Saqib give me a more plausible explanation and I will accept it, but what you are saying about Afridi is a "Plausible Deniability". It is another orchestrated media manipulation, an orgy of words, the use of logical fallacies and adverse propaganda against Afridi to make people believe that he is not a test player.

    Your statement: "I am trying to write off Afridi, which is not true. He deserves his place in ODI's and T/20 on merit because of his bowling and occasional batting cameos, he has never been a Test player and has only been considered in the tests over the years because other openers are also inconsistent. " is no different from the typical stereotype biased journalism.

    First of all its your own assessment and your own perception that needs to be corrected. When you guys want to 'dis' him with the help of stats, you show his career ODI stats (23.37) and you say its poor and pathetic. When he scores good, we hear the usual reply, 'now wait for another ten innings to see a good innings from him.' When you are encountered with his test batting average 37.40, which is better than most players, you say averages don't reflect every aspect of a player. Ashaq has just described you his other aspects that he is inspirational, motivator, he adds value to the team blah, blah. Like Keats says: A thing of beauty is joy forever! Afridi's few good innings are a real treat to watch, 100 times better than that, "Chinese water torture.'

    From your standards if someone who scores a test hundred in every five matches he plays - 5/26 - you think he is not a good test player and you say: "he has never been a test player!" Actually in judging and assessing Afridi, you are either dealing with your own likes and dislikes or you are unable to tackle your own biases against him. Because, you are picking up his qualities in 'bits & bobs' and narrating them in bits and pieces.

    Ian Chappell says, 'your best players are the best players in all forms of the game!" Geoff Boycott is always so full of praise of Afridi and his talent and he also talks about his presence in the team as very inspiring. He blames the Pakistan selectors and the captains and coach for misusing Afridi's talent. Every single player has his weakness against one bowler or the other. If I start mentioning the names of the great batsmen and their weaknesses, then there will be a big hue and cry and people will say I am drawing wrong comparisons.

    Varun Van der meer of Harlem - welcome to the fan club! So, which one are you? I mean ceiling, pedestal or an exhaust fan? I am glad that you can spot the brilliancy and the vivacity in my posts. But, if you want to impress me with your French, you shouldn't have used the most common form of greeting which every desi in his awful, gleeful desi accent says 'cava bien?' Or, "ca-ma" sava? If you wish to impress me you must greet with a rustic French accent by saying: "Comment vos tu?" If it is that difficult, then you can also say, "namaskaram" or jai ram ji ki or jai bajrang bali dee - although we are not so "secular" but, we don't mind that here as our tolerance level is higher than those, "Men in White." The chap called 'Moon' translated it as, 'crow in white' which is wrong, it is "crow in snow.' Anyways, I want to correct the bottom line of your post.

    "An eye for an eye" doesn't make the whole world blind. A man with one eye is not a blind person. In Urdu language he is referred as a KANA. So, the possibility is, the whole world could become Kana, but not blind.

    Raj12345 are you trying to be Madhuri Fixit? Singing her number 1 2 3 ....10, 11, 12, tera? And LOL, who told you that I have a Canadian passport? I am still living here on a refugee status, can you get me a Canadian passport, please? But you can't be a Canadian for sure. Because, no Canadian would ever say "Employment Insurance". Here we say Social Insurance and the social insurance card is called the "SIN card" ha, ha, gotcha. You didn't impress me with your Sherlock 'Holming!' And yes, I am a labourer who "hardly" works, I enjoy "loife." I am lucky to have so much time at my disposal, so don't be envious. Have a Kit-Kat. :-)

  • Ravi from OZ on September 30, 2007, 13:07 GMT

    Dear Javed A. Khan

    Neither have I lost my sense of humour nor am I an attention seeker. Certainly I'm no fan of anyone.

    I thought you, kahansahab & everyone else doing constructive analysis on this blog are doing service to Pakistan cricket and cricket in general.

    WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE WAS THE PERSONAL AND IRRELAVANT ARGUMNETS.

    GOOD BYE & GOOD LUCK IF YOU WANT TO.

  • zafar on September 30, 2007, 12:38 GMT

    kamran sahab, u seem to be a man of situation... like as if you run a live commentary on radio… there seems to be no expert opinion in your views… u have a habit of eating your own words...& for some of the readers…wat if afridi played a bad shot...how 9 other players got out by chasing a small total of 157... let me assure u it wasn't a bad shot by t20 standard.. i remember afridi hitting the 1st ball he faced when some english bowler was on a hatrick(can't recall the bowler),almost a year ago..it went high in the air and dropped in between the fielders.. then every body was calling a him brave afridi or sher afridi.. Lloyd the commentator called .. "hatrick ball ?? who cares?? it's t20" & coming back to kamran sahab.. it's only 1 tournament that he hasn't given a winning knock.. though against scotland he gave a handy one...

  • Andy Singh on September 30, 2007, 12:21 GMT

    To all the Afridi bashers - whether he is in the team or not that is for Pakistan to decide. Afridi is one of those rare players who is 99% talent and 1% technique. If his timings are slightly off he has no technique to fall back on. But is he a great cricketer - absolutely. He has a natural ability to spot the ball better and longer than many other cricketers, which explains his strokes. He is very athletic and well built to play the game. Commenting about how he should play his game is as stupid as it gets because he plays with instincts - extremely unorthodox. All he should be told is to enjoy his game and if the results are not there drop him. His shot did not lose that match. It was lost by the team and not him.

  • Tariq Salman Alvi- Riyadh on September 30, 2007, 11:35 GMT

    Do not write off Afridi if he wants to take a break due Ramadan, please allow him these two weeks break and then bring him back. We forget that our duty to Allah (SWT) commands is the foremost, which means that playing cricket for the country does not fall under exemption for fasting. It is unfortunate that any one who wants to be a practcing Muslim, is judged to be either a terrorist or backward, who does not understand his duty to the country. He can still deliver whether as batsman or as a bowler or a fielder. He has been selected as man of the tournament not only for his bowling but his fielding also. Yes he has to be couragious to take a lead even in batting. He should control his passion and try a better selection of shots. We all know that he is vulnerable to off side ball because you have to use your feet in order to smack it out of the ground. He should see his videos and try to improve on his weaknesses. He can contribute to the Pakistan cricket. Please think Muslim first and then pakistan.

  • Aditya Mookerjee on September 30, 2007, 10:41 GMT

    There are two(or three), noticeable uncommon people in world cricket, who can call themselves legspinning allrounders. Afridi is one of them. The other is a young man who foxed Tendulkar, not so long ago, but has not performed with the bat, on the international arena, not even reasonably. The third is a gentleman, whom, I hope, has not retired from Test Cricket. I believe, that Afridi, is as good a bowler, as he is a batsman. As a batsman, he is unpredictable, as a bowler, he is less so. He posesses a good defence, but he does not use it. I believe, it has to do with how he believes, he has to play cricket, which is now putting his appetite for cricket, at peril. He has to adapt, the best he can, towards playing cricket for Pakistan, if he is to continue playing cricket for The Same.

  • Hassan Abbas on September 30, 2007, 9:36 GMT

    Well, I wasn't really surprised or shocked when I heard that Afridi has backed off the test series due to Ramadan. If you have a closer look on the itenaray, both the tests are placed in the final ten to twelve days of Ramadan, which are the holiest days and its a mistake made by PCB to place matches in these holy days. You should be criticising PCB not Afridi as not only have they agreed on playing a test series in the holiest ten days of the year, they have also placed both tests in the weekdays. So, in the heat of Karachi and Lahore with people fasting on odd days, do you expect them to come in great attendence to watch cricket? I hope your next blog would be about PCB's dismal planning of setting up this series on the best possible days for Islam but the worst possible days for cricket.

  • Partha Sengupta on September 30, 2007, 6:22 GMT

    Seeing the list of commentators (or is it Commenter to distinguished responders on a blog – to segregate often contradictory bunch of experts – A certain Mr Bhogle & co), It seems Shoaib is not so wrong. Sorry, that is a joke – from a cricket lover Indian, who (unlike quite a few of Indian population) does not take pleasure in Pakistan losing a cricket match, anywhere from Lahore to Lords, Multan to Melbourne or Karachi to Kochi. In fact I am a die-hard fan of Pakistani cricket team and abundantly talented cricketers – who despite not having a very active domestic cricket circuit (on second thought, who needs these anyway). Of course as an Indian, I would every time like India to win, by playing better cricket.

    Now what this piece has to do with a blog on Afridi. I feel that he, not Shoaib should be made the captain of Pakistan team (at least in T20 and ODI). Afridi has grown up much beyond the wild days in early part of his career. He was and still is what defines Pakistan cricket, as indicated above, a raw talent, part of which remains raw till the end, adding / keeping all charms of cricket. He is a person who can lead from the front. Pakistan cricket have thrived under such leaders; all of us can check-out on that.

    See what has he done after the widely published, condemned faux pass (I am being very liberal). He did not forget to congratulate the Indian team, which, however superficial in some cases, is the requirement of a sporting courtesy. This keeps sports as sports; cricket as cricket, whether it is 40 overs, 100 overs or 450 overs. And despite cricket is going from 100 US$ to thousands & millions and would perhaps go to billions.

    One small thing to talk about is the usage of Queen’s language from the handsome Pathan. Why to bother when it is not the mother tongue of either Afridi or me.

  • Raj12345 on September 30, 2007, 3:57 GMT

    Javed khan from Montreal. I have a Canadian passport too just like you seem to have but you seem to like to advertise. Btw most of Pakistanis in Montreal are either labourers or living on Employment insurance. Thats why they have a lot of time. You seems to have a lot of time too to write. Are you on EI too;) Au revoir

  • WASIM SAQIB on September 30, 2007, 3:44 GMT

    Satyajit:

    The only thing you missed in Shoaib's statement is that he Thanked all Pakistan back home and I think that includes all the citizens of Pakistan, but It's really pathetic that people like you are deliberately giving different twists to his statement. It’s absolutely laughable that you guys are giving us lectures about secularism and consistently mauling Shoaib for his statement, what do you have to say about Babri Masjid Incident, The Gujrat Massacre, The golden Temple incident and countless Hindu Muslim Riots over petty issues, Just because of a few poster boys of secularism do you actually think that you have a higher moral ground to lecture others, Wake up look in your own backyard and try to fix your own problems first and then point fingers at others.

    Javed A Khan:

    I wanted to show the other side of the picture, there is no harm in doing extra statistical analysis as just the career average normally does not reveal the weakness of a player against a particular team or his vulnerability against a particular style of bowling.

    Some on this blog. think that I am trying to write off Afridi, which is not true. He deserves his place in ODI's and T/20 on merit because of his bowling and occasional batting cameos, he has never been a Test player and has only been considered in the tests over the years because other openers are also inconsistent and he has some good performances against WI and India in the tests but whosoever plays at this level and for so long a few good innings are not a Big Deal, the problem with Afridi is that his stay on the crease is so brief that most of the times the shine of the ball is still there, if he somehow manages to see off the opening spell then he can easily deserve a place in the test team but IMO this would be asking for too much from him. On top of his batting woes he has started to show Nakhera like Shoaib Akhter all the complains regarding the batting order and in the end we get to see an innings which rarely lasts longer than two overs.

  • Varun_van_haarlem on September 30, 2007, 1:11 GMT

    Bonsoir Monsieur Javed au Montreal,

    Cava bien?

    I have become your latest fan after reading your comments in the past few days.

    Well, i do not have the time and the patience to write like you so i would try to keep it short.

    From the tone of your posts i seem to gather an impression of you which is not very differnt from what i have experienced in the past 8 years when i have got to know some of the Desis living in UK,US,Canada and now in Netherlands.

    Everyone has the right to express their free views and opinions but in doing so one has to watch one's step as there is a very thin line between right and wrong, bravery and cowardice & truth and lies.

    From the general tone of all your posts right after the 20-20 Final, you have written more offensive stuff collectively than what Mukul wrote in those 2 paragraphs.

    You have tried to take every ounce of credit from the Indian team of their win on that day, blaming everything on poor cricket from Pak and Good Luck for India. not only that, but in response to that distasteful blog from Mukul, you have tried to do even better by going over the top and making derogatory/ sarcastic/ cheap/ comments on everything INDIAN.

    I sincerely urge you to not take Cricket seriously, as after all it's just a game!!

    I sincerely feel you should learn something from the following lines

    " An eye for eye, makes the whole world blind"

  • Awas on September 29, 2007, 23:25 GMT

    I didn’t realise Mukul had started another thread on Malik bashing until JAVED A. KHAN pointed out in his last post. Mukul quotes Furqan’s two posts from his earlier Malik bashing thread but conveniently deleted Furqan’s most important part of his post which was as follows:

    “Shoaib was questioned on his comments by an Indian radio station, where he stated that he meant to say 'Pakistanis around the world' rather than 'Muslims', and apologised to those who took offence.”

    I rest my case as there is nothing more to say on what Malik really meant. (khansahab(A.A.Khan) here lies answer to your question that only Malik knows what he meant to say).

    I notice that many regulars of this thread are also posting on Mukul’s thread. As there is no doubt Mukul is seeking popularity by sensational journalism, my suggestion is deny him that popularity by not writing on his thread. I made one and only comment to counter his Malik bashing but he censored part of it. So never again.

  • Ashaq on September 29, 2007, 23:15 GMT

    Well for those who are only focusing on Shahid Afridis batting, I would like to add that Afridi brings more value than just his batting or Bowling.

    It is the sheer energy, passion and enthusiasm that not only attracts the fans, but invigorates, motivates and inspires the rest of the team.

    Everybody has a bad day at the office, you need people like him who exude energy and a Positive attitude and inspire everyone else, especially when the chips are down, interestingly Yorkshire have been saying the same thing about Younis Khan.

    Besides 50'000 people in Australia stay up till the early hours just to watch Afridi. A lot of Neutral fans follow Pakistan because they are pound for Pound the most unpredictable and exciting team in cricket and Afridi has made a large contribution to Pakistan's popularity.

    Amongst the English the biggest Afridi fan is Geoffrey Boycott,his been raving about him for years, that takes some doing getting a compliment out of our Geoff is a very difficult task indeed, " He does'nt have brain in his head But I love him I simply love him lovely guy Most exciting player around I told I said Shahid shame you Don't have a brain lad cuz if you did, then you would really be dangerous. you know what If I was in the trenches I would want this lad with me simply fearless he is one of them Pathan peoples who hammered the British."

    Well with an endoresment from Geoff what more do you need, Dickie Bird is also a big fan so some legendary people in Yorkshire follow him.

    Awas, Jamjar, and Javed Bhai, its good to be back.

    Yeah Javed you is right we is agreeing on everything, strange things do happen. It must be all the heat in Pakistan its affected my brain,I am sure normal service will be resumed shortly.

    Anyways on a lighter note away from the negativity created by Our dear friend Kesavans blog. The son of a friend of mine has wrote an essay as part of his history class focusing on Kamran Abbasis Blog, entitled "The Forgotten Tradition of the stage Double acts"...citing this tradition where a theater promoter or producer would put together 2 people of contrasting personality and they would basically trade insults, and hey presto they would pull in great crowds, Well something like that. Anyways he wrote an essay showing how this forgotten tradition is being kept alive by Kamran Abbasi on his blog he apparently got an A grade aswell...I don't know if it is a good thing or not but the main characters featured were Javed and Ashaq and the posts we have written in our exchanges.

    When people start writing essays about what you post on a blog, maybe it could be a sign we is like spending too much time on this place.

    Anyways Kamran we are doing our bit to keep this the number one blog on cricket on the entire World Wide Web.

    So Kesavan eat your Heart out Baby.

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on September 29, 2007, 21:54 GMT

    Jamjar,

    One of the reasons our race has not prospered is that we like to form pre conceived notions about people when we hear about their age. One difference between English people and us is that they always value mental maturity regardless of anyone’s age. In our culture we have too much of this, “Yaar yeh bacha kya jaanta hai!”

    Without sounding confrontational I feel sorry to inform you that you are very wrong. Without going into too much detail I would like to inform you that I used to live in an area where we were the only Muslim/Pakistani family for at least half a mile. You can imagine the rest. I have been to many assessment centres and interview days for the top employers in this country over the past two years and have always had my applications rejected. I am not the brightest candidate there is but I am not the dumbest either. Suffice to say I have never found anyone working for these employers who is a practicing Muslim hailing from Pakistan. There are many Hindus/Sikhs and Half Caste Asians (usually those individuals who have a native English mother and a heavily “Anglicised” Pakistani or Indian father) but no one who is from a more (comparatively) conservative background as myself. So you can imagine this aspect of my story too. I have the intellect and the work ethic they require; however I lack certain qualities they are looking for in their candidates which you can imagine.

    Manchester has some areas that have a sizeable Muslim population but at the same time there are also areas where Muslims are virtually non existent. Jamjar, this blog is not about my life experiences and if I were to tell you what I have been through I am sure you would find it shocking. Just believe what I am saying and live with it.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on September 29, 2007, 20:21 GMT

    Everyone is talking about Shahid Afridi's pulling out of the two tests. Upon reviewing the current political situation in Pakistan, it just occur to me, what if the political unrest that is growing due to Musharaf's elections would pose any problems for the matches to continue?

    That would be the worst thing to happen if the SA team pulls out or cancel their tour in case the situation gets out of control. I hate to imagine that, but in Pakistan everything is possible.

    theosa, I have just read your post, its a good one, not because I agree with you on Afridi's issue but its very realistic. It is good to see views coming from different parts of the globe.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on September 29, 2007, 18:07 GMT

    I was a little upset with Mr. Kamran Abbassi for deleting one of my posts, which in his opinion is a tad harsh on Mukul it was in response to his new thread called, "A pundit from Pakistan" which is actually an extension of his sordid thread, "Scenes from a final." It goes to show that Mukul doesn't want to end Malik's chapter as he has vowed to pursue this matter because, according to him Malik by virtue of that statement has made his (Mukul's) business and his readers business to carry on this Malik bashing and make it an on going business.

    On second thought, I think perhaps Mr. Abbassi is right, there is no point in getting involved in mudslinging. Let him do the dirty work and those who are fair and sensible would realize that he (Mukul) is indeed going beyond the limits to promote his blog by using cheap publicity stints - which Ashaq has also hinted. I am sure people must have noticed that in the twenty20 final in Johannesburg, Indian supporters were carrying more than flags, mini statues of their deities and masks and adding more religious fervor to it than a mere cricket rivalry. I do not wish to go into any more detail on that subject. People should use their memory or see the replay and decide who brings more religion on to the cricket ground? Thats all.

    Ashaq, it is good to see you back. So far, as I can see we are in agreement with each other and you are echoing my views or you can say it is vice versa. The article that you were referring to the other day, I've read that about a month ago and some of my friends and I have discussed it in detail, it is indeed very sad to see what reality is over there and yet people call it a secular democracy! Anyways, your comments about Afridi and Asim Kamal are well taken, 'sao sunhar ki ek lohar ki,' lol @ Chinese water torture.

    Wasim Saqib, I think you are under playing Afridi's stats and if you look at that kinda stats for any player i.e., how a player is out? The percentages would always be something like that and never a 50/50 for spin and fast bowling. Also, by saying that he never played against SA bowlers is wrong. Test or ODI, it doesn't matter he played against Ntini, Pollock and Nel and that too in SA in Feb 2007. AND, he mauled them all over the park in Durban, 77 n.o. in 35 balls. And then he was banned for 4 matches for that bat waiving incident. So, you cannot say he never played against SA bowlers or don't go on to defend by saying it was his usual one out of ten innings. Since then he has played ten innings so, even by that analogy - a big one is due at home!

    It is very interesting to note that Afridi's critics say he is a flat track bully and he is good only at home or in India. Which is not true, he played well in Australia against Australia and even if it is true that he plays well on the sub-continent pitches and his recent record against India in Pakistan last year is par excellence i.e. 103; 153 and 60 n.o. in three test innings why would he opt out at home especially, at his favourite hunting grounds? Do you think a guy scoring sixes and fours all the time is scared? Afridi is not scared of anyone and that is for sure.

    And Ravi from OZ, you think if you are happy or you are upset upon reading my posts will make any difference in my life? Reportedly, Australia is the flattest country (continent) in the world, a large portion of its land is comprising of deserts like, 'Great Victoria Desert' or the 'Great Sandy Desert' and I can see that you have lost your 'Great Sense of Humour' there. Or, it must have gone flat like the country itself. And my response to khansahab's post is in no way 'arrogant' its all in your mind. I am sure khansahab never mind me disagreeing with him and neither do I. Besides, we both understand each other's views very well and respect each other, so please don't try to create differences here. Welcome to my fan club or, for joining the crowd of attention seekers. ;-)

  • Satyajit on September 29, 2007, 17:45 GMT

    Javed khan from Montreal

    Picture this:Danish(denish) kaneria gets a fiver in the first test

    Danish Kaneria: Jay Shri Ram .First of all I would like to thank all the Hindus back home in Pakistan and where they lives all over the world.

    Beat that

  • JamJar on September 29, 2007, 17:27 GMT

    Kamran: I resonate with Wasim Saqibs previous comments on your editing and deletion of posts. Please do allow this post as my comments are generally set in the tone of other blog entries are in no way abusive.

    Javed.A.Khan

    I also follow Afridi wholeheartedly. There is no doubt that Afridi at his best is a superb asset to the Pakistan team and his immense talent can single-handedly turn matches. However, talent without application is not worth much at all. And although Afridi has contributed with the bat in his career, his batting at crucial junctures of matches is becoming increasingly disappointing. You highlight Afiridi’s statistic of his fastest hundreds in matches. Reproducing a feat after every 8 years is hardly worth writing home about in terms of consistency, although the feat itself is a worthy cause for celebration. Talent has never been the question constantly hanging over Afridi’s position. It has always been consistency. And although we don’t expect him to score tons at speed, we do expect a decent contribution from him with the bat when the team really needs it.

    May I also say that it was a superb reply you posted to Mukul in your previous thread and to those who criticised Mailk post-match comments (ala Khansahab).

    Khansahab,

    You have tried in vain to justify your comments made against Malik’s post match statement and cite your prior experiences to religious bigotry making to hyper-sensitive to such comments. You also state that you’ve experience far worse bigotry than your average Muslim resulting in you being hyper-sensitive to the whole issue. Firstly, you have no idea what bigotry the average Muslim has experienced so please do not make such remarks. Secondly, you are 21 and as of yet (I assume) have yet to enter the corporate where bigotry can be pretty rife. Thirdly, you reside in Manchester which has a sizeable Muslim and ethnic representation. The only bigotry I see going on there is directly from Muslims to Non-Muslims. Try being brought up in an environment such as Scotland which is far less ethnically and religiously diverse than places such as Manchester and then you may have an idea of what experiencing prejudice is like.

    Malik as we have said, made those comments due to his poor command of the English language.

  • Andy Singh on September 29, 2007, 16:57 GMT

    Pakistan fan like Indians want to lay the blame on someone. This time it is Afridi's shot. Match is won and lost by a team, not individuals. The game was lost after Irfan's overs and this one shot. Sooner you understand that better it will be. In the ned there was not much seprating the two teams. If it was a regular match I have a feeling Pakistan would have won 6/10 times. They have their own countryman to blame who kept on repeating that Pakistan will win. No need to put additional pressure when your team is doing so good. As an Indian supporter I for sure was defecating in my pants till the last bowl.

  • Ubaid on September 29, 2007, 16:32 GMT

    This is pretty smart from afridi. This way he keeps the ball in his own court. Fans have short memmories. He wasn't a shoe in for the tests, and even if he was selected he may have failed. This coupled with his faliure in the 20/20 final may have spelt disaster for him. So he decides to opt out, and keeps his " value" up. They will be begging for him to return for the ODI's now. His immediate future is secure. Very shrewd indeed.

  • WASIM SAQIB on September 29, 2007, 15:31 GMT

    Mufti Wajid

    You should remember that One day international and Test matches are entirely different Ball games,I know Afridi scored 77 of 35 balls last year and incidentally in a five match series that was the only time he clicked with the bat. If you read my post carefully I am not writing him off completely I think in ODI and T/20 he can play as a bowling all rounder as he is capable of nothing more and nothing more should be expected of him. All this criticism and Nakhrey Baazi that he would have batted better if he had been promoted up the order is a stupid argument,if a batsman is failing down the order,do you think he will see the ball better and his timing will get better when he comes to open,I don't think so. On one hand people like you are criticizing Malik for not promoting Afridi up the order and when he publicly announces that its his own choice what # he wants to bat at all of Afridi's supporters take a U turn and start criticizing Malik for being a soft captain, Now let me tell you if Malik will compel Afridi to open the innings and he fails all of you will again criticize Malik, its a game poor Malik can never win. So please look at your own behavior are you fair. Its also very typical of Afridi that after failing with the bat he always apologize and opts out of the next series,and then again after one good innings he starts his Nakhrey Baazi all over again.You can just wait and watch.

  • Ashaq on September 29, 2007, 14:41 GMT

    Afridi knows what puts food on the Table and it sure is not Playing defensively. So Lala man keep hitting them Sixes.

    One Shahid Afridi is worth a thousand Asim Kamals, afterall who wants to watch a dull player like Kamal it is equivalent to Chinese water torture.

    As for the age thing Afridi is not deceiving no one if you take a look at the P.c.b rankings a number of players have under there profile age: "unknown" the most recent guy is Atif Maqbool who played for the Pakistan A squad against Australia A, his age is " Unknown". In rural areas traditionally nobody records the date of birth. very rarely you come across elderly people who actually know their exact date of birth.

    The Magnetic resonance thing was carried out on Hassan Raza who was allegedly " 14" when he made his debut. The technology showed he was perhaps a year or two older. Afridi as far as I know has never had this test done.

    Besides who cares if he is 27 or 37 if your good enough your old enough or young enough... a number of athletes in various sports have still remained World class into their 40s.

    As for our Dear friend and well wisher Kesavan very Smart Chap. I think Kamran could learn a trick or two from him. He has managed to gain maximum publicity for his blog. A number of Indian media have cited the "Criticisms" of Mukul Kesavan the cricket Historian, against shoaib Malik.

    Which means his next book will sell more copies, more air time and editorial space for kesavan, and more earnings for our dear and respected Cricket historian.I think Don King and P.T. Barnum would be proud of Kesavans style.

  • Andy Singh on September 29, 2007, 14:35 GMT

    What if the shot he hit against India had gone for a six? The same people would be hailing him as a hero. One shot does not do credit to and extended career.

  • Hanif on September 29, 2007, 14:20 GMT

    The truth be known his time is up. I think the supporters and his country have waited long enough for him to maintain a level of consistency at the highest level, this is unlikely to ever happen. So he should do the decent think and retire. What a waste of talent and only himself to blame, sadly this has been synonomous of so many pakistani cricketers past and present.

  • Hari on September 29, 2007, 13:49 GMT

    First of all Afridi should not have given the Man of the Series Trophy. He was never worth it. Either Umar Gul or Misbah Ul Haq should have given that. Only God knows, why Afridi was given it

  • Andy Singh on September 29, 2007, 13:27 GMT

    Kamran - I love your column and want to be honest and tell you that I am Indian supporter. I hate it when Afridi walks out against India. As a cricketer I absolutely adore him as he is the best of the best. If he is on the crease for 10 mnts that changes the complexion of the game. Quit putting him down as he is not as bad as you make him to be. Can you explain to me why he was voted the best player of the tournament? He is awesome and let him play his natural game. Your comments will never diminish his stature in my mind.

  • khan on September 29, 2007, 13:24 GMT

    Its a great decission not to play anymore in ramadan, well done boy.Cricket is not the whole life, no matter what people say.......keep the faith with allah and allah will give you izath. great.

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on September 29, 2007, 13:02 GMT

    Lots of my friends and family friends used to know Afridi and his family. His age is somewhere between 30-32. Hardly anyone outside his immediate family knows what his real age is, but whoever knows him outside his family is unanimous that it is somewhere between 30 and 32.

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on September 29, 2007, 12:36 GMT

    Prakash,

    Pakistan is 97% Muslim not "99.99%". 1% of Pakistan's population is Hindu. That means 1 in 100 Pakistanis is a Hindu.

    On this thread it is not advisable to speak about Mukul's comments. I have referred to that earlier in this thread but only as a response to a blogger.

    Please don't initiate a Pakistan vs India debate on this thread now. International matches are arranged by the respective cricket boards under the supervision of ICC. It was not totally PCB’s will to arrange this series. The international schedule is hectic and between June and August Pakistan played hardly any international cricket. As far as Ramadhan is concerned it is up to the player whether he wants to fast or not. The players are contracted with the PCB and get paid hefty amounts for their participation in matches so I think it is okay if they want to opt out because of fasting. What we don’t want to see if poor performance as a result of fasting. Fasting is important personally but on the other hand these are international events and the players are getting remunerated heavily. It is unfair on the cricket board, national and international fans and the ICC to see players being unable to give their 100% because for fasting.

  • Fuad Bangash on September 29, 2007, 11:44 GMT

    There is only one Afridi. Although, fastest centuries are his hallmark, Pakistan would not have reached T20 final without Afridi, the bowler. Infact we were in doldrums against Scotland, before Afridi did his magic in the middle of the innings.

    Bottomline is he is a star player. He will be a force to contend with in ODIs for years to come.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on September 29, 2007, 11:32 GMT

    What has Shahid Afridi's age got to do with his game at this stage of his life? He is only 27 and he is an absolutely fit player. Just for his opting out for two tests because of Ramadan and fasting, people are criticizing him from every angle. Some say his batting days are over and a few say he is making excuses like Razzaq used to do and, our neighbours say he has cheated on his age and declared himself younger! Why would he do that? Regarding the so-called wrist test. I also know how age is determined through magnetic resonance imaging of the wrist through x-rays as well as on the basis of teeth x-rays test. But, the point is has Afridi taken that test? Its a voluntary test and not mandatory, as far as I know he didn't. Bringing up such trivialities to surface makes no sense, it only proves one thing and its called - jealousy!

    Talking about age, Jayasuriya is 37 and he is more fit than many players younger than him. Not only that during the twenty20 WC he played very well in the beginning, it was only against Pakistan and Bangladesh he got out cheaply. Its ironic that against Pakistan his performance in the past 12 matches has remained very abysmal. It was after Pakistan's tour to Sri Lanka a few years ago that he announced his retirement and was later pursued by his team and fans to comeback. And what a comeback it has been.

  • Shehzad Ghani on September 29, 2007, 11:16 GMT

    He is not a hero of millions. Yes, people like him but hero is something else.

  • MS Dhoni on September 29, 2007, 8:25 GMT

    Well, now that people know I read cricinfo, I wanted to tell that Afridi is a very good cricketer and a very agressive person. He is someone who wants things to happen instantly. He wants wickets when he is bowling and tries to hit out every ball. Being a slog over specialist is not easy but he has done really well to make a mark for himself in the record books and as a role model to attacking youngsters. In fact in th e world cup finals I feared him the most against Jogi

  • Kamran Malik on September 29, 2007, 8:04 GMT

    I just want to clear one thinh which most of the readers are not considering is that Mr.Kamran Abbasi column is not saying that afridi is not a good player.but we are saying is that he need to focus,think about his baating and most importantly about his shot selection.i am a big fan of his but just want to ask him that what he was thinking when he played that shot of the first ball in the finals.HE ALWAYS SAY IN HIS INTERVIEWS THAT THE PLAYERS ARE JUST PLAYING GAME NOT WAR.But i want to ask him one thing that what about his shot in the final.it cost us a final of the WORLDCUP. He needs to think more about the situation thanhos reputation of hitting sixes.look at Symonds from Australia he always adapt according to situation.with afridi experience of almost played 300 matches he should be mature in his approach. rightly said by ANDY that by doing this he is losing his fans and most importantly Pakistan is losing matches. if he can just bring a bit of approach and calmness in his batting he can be the most dangerous batsmen in any form of game.i would wish that he will come as a more senseble and mature player in ODI against SA.

  • Dr. Anjum Siddiqui on September 29, 2007, 7:24 GMT

    Shahid Afridi is an explosive player who is fun to watch when and if he gets going. The fact is that he doesn’t get going more often than not. He is certainly overrated for what he can do with the bat. His career ODI average is a mere 23.4; and other forms of the game tell a similar story. His Twenty/20 average in domestic games is only 16 and in international games it is 17.5. Afridi has been around the block many times and he has been played a total of 274 ODI and Twenty/20 matches, yet he has not learnt the art of consistency.

    In my opinion he has become a batting liability and at best a flash in the pan. He doesn’t hold a place in the team for his batting. Afridi should be dropped from ODIs and Twenty/20 version of the game till such time that he improves his performance in domestic cricket and starts reflecting much improved batting statistics. Afridi has a quick eye and muscular ability; but he lacks cricket acumen. Jeff Lawson and the Pakistan Cricket Board must give this wild man some serious pep talk and ground him from the National team till such time that he understands that every ball cannot be hit for a six. He should be shown video tapes of how foolishly he throws away his prized wicket time and time again.

    Has anyone bothered to coach and improve this mindless stallion-if they have tried and failed then there are questions about their abilities? They also need to answer why is Afridi still being retained in the ODIs and Twenty /20? We have a number of young guns who should be groomed and given a chance and we should be able to find our own Dhonis and Gilchrists.

  • Junaid on September 29, 2007, 7:01 GMT

    Afridi most suited to 20/20, a very useful one day player all over the world and can be a good test player on subcontinent pitches specially against India. Now if he has decided not to play against SA due to personal reasons than whats the problem? Anyone who follows Afridi game knows that he is more confident bowling these days than batting so it means he considers himself as a bowling allrounder whose batting can be handy on his day. So please accept him with his strength and weakness and just enjoy whenever he hits the ball out of the ground.

  • WASIM SAQIB on September 29, 2007, 6:52 GMT

    Afraidi's average against Australia in tests is 18.5 against New zealand its Zero as he is yet to score against them.Against England its 26.44 and Guess what he has never played a test against South Africa, so those who are quoting his statistics should know that most of his scores are against India, WI and SL. Dismissed by pace bowlers 63% Dismissed by spin bowlers 35% The above stat clearly shows why he does not opt to play against the SA, AUS and NZ.

  • Mufti Wajid, Srinagar > Kashmir on September 29, 2007, 6:29 GMT

    Hi all. This is my first post on this blog. I am a huge fan of Pakistan cricket. But all I see is that there is too much regionalism. It is evident even in the fans let alone the politics and that is very disappointing. Punjabis want Punjabis in the team, Sindhis want Sindhis and Pathans want Pathans. I mean this is ridiculous. You guys should want a better national team rather than seeing yours neighbors play. This motto should be clear – put your nation ahead of your mohallas and gallis.

    Kamran Bhai, I think we all should respect his decision. A player is the best judge of his own self and if he feels he cannot do justice to his role then it must be so. Why all this hue and cry. And for all those who are saying of sacking him, him not deserving a place in the side and all that crap I guess you are not being fair. Agreed he played a reckless shot in the final but that is how he bats and that is why he is in the team – as dynamite which can explode and win you games but will falter also. And why is he made the scapegoat. I guess Malik didn’t utilize him well. Also so much is said about Younis Khan. He tried to clear infield as mid-on was in the ring and that is what you are supposed to do in a 20-20 match. What was wrong with that. I didn’t come off and that can happen. This is a risk and you have to take it and it can go either way. The only guy I wasn’t pleased with was Hafeez. He played a nothing shot, a deliberate edge to slip. Also Gul, Tanveer ans Misbah were fantastic. Really pleased to see some good new players coming up. Also wish Misbah had come earlier (but didn’t like it when he was named in the squad). Malik was also superb although not sure about his leadership skills but the spirit team has shown was wonderful, especially since certain fastest bowler is busy hatching his eggs.

    Khansahab This is in reference to your comment on Inzimam. You think Ijaz ahmed and Salim Malik were greater batsmen than him then all I can say is that you are being partial towards Inzi Bhai. Agreed Inzi was a lethargic fielder and not a great Captain maybe but as batsman he was better than most pakistan has produced. He has won more matches for Pakistan than anybody else I have seen(havent seen Miandad much). He was the one you could bank on under crunch situations and who delivered when it mattered the most. In fact he has highest percentage of hundreds for a winning cause than anybody else. I am not saying this because I am a die-hard inzi fan, in fact I was a big Saeed Anwar fan and maybe I like Akhtars and Afridis more than Inzi, but because you need to give the man his worth. I am sorry if I sound a bit harsh but IMO his islamism didn’t go well with you as you seem to have suffered because of it and that shouldn’t take away his due credit. BTW I appreciate your posts and your analysis however biased it maybe.

    Wasim Saqib You seem determined to write Afridi off. Just this year he scored a 30-ball 80 against SA in SA having both Pollock And Ntini bowling at him. After That 3-4 Innings later he had a magnificient innings in Abu-Dhabi. And after that we came to this T20 cup where I feel he wasn’t utilised well and given any chances. The fact that Malik saying Afridi can bat where he wants cannot be trusted. What is Malik doing then if everybody has his way. Also I agree that he is inconsistent with his runs but that cames with the strike-rate he keeps (even Yuvraj had finally a lower strike-rate than him). And what is wrong with having a batsman like him in the team. You have 5 or 6 of those what you call consistent bats, whose runs don’t guarantee you anything but if Afridi fires say Once in six or seven games(I bet on average it is better than that) you are sure you won. And please for godsake be fair and analyse.

  • Murtaza Husain, California on September 29, 2007, 6:22 GMT

    I have been a die-hard fan of Shahid Khan Afridi, ever since his 101 against India in 2005. We all have seen Afridi served Pakistan like a warrior in so many nail biting matches. Recently, his performance , in batting particularly, was not up to his mark in the 20/20 world cup! The reason I see is that he has been recently concentrating on polishing his bowling skills. This of course has had a detrimental affect on his batting skills. I still strongly believe that IF he is given the right guidance and the right spot in the batting order (not to open), he can again prove to be the same "Boom Boom Afridi" we all know him by....After all the thick shaft of his bat still reads "SHER"!!

  • PADMA KUMAR on September 29, 2007, 6:13 GMT

    i am great fan of shahid afridi.my heart beats more when two players comes to bat.one is sachin tendulkar and the other is shahid afridi.afridi made the cricket a real entertainment.if some draw backs happened to his career or talent,there is only one to be blamed for that,that is PCB.its a gift that pakistan got an alrounder like shahid afridi,he is not a man supposed to bat at the middle order.he should open the innings along with some body who can pass the strike to afridi.just think about it,its very difficult for hard hitters to acheive success at tremendous pressure when they bat in the middle order.but opening the innings is a different story.so i hope PCB will never let this legends strength and talent down.afridi has the capacity to take pakistan team a long way.i am an indian but its a heart breaking scene that a crciket control board wasting a mans talent.my message to PCB is that try to realise the treasure within the team rather than going for a treasure hunt.

  • Fahad Khan on September 29, 2007, 5:36 GMT

    allright. Stop it people. Afridi is scared of SA!! for one reason or the other. he's so many times showed he's not scared of anything.. let it be the 45 ball 100 against india or first ball duck last week.. accepting challenges is another thing.. the guy wants to take some rest in ramadan cuz dude.. u play for 5 days in these hot conditions fasting.. u will know.. ricky ponting .. gilchrisit everyone does that.. take leave.. I respect his decision if not for ramzaan.. then for being smart enough to know that he wouldnt be able to perform in ramzaan to the level he might do otherwise. Shoaib akhtar would never opt out.. will say a thousand words before the match and will pull out after 5 overs being sick or unfit. Afride has foreseen the situation.. something most others have not done in pakistan cricket and had been selfish that only caused pakistan cricket irritation. Afridi has taken the australian approach. so respect it. This blog is seen by everyone around the world. And we pakistanis are always negative about everything.. including u kamran.

  • Elvis Presley on September 29, 2007, 5:31 GMT

    Do a proper research and you will find that Afridi has won more matches (contributed) for Pakistan than Tendulkar has for India. The strike rate matters in ODI's and hitting 30 runs in 50 balls is not appreciable. A 25 in 20 balls is better than that.

  • Ali Asim - Saginaw, MI on September 29, 2007, 5:15 GMT

    I can't believe this guy Mukul. He's digging a hole for himself by not giving the Shoaib comment issue a rest. This guy is a lunatic and should be stopped before he starts another word war. He should be ashamed of himself.

  • Ravi from OZ on September 29, 2007, 5:11 GMT

    Dear Javed A. Khan,

    I used to enjoy your posts until recently. You seem to have gone very emotional, unreasonable & arrogant of late.

    Your peronal attack on Khansahab & everyone else that differ from your views is not fair. I also like reading Kahnsahab's posts.

    You also are arrogant in saying that Afridi can become your fan & you have number of fans.

    who are you? Are you some kind of a superstar (sports or otherwise)? I'm not sarcastic & I dearly would love to know.

    I also thought Mukul kesavn's comments were pathetic. I tried sending a post BUT the blog owner wouldn't allow it anyway. Please don't stoop down to Mukul's level. As Khansahab pointed, no one really knows what Malik meant except him. Even if he did mean the way Mukul thought, everyone should let that go. HATRED ONLY BREEDS HATRED.

    You seem to have become emotional/irrational after the India-Pakistan final. It's only a game & you seem to over analyse everything.

    I have mentioned already that in this T20 anyone can become a hero or a zero in an instant. The game could have been pakistan's also.

    You are also wrong in saying that Dhoni didn't thank any pakistani players. Infact, as some other blogger pointed, he did give great compliments to Pakistani bowlers.

  • noor ahmed on September 29, 2007, 4:11 GMT

    afridi knew that he won't be included in the test squad and that is why he opted out from tests, we have much better players than him for tests and yes ODIs as well. i wish salman butt had done that as well. i don't know when we will learn from our mistakes.i think fawad alam can replace afridi and i am pretty sure he will do a good job. his stats are impressive.

  • apoorv on September 29, 2007, 4:10 GMT

    i believe that the decision to award the man of the series was based on purely objective criteria. had a little more thought been put into it by the adjudicators, either yuvraj, or gul or misbah wud hav bagged the award. as far as afridi is concerned, there hav not been many players in cricket who have managed to hang around for 10 years with a batting average of 19 and a bowling average that has been mediocre to say the least. surely pakistan cud have invested in a better talent in these 10 years

  • top tucker on September 29, 2007, 4:07 GMT

    pcb is the craziest board, seconded by only the bcci. they host eccentrics like afridi, he is just a slogger by no means a test player. if pakistan need to win they need a misbah not an afridi. top tucker thapatu nazar iam a rare italian who watches twenty 20 and odi

  • Andy Carpenter on September 29, 2007, 0:19 GMT

    Well i have been a long time Shahid Afridi fan and im an Australian. I started supporting him when he dominated Australia in the one day series here three years ago. Since then, he has really let himself down and made some rediculous decisions. This is the last straw Shahid. Im not supporting you anymore. There are thousands of Australians who stay up until all hours of the morning just to watch you bat, (showing on fox sports). But so often your ability is in an abundance, yet you continue to dissapoint.

    Shahid Afridi is a supremely gifted cricketer. In all honesty he should have been the best all rounder for the past five years and into the future, thats what his talent warrants. Yet he has failed and is barely in the top 5 all rounders. The 50 000 Australians who stay up late every time Pakistan play, to watch Afridi bat will stop.

    Shahid your stupid decisions have let you down. But most importantly you are letting your fans down. As a previous die hard fan of yours i can safely say, your decisions off the field are terrible and im not supporting you ever again. I wish i had your talent, i wouldn't waste it, i would make the most of it. You have lost me as a fan and a lot of other fans are now following other players. I will not stay up late here in Australia to watch Pakistan play again.

  • Raja Punjabi on September 29, 2007, 0:17 GMT

    Afridi also needs to work on his attitude. Looks like Razzak hand over his player group to Afridi. Player group is not good for the team for the long term. If Afridi is not ready to play a role of batsman. He should be out from the team. We have better spinner even in only sialkot.

    Raja Punjabi Lahore

  • Dawar on September 29, 2007, 0:13 GMT

    Correct Kamran,

    Most of us are real fan of Afridi's batting not the bowling.

    He cannot command a place as a Test legspinner ahead of Danish Kaneria.

    He could be helpful in one days and specially in 20/20 but not in the tests.

    Afridi please bring back ur batting. I think you are good for an opener specially in one days and 20/20.

    Dawar LA USA

  • Kamran on September 28, 2007, 23:08 GMT

    Well afridi can bat in tests.......... a talent is always a talent........

    he has a good average in tests..... he had thrashed england when england recently won the ashes and was on a high.... but I also respect his decision of not playing in ramadan... possibly he may not be able to cope up with his health. may be he would have had a lot of dehydration...which would affect his fasting, and in which quran it is said that playing cricket and serving the country is far more superior that the obligatory fasting. Please do not try to degrade the religion in a bloody game, treat it as a game, and if som moron thinks over here that anyne can score a 40 or 50 in ten matches, let him be a good club cricketer, why dont you then go and take the change u piece of shit, its very easy to comment by sitting in front of the TV and standing on the pitch in front of milliosn of people and performing, which I believ none of you have, and half of he talented cricketers lose upon this as they cannot handle that pressure ( which includes me

  • Yazi on September 28, 2007, 22:59 GMT

    One of the most senior member of current Pakistan team. I expect more maturity from him. He should learn to adapt is batting to the ask of situation. Boom Boom Boom might work once in a while but tha t apporach rarely works against top teams in big clutch matches. situations Yes bowling has improved and at a good cost of his batting. I think with Pak facing on going problem at the top order he should consider playing at top and should refocus on scoring runs consistently.

  • Mudassar Rana on September 28, 2007, 22:50 GMT

    I agree that Afridi is one of Pak's greater cricketers i think his talent to be fully utilised needs to be burdened with the extra responsibility of captaincy. i think it would allow him to focus more. We dont need a spinner we have kaneria we need the explosive batsmen.

  • Chand Pasha on September 28, 2007, 22:17 GMT

    I am shocked to know people's view on this board that Afridi is not suitable for test.

    Here is the hard data I grabbed from Cricinfo:

    Player Average Shahid Afridi 37.40 Mohsin Khan 37.10 Qasim Umer 36.63 Waseem Raja 36.16 Amer Sohail 35.28 Rameez Raja 31.83

    And he is pretty close to Asif Iqbal 38.85, Mudasar 38.09, Eijaz Ahmed 37.67.

    What else do you want, AFRIDI's average is BETTER than famous batsmen like, MOHSIN KHAN, WASEEM AND RAMEEZ RAJA, AAMER SOHAIL, QASIM UMER

    AND, he is pretty close to great batsmen like Asif Iqbal.

  • shoaib on September 28, 2007, 21:42 GMT

    y every one talk about afridi y dont we talk abput more players.i think afridiw hould play limited over games coz sometimes when u saw him playing it look likes that he plays for him self,some time look like a madari who obeys his masters orders and crowd is his master,he play for the crowd but afridi play with the situation plz know u r the senior player how can u be a captain or vice-captain how can u tell a player to settle on pitch take ur time on pitch captain have to be an example,plz play with the situation not with the crowd wanted,after ur mistake crowd go to their home but ur country lose,so plz dont m ind and do consider it,thanks

  • Owais on September 28, 2007, 21:41 GMT

    All Danish Kaneria criticts - get your facts right !!! He is a world class spinner, the only problem is our untouchable wicketkeeper who spilled at least 10 chances in England series and at least 5 chances in all the other series while keeping for Danish. So when the problem is in spark plug, dont blame your battery for repeated break downs !!! By the way good post Theosa !

  • Omer Admani on September 28, 2007, 21:23 GMT

    Well, interestingly, you have written a blog on a person who should be in the team (barring the test team because Kaneria is a very good legspinner), while you haven't written a blog on the person who shouldn't be in the team (Akmal).

  • Afridi on September 28, 2007, 20:40 GMT

    I feel Afridi is well past his peak. I agree that he has won some test matches for pakistan, but the chances of that are like what, 1 out of 20.. Comeon we need some consistency at international level. He is more suited for ODI or 20/20.

  • WASIM SAQIB on September 28, 2007, 20:39 GMT

    Kamran: I am deeply disappointed the way you edited and deleted my posts in the last thread especially when there was nothing offensive in my posts as compared to some of the posts which you allowed. I hope you will afford an equal opportunity for every one to respond in future especially to those who are regular contributors to this Blog.

    Ramadan is just an excuse the truth is that AFRAIDI is afraid of SA, it’s a tactical decision on his part just to give a longevity to his career, the ploy to opt out against a major team especially in the test matches has been used by Abdul Razzak in the past remember his knee used to give up before every major series, in Test matches you have to bowl and bat for two innings and there are no field restrictions and all the weaknesses in a player can easily be exploited, Afridi has been vulnerable against genuine fast bowlers especially on the short pitch deliveries and his bowling is ideal for ODI cricket as he mostly rely on change of pace, he is not a big turner of the ball so in test matches he will not be as consistent and successful as he is in ODI's.

    If we look back on his career, it’s true that most of his better performances with the bat were as an opener but each time he was dropped from the team it was mainly due to the fact that he failed consistently as an opener one good performance followed by a lot of his trade mark innings completely brainlessly and without any remorse for which he had to face a lot of criticism and on many occasions he was altogether dropped from the team. So finally he decided to pick and choose the Test series and in ODI’s he dropped down to number 6 as at this number when he comes to bat not many overs are left and the consequences and burden of failure at that number as compared to the opening position are minimal.

    If we look at the 20/20 tournament he showed a lot of Nakhrey Baazi that he is not being given opportunity to bat higher his fans raised a lot of hue & cries over this but finally Malik handled him smartly he started to acknowledge in public that its up to Afraidi that what number he wants to bat at, and we all saw that other than Bangladesh he never came to open.

    I can't understand why we are still hoping for him to mature, I think all of his supporters who want him to be more mature and be more intelligent about his shot selection are living in fools’ paradise. KUTEY KI DUM KABHI SEEDHI NAHIN HO SAKTI. The shot he played in the finals of 20/20 WC is a clear evidence of that. He is a good ODI/T20 player and we should let him play the way he feels comfortable but in my opinion there is no room for Afraidi in the Test team as the players of his breed are only suitable for limited overs’ cricket. I know his advocates will quote a lot of statistics in his favor but a few good innings in a long career have no meaning.

  • Mujeeb Khan on September 28, 2007, 20:31 GMT

    Afridi huh.....is should be out of the ODI....He never had the talent and will never gain the talent. He is the biggest "LOOSER"......gud luck looser!

  • Syed A Hasan on September 28, 2007, 19:53 GMT

    Reading everybody's post here just shows how easily a bad series can overwrite all the phenomenol cricket that Afridi has played for us. His batting might have failed during the T20, but if it weren't for his bowling we would not made half as far as we did in this WC. Its a shame, that a player contributes, and yet still he gets buried under criticism. We can freely sit here and criticize but does anybody here has any idea how much hard work it takes to be Shahid Khan Afridi. Cricket hasnt seen a hitter like him in years. Noone here can even come close to imagining the pressure that Afridi has to endure when he steps on that ground. All of us criticize, but its all of us that push him to show fireworks too. We are equally to be blame for giving the Pathan the image he has today. Public perception does alot and the reason Afridi continues to be the kind of player he is today is, believe it or not, because of us. I salute Shahid Khan Afridi for his service to national cricket and I apologise to Afridi, for all the criticism, even after your extraordinary performance at the WC.

  • Salim on September 28, 2007, 19:25 GMT

    Take it easy folks! Since there is no compulsion in the religion Islam there should be no compulsion in palying cricket and that too a 5-day long test match without any breaks!!

    Try fasting non-stop for the whole month and play a "Test series" and then come and discuss on this forum -- to whether it is feasible for a player to give his 100%.

    Besides the point, playing test cricket is not fard (obligatory) upon a Muslim cricket player in Ramadan, but fasting is! Playing while fasting and not giving your 100% effort is worse than opting out of it altogether -- as Afridi did.

    Don't forget the fact that it's not just Afridi who has opted out of the 2 tests, rather Inzimam as well as Mohammad Yusuf has also requested the PCB NOT to consider them for the tests.

    You can discuss as much as you want as to how come other players (in Pakistan) are able play various tournaments during "Ramadan nights" and these professional & national payers can't!!

    Well the answer is right there in the question, i.e, 1. They play night matches not during the day 2. They play limited over matches like T20 3. They might not be fasting at all during the day (only Allah knows).

    The sad thing is, during Ramadan nights Allah expects us Muslims to stand before him in prayers and perform dhikr and do good deeds, our people (cricketsrs) are playing cricket the whole night and then sleep most of the day for pretty much the entire Ramadan month!!!!! What a waste of holy month in Pakistan!!

    Ask yourself a question: Are you going to be rewarded by Allah for playing cricket during Ramadan without fasts or for the good deedsm charity and Ibadah you performed during the Ramadan??

    You control your own destiny -- so go figure your priorities.

  • Wajeeha Zaidi - Saudi Arabia on September 28, 2007, 19:14 GMT

    This is with reference to a comment made by JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA.

    Javed made a stupid comment on a post from Rumesh. This shows lack of knowledge of Javed on general issues other than Cricket....well I have serious doubts even about his cricketing knowledge as well.

    Rumesh said when so called boom boom afridi made his debut, he said he was 16, but test on his wrist said he was 22. For the kind information of Javed, there is a medical test called wrist test which is used to determine age of any person....Rumesh is referring to that wrist test..... you understand ?????????????

  • Gharib Hanif on September 28, 2007, 19:10 GMT

    Afridi need just ine thing - a good batting coach. A coach who can get to his ego-filled brain that you have to respect the bowler. You wait on the good balls and hit the bad ones. Thats all Afridi needs to learn. Trying to hit Irfan Pathan out of the ground first ball was not a good idea after all.

  • Haroon on September 28, 2007, 19:02 GMT

    Afridi has to deal with demons of throwing away his wicket in the T20 final. His body language and attitude showed he wanted to win badly. Losing his wicket against in a manner he did really hurt him. Taking time off will do him good.

  • sabbir mahmood on September 28, 2007, 18:55 GMT

    Afridi who is a bowling allrounder have been playing for 11 years mainly ODIs.He is a very good fielder also. But the main thing is that he has never showed that he has bated steadily or gone through consistency as long as batting concerns.It's a very important thing.u must play well continuously otherwise lave the place for younger guys.?He has never shown calm which a batsman has to have to succeed for longer periods.If you go through his batting averages in ODI cricket u will shock that how badly he has performed and does not deserve a place in ODI even.So there should be no argument that he can play in test cricket.

  • Raj on September 28, 2007, 18:33 GMT

    The way this big brother 'Javed Arrogant Khan' bashes anybody who has a alternative opinion, makes me think whether he is from Canada or a crazy mullah from Lal Masjid!

    Cut your crap buddy. Writing long meaningless posts doesn't make you the second author of this blog after KA.

  • theosa, Pittsburgh, U.S.A. on September 28, 2007, 18:33 GMT

    This is amazing! This is some relentless Afridi bashing from fans. First of all Mr. Abbasi wouldn’t need to write this article if Afridi had scored some 20 runs in the 20/20 WC final or even if Pak had won with Afridi scoring a duck. No matter how articulate fans try to be this seems like they can still taste the bitterness after their WC defeat by India and they found an escape goat in Afridi. Afridi was always in and out of the team for an average quality bowling and inconsistent batting and if he wants to concentrate on his bowling to concrete his place in the team he has every right to, and to me that’s maturity and he finally has realized that his strength in his bowling. Mind you he started as a bowling allrounder. Here is what fans should realize, no matter how you twist it, how you slice, or how you dice it, you are what your cricket record shows and in Afridi’s case it’s not spectacular so why all those expectations? I think Afridi saved a nervous Pak team in their first match against Scotland and performed exceptionally well throughout the tournament. Take Afridi out of the 20/20 WC campaign equation and you do the math how far Pak team would have gone. Reaching the Finals is a great achievement itself and in my opinion winning the toss was crucial in that match and if Pak had won the toss and batted first I’m sure India would have tasted the same crunch as Pak did. I think there is one player who after all those disastrous performances is immune to be axed and is welded strong to the Pak team and that’s Kamran Akmal. Bench him, he needs some serious work to do on his wicket keeping and ever declining batting. Isn’t there any good wicket keeper in Pak? Abbasi should try writing a blog on him too and for the fans I’ll say GET OVER IT, you win sometime and you lose some time. Good luck to Pak against South Africa for some REAL cricket and go Pittsburgh Steelers all the way to the Super Bowl.

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on September 28, 2007, 18:25 GMT

    Javed Bhai,

    I am not biased against Afridi or anyone. Afridi has a problem with mental application and his other problem is that he is too inconsistent. That is why, even when you mention other players’ averages that may be lesser than Afridi’s, the truth is that they have maintained some sort of consistency whereas Afridi has been totally haphazard. Afridi is easy to get out because, to illustrate with an example, you can set two fielders around the deep mid-wicket region and bowl around Afridi’s pads and there will be a 50% chance he will get caught out. The other “lesser” batsmen (by your standards) do not bring that sort of predictability with them. Afridi started out with a Test average of around the mid-forties in his first few Tests. But, just like ODI’s, his laid back mentality got in the way and he failed in many innings which resulted in his average dropping to 37. Plus I think you should look at Afridi’s Test performance when he has not played against India. The “India” factor is crucial when you analyse the real talent of players like Butt, Afridi, Asif and Younis. Apart from Asif they are all inconsistent players. I am aware Afridi started his domestic career as a leg spinner but be realistic Javed Bhai- his leg spin was pretty ordinary until about three or four years ago. When he debuted hardly anyone knew he could bowl leg spin. His only effective device was his quicker one. Apart from that his bowling was very ordinary, so whether you like it or not everyone saw him as a batsman who could bowl some leg spin. I am guaranteeing you that he is only in the team now because his bowling has improved of late. I will not accept I am either misinformed or biased because Afridi is an inconsistent player and three years ago if he was playing in Australia or England he would have found it hard to even secure a place at county/regional level. I think I am the only unbiased individual amongst the regular posters on this blog. I used to think you are unbiased too but I think Wasim Saqab and Eamiran were right in stating that you have a soft corner for Afridi in your heart. If anything I should feel more attached to Afridi because he was our neighbour in Karachi and I have met his younger brother. Also Javed Bhai, you like producing lots of statistics to back up your statements. I have said earlier on this blog that statistics are only useful in certain contexts. You said Malik and Asim Kamal only average 37 but I can tell you their value to the team is more than what that figure suggests, whereas with Afridi the matter is opposite. If you really like statistics so much then how is this for you- KP Pieterson averages 52 in ODI’s and Dhoni averages 44. Surely that means they are better batsmen than Miandad (averaging 42) and Inzamam (averaging 40)?

  • Prakash on September 28, 2007, 18:09 GMT

    Regarding Afridi issue I have just one thing to ask of Pakistanis. Since Pakistan is 99.99% Muslim, and since all Muslims pray for the success of Pakistan (according to Mr. Shoaib Malik anyway), why doesn't PCB follow traditions which are Muslim friendly??!! For example, why does it organize cricket matches during the Ramadan/Ramazan seaons? Don't you think that a much simpler solution is not to have cricket at all during that season so that someone like Afridi doesn't have to drop out. I find it so hilarious that all of you are jumping on Mukul because of the offence he took to Mr. Malik's remarks (and I note that some of you have made it a Hindu vs. Muslim, India vs. Pak issue), but have absolutely nothing to say about the PCB's own policies. What is the point in having Muslims of all over the world praying for Pakistan's success when it's own cricket board is so insensitive to its Muslim players that it is forcing them to play during Ramadan/Ramazan. As Gabbar Singh would have said --- Bahut Na-Insafi hai.

  • Faisal -New york on September 28, 2007, 18:05 GMT

    I respect Afridi's decision; Afridi has evolved to be a better Muslim over the past few years. He has kept a his beard despite the cute boy looks that he had in clean shave and girls drooling on him over his looks. Just looking at his body language you would see that he has matured. I think making a decision of not playing while he is fasting is right. I agree that in Islam fasting is not implied upon us as a hardship, and its not recommended to just sit home and not do there normal duties’ have been fasting and coming to my job, but my job is to sit in front of the computer and bourse cricinfo, JK. But seriously, I was recently in Karachi and I have experienced the weather over there. It’s HOT and HUMID. One can play cricket if he did not eat, but NO WATER!!! Impossible. I would really like to find out how many of them players will be fasting during there game. One thing that I agree though, Afridi could have worked on his batting and matured in that field as well. He has a good batting average in test but we have to consider that in test there is not a lot of pressure on the batsmen as in 50 over matches especially when he is being put on a spot. Afridi lacks temperament, it’s not his batting that need improvement, its his mind. He has born with an "Akhroot" mind and that is in his nature. The nature never changes it can only be modified and controlled. Afridi must have been trying hard as well to control his temperament (which is not in his nature!!) but in situations like the 20/20 finals, it becomes impossible for a person to control it. Its like Shoaib Akhter has a Violent nature and he cant stop himself from hitting his college, afridi cant stop himself at times from foolishly hitting a ball right above his HEAD. I wish one day the ball comes right down and drops over his head. Maybe then a brink of light change him once and for all.

  • Chand Pasha on September 28, 2007, 18:03 GMT

    I enjoy watching his batting...he is amazing. No one can match him..look at the records, how many number of fast fifties, strike rate which never came below 100, highest number of sixes...list goes on

  • Shamraiz Khan on September 28, 2007, 17:58 GMT

    aww When i think about Afridi there are alwez two thoughts side by side; one of my heart and one of my mind... heart is always with Afridi but my mind alters in between. I agree with you in all respects. i feel this thing has started from the Captaincy Saga.I personally thought he had great chance of leading the side as he was in good shape in better form.Talk about his test records of late he scored a test hundred in West indies and in India he demolished the indian attack to all parts of ground.Its just the mental side of his that has refrained him from expressing himself the way he used on the pitch.He has to sit down and rethnk a bit.Emphasize on positive My Dear Boom boom!

  • Mosin on September 28, 2007, 17:48 GMT

    PAKISTAN's BIG MISTAKE - not to get that 1 run in the group game and eliminate the eventual winners India.

    A BIG BIG BIG MISTAKE

  • FP on September 28, 2007, 17:41 GMT

    Afridi is the greatest entertainer the game will ever have. His bowling alone merits a place in both the one day and test side. Soon he will take over from Shoaib Akhtar as the leading one day wicket taker currently on the Pakistani side. If Shoaib's bowling warrants him a place then so does Afridi's. I would prefer Afridi over Danish Kaneria on the test side, Kaneria is over rated. Test cricket is about taking wickets and aggression which to Afridi is second nature.

    As far as I can see if Shahid's not winning matches with the bat then he's doing it with the ball. You can't expect someone to go out and make a 50 every innings at a strike rate of over 100.

    Deep down in their hearts every Pakistani eagerly waits for the, 'sun, moon and the earth to line up' because when they do, world records are broken. For me the wait is worth it.

  • EHU on September 28, 2007, 17:41 GMT

    To Javed A Khan, My dear friend, its good to have a positive debate on any topic & constructive criticism on the selection of any player, you have given some good aurguements & stats in favour of Afridi thats his average is better than others, but that doesn't mean that other players need to be called as nazeroo aur akmulloo. I feel thats not ethical. Moreover my friend, if u can filter afridi's record against strong bowling attacks from cricinfo, you might see "some" diffrence.

    & SA have a good bowling attack, batting pitches or not...

  • Faisal on September 28, 2007, 17:08 GMT

    Players like Afridi, works like this "When you need them the most in a match they do not perform & when you don't need them they score like the Abu-Dabi series against a week bowling side without Murli & Vass".So the bottom line is that if a person cannot learn the technicalities of batting or bowling in 11 years then do you guys honestly think that he learn it in next 6 years?????Huh a big ??????? I think that the Man of 20/20 worldcup was Umar Gul not Afridi.

  • Majid on September 28, 2007, 16:29 GMT

    I fully respect Mr. Afridi's decision not to play test cricket during Ramadan. Besides he is much better in the shorter version of the game and there is no shortage of talent. As for being cowardly, it is him who had the guts to stand up to Mr. Shoaib Akhtar and refer him for disciplinary reasons. We respect you Mr. Afridi. Keep up the good work.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on September 28, 2007, 16:14 GMT

    It is interesting to see how we all try to make a valid point using our biases, prejudice, assumptions combined with stats created on the spot to suit, support and strengthen our point of view - I am not excluding myself from it. But, my stats are genuine from cricinfo.

    khansahab - tell me who doesn't have an ego? If you don't have an ego then you are a football, everyone would be kicking you so its better to have some ego rather than no ego. You made it up or picked up the lines created by the media that Shahid Afridi started his career as a batting all-rounder. No sir, he didn't. He started off his cricket career as a leg spin bowler. When the leggy Moulvi Mushtaq was injured, Pakistan team called his replacement leg spin bowler Shahid Afridi, who was playing for Pakistan under-19 in the Caribbean. For some reason he was sent in to bat at number 3 and hit out the Lankans in that match in Nairobi. And then he smashed the world champions with his 37 balls hundred. He came down upon them like lightening and thunder.

    He became an instant success and a hero in Pakistan, not simply because of that record. But, because he improved Jayasuriya's record of 48 balls hundred which was against Pakistan, made in Singapore - only 6 months ago. So, for Pakistanis it was kinda revenge and that too a very sweet one. Since then, they threw him in the deep end, started making him play as an accomplished batsman without realizing that he started off his career as a bowler and his batting was a bonus. Since then the team, fans, nation, selectors, media in short everyone's expectations were very, very high that he must perform a boom boom innings each time he plays for Pakistan!

    Obviously yae tou hona hee thaa that, one day he won't perform consistently as a batsman. But, who is consistent? Butt, Malak, Nazeeroo, Akmulloo, Younas, who is consistent? Even the greatest of the greats have their ups and downs. You mentioned two names, Kallis et Tabarnak Flintoff. Haven't you seen that Freddie is totally out of form and inconsistent since the last ashes series? They still want him to play because he is an icon over there, despite the fact that he was drunk, skunk and sunk in the Caribbean sea, he is still an icon and loved by the British media and the general public for his goody goody looks.

    Afridi didn't loose his focus on his own or started under-performing just like that, the selectors misused him, dropped him, the media accused him for not scoring a boom boom innings in every match he played. It is not humanly possible for anyone to score consistently with the bat or to take wickets. He is not Imran Khan's blue eyed Mansoor-e-Akhtar to stay in the team despite a dozen continuous failures. Afridi, is blunt, straight forward, call him arrogant or an akhroat but he is not a yes man. So, he wasn't liked by his skippers, coach or the selectors because of his bluntness and he paid a price for that.

    And based on your own evaluation and judgment khansahab, you have passed a verdict that "Afridi is not a test player!" Au contraire, his test average (37.40) is better than his own ODI and twenty20 average, where everyone wants him to play and say he is born to be a twenty20 player! Test average of other players is as follows: Malik 37.64, Salman Butt 29.88, Akmal 29.82. Abdul Razzaq 28.61, Hafeez 35.66, Asim Kamal 37.73 barring YK, Moyo and Inzi, Afridi's average in test is better than most of the current players. So it is very obvious khansahab that you are either misinformed or biased against Afridi. Accept it please!

    With due respect to Asim Kamal whose supporters keep on claiming him to be a very good test player does not have a century to his name in test cricket. Afridi has five centuries in the 26 test matches that he has played and he has also taken 47 wickets at an economy rate of 3.18 which is very good by any standards in test cricket. You call it a gamble and Pakistan cannot afford to gamble him for test matches? And you also say: "I fear Afridi's batting years are behind him." Do I need to repeat that in February 2006 home series against India, he scored two back to back centuries and a sixty in a three test series? And you think he is not a test player? And how long ago is that? It is 2006 and not 1996, so in your opinion his batting is behind him now? Have you had your coffee before writing that? OK, chai, if you are not a coffee addict. But, it is so obvious that you are not fair in evaluating him or his performance and passing judgments based on whims and wishes, likes and dislikes.

    Someone wrote here that Afridi is a fluke player and he may have won 10 matches for Pakistan, that is not correct. When he scored 37/100 they said it was a fluke he will never be able to score that fast again. Eight years later, he scored 45/100 in Kanpur, I guess thats a fluke too! Assuming Pakistan has won 10 matches mainly because of Afridi's solo performance then, how many players have represented Pakistan team since 1996 ? That list would include, all those players who have retired since then and those who are currently not in the playing XI. If you count them all, there must be at least 30 plus players, right? If every player plays like Afridi and win 10 matches for Pakistan that would be 300 plus wins! A staggering performance right? But, how many matches Pakistan has won since 1996? And what is the contribution of those players in those wins? If you say its a team effort then add Afridi's team efforts too, then he has won more than 10 matches for Pakistan apart from his solo match winning innings! So, think before you say, like Ramesh said something very brilliant.

    ramesh at September 28, 2007 7:01 AM

    ramesh, are you sure you are talking about his wrist? Did you shake hands with him? Better dare not do that, because your nazuk wrist will twist and break if you do that. Perhaps you don't know anything about his native land i.e., where he hails from and how robust the Pathans are? For your information, Pathan's do not have a tiny built like the South Indians or the Maharashtrans, they are very strong, tall and big. Tendulkar is 34 and still looks like he is 24, ask a Pathan and see how he would comment on those looks and that of Piyush Chawla.

    Subodh B at September 28, 2007 4:55 AM

    You have posed a couple of questions: "Has Shahid never played cricket be it Test or ODIs in the month of Ramadan before? Or has he suddenly discovered the spiritual streak in himself ?"

    aNO, I don't think it is the spiritual streak or any such thing. You better read my post in the previous thread starting with "Ramadan & Cricket" in Pakistan. In Pakistan, during the month of Ramadan, no one plays during the day, it is always night cricket. So find out the facts first before you utter.

    Secondly, fasting in Hindu religion means, you can eat un-cooked food which includes fruits and you can drink juice or water as much as you like. But, fasting among the Muslims is different, you cannot eat or drink anything from sunrise to sunset, more so from 5:00 a.m. up to 7:00 p.m. during this time of the year. And it is for one whole month everyday, everyday and its not like once in blue moon i.e., on first Saturday of the month or it is like your "Purnima" or 'karva chauth ka burrat.' Its not easy fasting for 14 long hours especially when you have to play in the hot and humid conditions. Try fasting once like us and see how it feels and don't forget to play as well.

    So, once again the point is before you open your mouth you should watch out and see what is coming out of it and if you don't, then something else would get in it, more likely your own foot in your mouth - unless you prefer something else, the choice is yours!

  • kash on September 28, 2007, 15:45 GMT

    How come Afridi opts out when Yousuf who is the most islamic member of the team has come back and decided to play during Ramadhan. I beleive Afridi is not really interested in test cricket anymore. Perhaps looking to Bollywood. Maybe he expects low crowds in test matches do not do justice for his batting. I disagree as he has made better scores when there is a low crowd in stadium rather than a large crowd (when he usually fails). I believe Afridi should only play odi's as he is money spinner for pcb. Pakistan should bring back Inzi for the India and Austrailia series and give him a good send off.

  • Moon on September 28, 2007, 15:41 GMT

    I might be wrong but i think Afridi's best chance of survival is test matches because the field never goes outside the inner circle in test matches, and taking the field back is simply a sign of resignation by the captain. He got Man of The Series award in 20/20 because i think in all the major tournaments Player of the Series is decided before the knockout stages start and afridi was most successful with bat&ball before semi final and final(although he bowled well in semi final and final) Afridi's decision to opt out of South Africa tests is a bit hard to digest. Why these super stars dont understand that playing for Pakistan should be an honor for them instead of liability. I have a slight doubt over the team management and captain as far as treating Afridi is concerned, he was never used properly (as a batsman) in the 20/20 and he opted out of tests in disappointment. Javed Khan, cut the crap buddy! stop bashing indians while writing on pakspin instead go to their Men in White [ala: crow wearing white ;)] and bash them all you want. we want out sweet & sour pakspin clean of those nuts & bolts.

  • Mike Rosario on September 28, 2007, 15:30 GMT

    It is time for Afridi to say bye bye to Test Cricket.In a 20/20 or one day you can take a chance with his binary existence ( 0 or 1 ). The same applies to the likes of Salman Butt , Yasir Hameed and Kamran Akmal. Been tried and tested and failed again and again..how come they still in the squad? These guys don't have the guts , the head or the technique to be any where in the first class arena. So long to them.

    Prediction for SA tour : Pakistan will lose 2-0.

    Regards

    Mike

  • desi tewari on September 28, 2007, 15:16 GMT

    Is fasting during Ramdan that important? Cant a person serve God with his belly full. I have some friends who are Muslims and they do not fast and they are very good people and Allah loves them as much as it does fasting Muslims. It is more important to do your duty than to pray. What would happen if everyone prayed.

    And as a player Afridi has has always been a dangerous player. But he does not deserve a place in Test team but neither does Shoid Malik. I wonder how Shoid Malik plays Flintoff and Anderson in England. Afridi is a great player and a magnet. I hate him because he has caused so many upsets for India and that shows he should be valuable for Pakistan. I would be more than happy not to see him in any Paki team playing against India. And for Shoibs comment about Muslims, I live in a Muslim area in India and everyone was cheering for India. I hope Pathan brothers will do great for India. Wasim Jaffer and Zaheer and Munaf are already better players. Kaif, if he comes back might captain India some day. What do you say in Urdu..Insha Allah....

  • Amin M - Toronto, Canada on September 28, 2007, 15:12 GMT

    I think Afridi save the headache of selectors in my opinion he does not deserve a place in a Test team, although he can bat, but he is always unpredictable. As far as his bowling is concern, his bowling is most suited for One day or Twenty20 game but not for Test cricket, and with the presence of Kaneria, I dont think any other spinner can take his place for now. I also agree on your comments that "something popped in his mind 18 months ago..." This is somethin very regular with Pakistani cricketers at any given time they can take a weird decision, there must be a driving force behind these kind of decisions. I wish my Team the best against SA.

  • harpreet singh bhinder ladi bulanda on September 28, 2007, 15:00 GMT

    Bahut be-insafi hai rai Sahid make dis. not really pak to learn afridi shouls open in20/20 in reality he want to open but malik in final first send haffez and them akmal what a great dissapointment So don't put on afridi what make diff Akmal 0 Afridi 0

  • Amin Aijaz on September 28, 2007, 14:45 GMT

    Shahid Afridi has become the Pakistani Ajit Agarkar. Playing for Pakistan over the years should have made him a much better player than what he is right now. I'm a big fan of Afridi but of late very disappointed to see the way he's carrying his batting. Maybe as a bowler he's improving. But the lack of control with the bat according to the situations is disappointing. Afridi needs to play the role of a senior member in the team and not that of a cricketer still trying for a place.

    However despite all the criticism, I still feel we're yet to see the peak of Afridi's career. God bless you Afridi.

  • sami on September 28, 2007, 14:39 GMT

    i think kamran Abbasi is rite..afridi needs to come as an opener in all forms of cricket.he can play better cricket as compare to any other pakistani opener as he already perform well as an opener in both test and ODI.he needs to concentrate on his batting as his bowling is getting better and better...

  • Sufyan on September 28, 2007, 14:28 GMT

    agreed with JAved A khan MOntreal Canada 100 % very good post

  • Imran Shafi Khan - London on September 28, 2007, 14:18 GMT

    Salaam E Lekum to all brothers and sisters. I think that Shahid Bhai faces big expectations from all the Pakistanis around the world and this I think becomes a very big burden on him, in the final all he needed to do was just stay there until the end and pakistan would have made it and would have won the match, I thought the way he has played in recent matches has not been the way he usually plays. If he stuck to his usual style of bowl a few overs of mixed up legbreaks and offcutters then opened the batting in ODi's as he did in India a few years ago when he crashed 100 of 45 balls, this is what all Pakistan fans were hoping for. Instead we got Afridi not coming in until the last 5 overs batting down at 6 this is not how Pakistan should have used him, they should have opened with him in every game rather than sending Kamran who was abismal with the bat and sent in Afridi. His batting has declined and bowling gained more skill and accuracy, you are right in what you Kamran Bhai we want old school Afridi back, our class allrounder who bats with no fear of getting out. I think sometimes he lacks in self confidence in his own ability, the only this can be restored is if he bats at the top with Imran Nazir, who was terrfic with the bat in most of the games he played. Whatever the weather, good luck Shahid Bhai. Allah Hafiz Imran

  • CyberNut on September 28, 2007, 14:13 GMT

    Forget the case for Afridi. We all know it. Too much hype makes one a superstar in our country which doesn't go away like that. Instad I thought of coming up with my ideal team for Pakistan (I wish someday in our lifetime we will see changes coming through). Please note I see 4 OPEN slots in my team

    1- Opener (Please no circling around Taufeeq, Hafeez, Imran Nazir and Yasir. We have tried enough) 2- Wicket Keeper who can really bat(Sarfaraz Ahmed looks like a good talent) 3- Genuine Allrounder (Yasir Arafat could be groomed to take that spot) 4- Specialist Spinner (Sorry Danish Kaneria. Need someone who can perform outside subcontinent pitches)

  • Zeeshan on September 28, 2007, 14:11 GMT

    I agree Kamran - afridi's batting form is a cause for concern. The shot he played in the final was unforgivable. Considering about a year ago he was one of the most consistent performers for Pakistan with both bat and ball his demise is his own fault as much as that of the captain and coach. It seems he "thinks" when he bowls but when he bats he doesnt use his brain! I agree with the majority of the writers that he doesnt command a place in the test team but since the World Cup is in Asia a destructive Afridi at the top of the order would be ideal for Pakistan - the question is who will convince afridi that he is more talented than he actually thinks!

  • senior player on September 28, 2007, 14:04 GMT

    Afridi and Younus are over-rated players.

  • Hasan on September 28, 2007, 13:59 GMT

    Why doesn't anyone seem to mention the exclusion of yasir hameed. Once again the PCB in its infinite wisdom has dropped him.

  • Rauf on September 28, 2007, 13:54 GMT

    Kamran... get a clue.

    He doesn't want to play Test cricket. Maybe he finds the long format too boring or maybe he knows that he does not perform well in Test cricket. I will respect his decision to sit out rather then be included in the team (because pinheads like you want him included) and not perform well.

  • Zeeshan Ahmad on September 28, 2007, 13:51 GMT

    Afridi is an asset for Pakistan team ONLY for T20 games. If PCB hasn't realized this in over 10 years, I dont think they ever will so why should we even bother. Here is my ideal Test team for Pakistan:

  • Hammad Siddiqi on September 28, 2007, 13:36 GMT

    THis whole "I can't fast and play cricket" is a load of crack! I have'nt heard such a crock since the whole Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq deal. If Hakeem Olajuwan canp lay 4 quarters of Basketball in the NBA while fasting, Afridi can turn his arm over a blast a few cricket balls into orbit. I love Afridi, "Lala" has been a joy to watch since that memorable onslaught on the Lankans in 1996, however I feel he is wilting under the weight of expectations. I can't pretend to know the pressure an international cricketer has to undergo, but come on! youre getting paid a lot of money for this game, it's time you came to the head of the class!

  • fuad on September 28, 2007, 13:25 GMT

    I think Afridi should not be included in the test team as he does not posses the quality to be a test player. His bowling could be very effective in limited versions of game but in longer version, he is no threat to any batsman. Moreover, as a batsman he has never been reliable. I don't think we should consider him as an allrounder in test cricket. I also believe that Danish has always been overrated. He has been playing test cricket for a while and I don't remember him playing a role of a strike bowler against any opposition except Bangladesh. Even in subcontinent pitches he has been very ordinary. Pakistan should rethink their spin option, as spinners could play a big role in test cricket and it also gives the captain to keep the pressure and rotate his other fast bowlers around him. Danish's bowling is teethless and even though it was told that he has a lot of varietes, i don't see batsmen being deceived by his bowling too often. The openning pair and the spin department are two important options where Pakistan can develop further and can become more formidable in test arena.

  • Awas on September 28, 2007, 13:21 GMT

    In this auspicious month everyone should have a choice whether to play or fast. So, I have no problem with Afridi’s decision. Javed A Khan what he said in his previous thread, about all this was, very sensible and covered it very comprehensively indeed? I can only add, players often get cramps batting during an innings due to dehydration even whilst taking liquids. Imagine what can happen playing whilst fasting.

    I also mentioned in an earlier thread that exclusion of MoYo was a blessing in disguise in 20:20 as he would have definitely preferred to fast during a match than care about lethargy playing for Pakistan.

    The question is whether cricket comes first or performing your religious duties. The answer is most definitely it all depends on you. But there is a big difference when it comes to playing for the honour of your own country. You either fast or play in a test match. You cannot do both as you would be doing a disservice to your country by underperforming as a result of lethargy and that would be a bigger sin. When it comes to prioritising between Haqooq Ullah and Haqooq Illibbad, we know what comes first.

    I would like to say a little on comments made by some in the previous thread.

    Vjohnson

    My friend, no need to get so upset by the remark, monkey getting mauled by Imran Nazir, made by JAVED A. KHAN MONTREAL CANADA. It is obvious it was made in jest. It was nothing to do with his looks (as he sure is a pretty boy :-), it was more to do with his on-field antics mimicking the likes of Andre Nel.

    Elle in sunny South Africa

    Perhaps you have got many replies on Shahrukh. That “old, Leathery” guy (LOL) is an icon in Bollywood, the Indian movie industry. With women’s perspective of looking at things from a different angle it gets hilarious. First the unpleasant striptease and now this ;-)

    khansahab(A.A.Khan)

    I forgot to add in my previous response, it doesn’t matter whether you read Mukul’s garbage on his blog or not but it was not difficult to get the jist of what he said if you had been following our earlier thread. I agree with Javed A Khan that perhaps you find it difficult to retract from your earlier stance. You are surly entitled to your views but the fact remains that in the context of the match, Mukul’s comments on “loser’s medal” and on Islamophobia were no doubt despicable. It is only right to vent your anger on irresponsible journalism which is no different to what you have been saying in the past on Indian media’s often bias reporting (Woolmer case).

  • Fawad Khan on September 28, 2007, 13:20 GMT

    I donot think Afridi should NOT be considered a batsman to start out with. If you score one out of every 30 innings, I don't think that is worthy a place in test cricket. All and all I think it would be advisable if Afridi takes retirement from Test cricket with dignity and limits himself to the other forms of the game.

    Kamran (something off of Afridi) --------------------------------

    I am surprised to see how come there is no article on Pakistan's wicket keeper. I think Pakistan is long due for a solid Wicket keeper who can bat. Look around all the top teams and you can see the difference. We need someone similar to Gilchrist, Boucher, Sangakkara, Dhoni, Karthik... you name it.

    P.S I guess its hopeless to talk about pakistan openers. If pakistan can't find one for more than a decade, may be we are better off opening with Umar Gul and Mohammed Asif. I am sure they can also last 1-2 overs each game...

  • Ash Zed - Saudi Arabia on September 28, 2007, 13:05 GMT

    I believe we all have very short memories....this would be disgrace to cricket to drop Afridi....

    Yes, I understand he batting is not consistent but whenever he fails with his batting, his bowling always comes handy and his fielding has always been a big plus. In the just concluded T20 WC, he did not bat well but his bowling was crucial in almost every match. Regarding his batting failure, I believe with the passage of time, teams will understand the methodology and techniques of T20 cricket. Regardless of his batting position, he should go to bat around middle of the innings....say around 10th over so that he has reasonable time to adjust.

    T20 is not the type of cricket where you just decide a batting order for any particular batsman. Batting orders must depend upon the situation/target/opposition. This is the key to success in T20 cricket. In this form of cricket, planning and strategy will be vital for success and not just the team....

    Look at Australia, they are still the strongest team but lack of tactical planning was the reason of their downfall in three matches that they lost.

    In my opinion, if you really want to blame someone for the defeat against India; it is Younis Khan. Firstly he forced Imran for a sharp single despite knowing well that Imran had groin problems and was handicap for quick running....and secondly he himself played a stupid shot.

    Just by blaming Afridi is not healthy. This unwanted criticism on Afridi will result loss of confidence for him. We MUST boost our players rather than only criticizing them all the time after every defeat.

    With respect to his decision for opting out against South Africa....well this is his personal decision and I don’t think it is appropriate to make comments on his personal life.

    Well done Afridi..... we all love you and you must play the way you always play....We can never forget many explosive innings you have played and I am sure you will play many more in future.

  • Prosenjit Choudhuri _India on September 28, 2007, 12:45 GMT

    The disgraceful shot played by Afridi should not be forgotten or forgiven. In India we would have lynched a player like him if he played in that manner. Let's get one thing right guys, Afridi is like Beckham, basically a hot air balloon....no substance.

  • Saad Saleem Malik on September 28, 2007, 12:20 GMT

    MR Abbasi with due respect when has afridis batting been upto the mark he strikes once in a blue moon this year it was in the first ODI against Srilanka in Abu Dhabi and against an unofficial match against Uganda i totally agree with u on the point of him batting up the order anyways when has he or anyother of our openers been consistent since the great Saeed Anwar retired

  • Kashif on September 28, 2007, 11:55 GMT

    I think there is a lot of hostility against Afridi at the moment. And I am not surprised as most of the world was looking forward to his explosive "out of the ground" hitting. Although he gave the cheer leaders an easy time while he came out to bat, lets not forget he was a key element in Pakistan's progression to the final through his economical, wicket taking bowling and his on pitch presence for the rest of the team.

    Its fine to momentarily hate the players that we expect so much off and pin all out hopes of national glory on, when they fail to deliver. Lets not forget Afridi has given us plenty of fireworks, so lets not string him in his current out of form batting phase.It puts a smile on my face when I remember the time when Afridi pulverised the Indian pace attack to bits hitting a tonne off 45 balls. I think it was only fair that India had a chance to get even with Afridi.

  • jawzi on September 28, 2007, 11:46 GMT

    What happen to Fawad Alam?He should be given a chance to get international exposure since he received awards for both batting and bowling for Pakistan cricket. I also strongly believe that Kamran Akmal should be thrown out of the team since he is not contributing to the team for a long time now. Try someone else.

  • Rashid on September 28, 2007, 11:46 GMT

    Hypocrisy is in our blood.Why claim Pakistan was established as a muslim country and play test cricket in Ramadan.Top of that he asked for permission.Kamran Abbasi and others please change yours name to sharma/john... ,I will have respect for you at least as an honest good person.

  • Owais on September 28, 2007, 11:12 GMT

    I dont think this is that big an issue. Afridi has actually increased his value in the limited overs format by improving his bowling skill that can get him a place in the team purely on his bowling skills with batting coming as a bonus. His batting has always been like that, he will click once in what six outings ? i dont see this ratio getting deteriorated much. As for tests, I dont think Kaneria has any rival in terms of leg break bowling and we should not even think about pitting Afridi against Kaneria. Afridi can be played in tests on basis of condition of pitches, if its seeming, dont play him, if its flat with chances that it might break later, play him. As for Kaneria, we should again start giving him limited opportunities in one day as well. The problem is that at least a third of the stumping and catching opportunities he creates are wasted by one Mr. Exhaulted, untouchable Kamran Akmal. When will we find a decent wicket keeping batsman ???

  • Osman Ali Khairi on September 28, 2007, 11:09 GMT

    So thank you Kamran bhai, for giving us the forum and the opportunity to do what we did. Also, a big thanks to Faraz (the first faraz wala:P), Javed Bhai, Waseem and everyone else.

  • Zian on September 28, 2007, 11:07 GMT

    I am so bitterly disspointed that pakistan lost to India. Now we will have to wait till we meet in a World cup final to avenge this defeat. I alwasy advocated that Younis Khan is not a twenty 20 player (yes i know he was involved in a match winning patnership and got a 50 in one game) However i watched him play for you Yokshire and eventually he was not in there team for the twenty20 and now to may Afridi one man does not cost you a game however afridi perfomance with the bat have really dissapointed he should be omitted from the team.

  • Osman Ali Khairi on September 28, 2007, 11:03 GMT

    It’s good to see Mr. Euceph back on the thread. Looks like the defeat against India really hit him hard eh?:p (though as far as I can remember, he was of the opinion that T20 is insignificant, its test cricket that really matters?: p) Where were you? Last week was quite an action packed one for this blog. Heh. Anyhow, good to have you back! As for the rest of the bloggers, I just want to say something. I was once again, going over the previous thread and I was thrilled to see so many Pakistanis set aside their differences and defend Malik against Mukul. It just made me really proud :) I mean, in retrospect, there wasn’t much in it. But to see so many here, not sit back and take it, and in fact, go even one step further and provide a fitting response to everyone supporting Mukul’s proposition (albeit in an appropriate and civilized manner), it just made me feel great! We might have lost the cricket final, but I am proud of this blog and all its contributors. But more so, I am proud of the fact that we are all finally playing our part and doing our bit to defend our country from people that think they can say whatever they want to against Pakistan. In an unfathomable and philosophical way, this blog gives me hope. May Pakistan always prosper and may we, irrespective of our religious, social, regional and ethnic associations, always stand united. Pakistan zindabad! Now, coming back to the topic at hand, I was wondering what is happening on the disciplinary hearing front? Shouldn’t Afridi be summoned by the PCB disciplinary committee, in order to get to the crux of the matter? I think this issue should be resolved as soon as possible; so that the team doesn’t have to worry about any off the field distraction and can correspondingly, focus its efforts on beating a strong South African team. Also, I find it a little hypocritical that Afridi played through the T20 tournament which coincided with the first couple of weeks of Ramadan but is now using this holy month as a pretext to skip the test series altogether? Not very professional, I’m afraid. In addition, though a lot of the people may disagree with me on this one, I think we should bring Inzi back. If Afridi can be given a national contract and then given the luxury of choosing and picking series, Inzi should also be given an opportunity to play his last couple of series for Pakistan and retire on his own terms.

  • Mohammad Khalil on September 28, 2007, 10:46 GMT

    I fully agree with Mr. Abbassi about his comments on Shahid Afridi. It looks that, he is now burden over Pakistan team. Just look at his dissmissals in his career, one would feel that, he never realised the situation of the hour. One can easily call him "GHATKA PLAYER" or "Gullie Danda" which never shows skills but power. If the reader re-call General Tauqir Zia's period, he especially invited Geoff Boycott to train Afridi, but even Boycott was failed to re-dress him, which costed a lot of money to board. In the end, if a person to blame for Twenty/20 final debacle, it was Afridi, as it was not the last ball of the match.

  • Yassar on September 28, 2007, 10:30 GMT

    I sincerely hope Shahid Afridi the batsman is not in decline. His batting skills are very much needed and certainly an area that he should concentrate on just as much as he does with his bowling.

    Afridi’s recent decision of making himself unavailable for the South Africa test series should never had been allowed to happen. For a start it can set a bad precedent, and players should not be bale to choose where & when to play unless there are exceptional circumstances. To choose where and when to play is the job of the coaching and management staff.

    I agree Afridi’s batting in the recent 20-20 showpiece was not what most wanted or expected but I don’t feel it is because he is reluctant to bat. I don’t think he was utilised properly very much in keeping with how Afridi has been used in his career so far. Any sport and cricket is no exception is about confidence. Shahid Afridi is perhaps one of the most confident players around but even he needs a bit of consistency in regards to what type of role he is required to play. Afridi is viewed too much as a versatile player who can bowl at anytime in the innings and bat anywhere from1-11 depending on the situation. This may well have certain benefits but it also has its many downfalls, especially for Afridi himself.

    Afridi needs to be defined a role in cricket. If he is viewed as a general all-rounder and I happen to think he is, then he needs to be told so and given the responsibility to bat at 5/6. Half the problem is Afridi doesn’t really know what his role is. Does he come in and just go Boom Boom or does he open and be a bit more cautious or does he just yo yo up & down the order after every twist in the game. Look at all the best all-rounders in the game today and those in the past. Look at the great Imran Khan himself, he batted in a consistent position for Pakistan most of his career. Look at Flintoff, he bats in a consistent position of 5/6. Klusenar did the same for South Africa, Cairns for New Zealand and even Jacques Kallis who comes in at No3 (no lower, no higher).

    Afridi will not deliver every time and no one should expect him to, but he needs the opportunity to be consistent and that is only by being consistent with him.

    Shahid Afridi also needs to reconsider himself as a genuine all-rounder. He views himself nowadays as bowler who can bat. That is not the case, because as a bowler alone he does not warrant a place in the team. As Abbasi said his strength is his batting and bowling combined, something he needs and Pakistan need. I also think the responsibility of vice-captaincy will definitely help Afridi. It may also help Butt as I don’t think he is the right person for it and certainly he feels weighed down by it. Afridi needs a sense of responsibility and the vice-captaincy could certainly help fill that need. It may also help Pakistan fill the need of Afridi being more consistent especially with the bat as he may well thrive on extra responsibility.

    Would he have taken the decision of not to play tests against South Africa if he was vice-captain…somehow I very much doubt it.

    On a separate note, I think Afridi is still hurting and smarting about being overlooked when it first came to the captaincy issue and then the vice-captaincy issue. He has made it public that he feels one of the two needs to be a senior…i.e himself AND I would agree. He seems a natural leader who could thrive under responsibility.

  • Tariq Al-Maeena on September 28, 2007, 10:28 GMT

    Kamran, your failure to single out others than Afridi who have had successive busts in the past few series spells a superficial view on Pakistani cricket ills. Chief among the scoundrels are the likes of Younus Khan, an experienced veteran who likes to throw his wicket away at an inopportune moment or run out his partner. And the other maddening inclusion in the team, your namesake...kamran akmal. A wicket keeper of dubious techniques and an absolutely useless batsman unless playing on familiar batting tracks in Pakistan. Even then if one is to check his batting average of late it is appalling. Why the nabobs of Pakistani cricket continue to retain these two is beyond me. It is for this reason I was tempted to root for the Indians in the finals of the Twenty/20. And please...let's not deman our religion by bringing it into our arguments.

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on September 28, 2007, 10:08 GMT

    Javed Bhai,

    You know I wholeheartedly respect you and think of you as one of the more sensible individuals on this blog. As such I do not attempt to expound on any minor disagreements I may have with certain assertions of yours. However in the case of your elaborate comment in the previous thread mostly addressed to me, I fear you have been slightly unreasonable in your analysis. In your psycho analysis of my comments you have mentioned that I consciously decided to side with Mukul after having an opportunity for reasonable thought. As a matter of fact my comment was a very spur of the moment reaction and the first impression I got from Malik’s statement was that he is expressing bigotry in front of an Indian presenter (Shastri) and the Indian cricket team. The second impression for me was thinking about how the non Muslims would interpret his comment, regardless of the comment’s true meaning. Keeping these points in mind I believe your psycho analysis of my comments was somewhat harsh. As far as admitting I “may” have been hot-headed (I was not stating that I was DEFINITELY HOT HEADED), that comment was made when I had a reasonable opportunity to consider what Malik uttered and what possible meaning it could have. You seem dismissive when I informed you the racism and Islamophobia I have suffered, citing that it is what every Muslims has gone through. Without going in detail I want you to know that in the last three or four years what I have suffered is shocking and much worse than what your average Muslim has suffered, hence I feel my ultra sensitive attitude to religious bigotry and Tableeghism is justifiable. Here I would also like to say that you were too irascible in your post and seemed to jump to conclusions without reasonable thought, perhaps a bit like how I was in my initial comment regarding Malik’s controversial statement. I would also like to stress here that no one except Malik really knows what he meant by what he said. We can only provide our own views about what we thought his statement meant.

    The meagre support I gained from a few Indian supporters did not influence me to proceed with the matter further. As far as Malik’s person is concerned, I have noticed a change in him as he has aged. He has become less broad-minded and more egotistical. I recall you made certain negative comments about him when he spoke on Nadia Khan’s show. I have seen plenty of his interviews and he never spoke like that when he was a junior cricketer. I would blame Inzamam’s mentoring partly for the decline of Malik’s character. As a batsman though I think he is superb and my prediction is that he will be considered amongst the great Pakistani batsmen when he retires (voluntary or not). I place Ijaz Ahmed and Salim Malik above Inzamam and my prediction is that Malik will be the fourth best Pakistani batsmen, after Miandad, Zaheer Abbas and Saeed Anwar.

    Euceph Ahmed, I would advise you to watch what you say because your comment is a bit racist. Afridi is not city born by the way- he was born in the FATA, like our very own Javed Bhai.

  • N Hussain on September 28, 2007, 9:46 GMT

    Mr Abbasi, Afridi is a two dimensional player. I always suspected problem with Afridi is that he is not a good cricket player, he is always ready for 2 or 3 overs in T20 or ODI, but ask him to play a real game of cricket, a Test Match, Afridi does not have the strength or the stamina to last like world class players like Ponting, Ganguly, Hayden or Dravid. My message to Afridi is do more training, eat some meat to build up more strength and only then he can be compared with like of Dravid, Hayden, Ganguly, Ponting, etc.

    Naeem.

  • Elle on September 28, 2007, 9:45 GMT

    Posted by: Syed Naqvi - Bristol, UK at September 28, 2007 8:36 AM : "I sometimes feel that we are often too critical of Pakistan cricket and Abbasi's blogs reflect this. We should not be looking for scapegoats and create a frenzy out of nothing." Hmmmm...And I have always thought SAfricans are the worst at this...We have a habit of uber hyping the Proteas, the Springboks...and when they fail, all the knives, panga's (machete-type things) and swords come out...

    aaah yes...the sports fan is a fickle breed...

    Having said that,the sportsmen who get to play for their country at the highest level...who get to have their national anthems played at mathces while the whole world watches them... who gets the adoration and adulation of millions (sometimes billions).. who get the models and beauty queens for WAG's...who are the A-list celebrities...who are better off than sometimes 90% percent of their country's populations... should know that all of this comes at a very high price.

    And that is the price we ask of them: Give your 100% and we will be happy. Anything less than that and we WILL make you come tumbling down from your high horse.

    Back to Afridi. I'd love to see what the Pakistan test side will look like now. This will be a good opportunity for them to get one back over the Proteas after they performed pretty poorly here last year.

  • billy a on September 28, 2007, 9:44 GMT

    afridi pulled himself out because he is fulfilling he's duties as a muslim. he played 20/20 because they are short games(40 overs max) and easier then 90 overs a day. they wer also mainly night nmatches so they had opened they fast. he is a great player an i dont think pakistan are listening to him. in t/20 he sed he wanted to open he opned in 1 match made 39(15) and then they put him down the order again? why do it wen he has had a good innings at the top. can i also remind you that afridi has a high average in tests and hits 50-100 mainly in the 2n innings. mashallah he is a very good player and inshallah he will be back and ready to go for the one day series against south africa.

  • Afridi6666 on September 28, 2007, 9:36 GMT

    Kamran sahib you make it sound like it is really easy to go out there and perform in front of 1000’s of people in the crowd and millions watching you all over the world. Let me ask you, have you ever played cricket in your life or is all that you have done is wear a red shirt and have a picture taken to put on cricinfo and automatically claim to be qualified enough to criticise cricketers.

    I remember your articles about Inzy’s captaincy last year, then the fact that there was too much religious practises going on in the team, then when Inzy retired your choice of captain was Afridi, Malik to you wasn’t a bad choice (for once you agree with something that PCB did) Asif as a vice captain was a poor decision and so is Butt. And now this….. maybe you should apply for the Advisor role in PCB as I’m sure you will have a better chance of getting it then the likes of Buchanan.

  • JamJar on September 28, 2007, 9:11 GMT

    As i alluded to in my previous post, Afridi's batting has been a total let down at crucial junctures of matches. In the final, we needed a decent cameo from him but it just didn't happen - and this hasnt been the first time.

    Maybe its the expectation us fans have of his batting that leads us to be disappointed more times than not. But for one thing, he has not proved to be a matchwinner. There is little doubt he possesses to be one but at this stage in his career where is deemed to be one of the seniors, if he hasnt blossomed to his full potential now, when will he?!

    I think Pakistan should put faith in a promising all-rounder, one that can be moulded to be more consistent and a future match winner.

    p.s. - Good to see you back on Ashaq. I trust Pakistan treated you well..

  • Fasih on September 28, 2007, 9:03 GMT

    Kamran stop selling your article. If a guy is giving preference to fasting over playing cricket then it should be atleast respected if not appreciated. Its hard work to play test cricket and fast at the same time, let alone the burden of expectations it will bring. (Its definitely tougher than sitting on your computer and brag about it in an article)Afridi will make a comeback inshAllah!

  • JZ on September 28, 2007, 8:59 GMT

    "The 2-match series does not carry any ICC points anyway."

    Perhaps the ICC should take off this webpage from their site then.

    http://www.icc-cricket.com/icc/test/future.html

    I don't see what the fuss is all about though. Afridi wouldn't have been selected in the test squad anyway.

  • sayfullah hashimi on September 28, 2007, 8:58 GMT

    Afridi is a great cricketer and tio all who object that lerts c u do better

  • Naser Ranjha on September 28, 2007, 8:45 GMT

    Standards of Blitzkrieg batting have advanced leaps and bounds, As we've witnessed in the 20/20 tournament there are many, better cleaner and technical 'at will' six hitters out there that would out perform Afirdis batting anyday. The era of Afridi's gone, welcome to the age of the evolved bater that learnt and survived while the reluctant whithered away.

  • EHU on September 28, 2007, 8:40 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi, are you trying to suggest that afridi should not fast? or he should fast and play as well. As a muslim its mandatory to fast and if afridi has withdrawn from test matches by realizing honestly that he wont be able to give his 100%, i think he shouldn't be critised for that. We saw Younis Khan struggling to perform in T20 with fasting. I think its an honest step by afridi as one full international day's cricket is quite demanding and it will not be possible for him to give his 100%. Anyways, I feel that its blessing in disguise, afridi is not a test player even though he was man of the tournament in T20 (which I second that he didn't deserved the award although he performed well with the ball)

  • Syed Naqvi - Bristol, UK on September 28, 2007, 8:36 GMT

    Firstly, Afridi is inconsistant and often erratic but nonetheless he has talent and can change the course of a match quicker than any other player in international cricket that I can think of. I strongly disagree with Abbasi and others that he is not worthy of his place in the Test squad. For me he is just as good a spinner as Kaneria - what he may lack in bowling expertise compared to Kaneria he makes up for in his comparative batting and fielding.

    His decision not to play the 2 Tests and fast during Ramadhan instead should be respected and NOT questioned. The 2-match series does not carry any ICC points anyway.

    I sometimes feel that we are often too critical of Pakistan cricket and Abbasi's blogs reflect this. We should not be looking for scapegoats and create a frenzy out of nothing.

    Ramadhan kareem to all!

  • nightwatchman on September 28, 2007, 8:35 GMT

    Afridi's problem is in his head, not with his form. Back in 2003, after a disasterous world cup, Aaamir Sohail had remarked that no one in international cricket could aspire to bat like a kid, trying to hit every ball for a 6. All successful big hitters have used their talent judiciously, a la Gilchrist. Typically and childishly, Afridi's response was, 'I am a bowler who bats occasionally'. He has refused to learn and reform. I am amazed he has not been blamed for the way he played in the T20 final given the situation he came in. He made no effort to play himself in. People don't criticise him for total lack of professionalism because they have seen this scores of time and they know he has an empty upper chamber. It exasperates me because with so much talent, he could have proved to be at par with people like Gilchrist and Sehwag, but alas no. Only for a lack of brain. In some ways, it reflects the lack of professionalism and proper guidence in our cricketing set up. Had he been born in Sydney or Perth, he would have become a legend. He is just the reverse of Miandad, a man whose talents were good but not exceptional, but he had the most outstanding cricket brain and ended up being the most successful Pakistani batsman of all times.

  • niz on September 28, 2007, 8:30 GMT

    In my opinion the PCB should be questioned in regards to why they have arranged for this tour during Ramadan. Couldn't they have waited a couple of weeks?

    On Afridi; He has never fulfilled his potential and will, most likey, remain an enigma for the remainder of his career. It's a shame but it is something that fans of Pakistan should come to terms with rather than continuously holding out in the hope of 'Boom-Boom' finally putting it all together.

    Like the poster above said, provide other all-rounders with a chance, as Pakistan seem to have plenty of them, and if Afridi is serious about playing test cricket then he will prove it, otherwise let him play in the short format of the game he seems to prefer.

  • Khurram Farooquie on September 28, 2007, 8:25 GMT

    Rockstars fill stadiums not mullahs...thats why I support Afridi and Shoaib..he is a good bowler but his fluke batting is no match to some of our other more talented players. My point is that the more people come to watch the game the more money PCB gets the better the Pakistan Cricket programs get...people didn't want to see a bunch of overweight mid-aged men lead by Inzamam...that is why the crowd cheers when Afridi steps up to bat and that is why people are still addicted to Akhtar. I believe the PCB should force the Vice Captaincy onto Afridi...force him to play an an opener or one-down...so that he can either force the other team into a defensive position or we can get along with watching cricket instead of waiting for BOOM BOOM to show up and get let down. Butt should be stripped of that title. As for the man of the tournamen award I agree with the first commentator...Umar Gul deserved it....not sure why Afridi got it actually didnt Umar Gul have the most wickets?

  • Davesh Manocha on September 28, 2007, 8:23 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi, I don't completly agree with you when you say that Afridi is a match winner. My argument is after playing 260 ODIs how many matches has he actually won ? Very few..not more than 10 or so..I think commentators and editors alike have elevated him to this so called matchwinner status when actually he's not. Neither does he has the nerves nor the temperament to win matches. Do you really think he cares to win a match for pakistan ? To me he's only concerned about his entertaining cricket status...Baring a few on flat pitches against not-so-good bowling attack i can't recall Afridi winning matches for Pakistan esp outside subcontinent.

  • asim on September 28, 2007, 8:18 GMT

    Afridi doesn't have a place in test team. There is palce for only one allrounder and that will go to malik as it will look stupid that captian is sitting outside to give the palce to afridi.

    We need 5 genuine batsmen. Malik and afridi are not amongst them. In my ratting here are top 5. 1-Butt 2-Hameed 3-younis 4-yousaf 5-Misbah

    Alternative Opener is Imran Nazir (espcially on spin wickets). Alternative middle order batsmen are asim kamal and Hassan Raza.

    Malik will be at No.6 Taking care of all rounder position. If he is unfit and cann't play then the position can go to Hafeez.

    7 is keeper. And i really want Pakistan to try sarfraz in this series..

    8,9,10,11 are all genuine bowlers. i.e. asif, umar gul, danish, sami, sohail, etc..

    Afridi has his place and that is in t20 and ODI version. If they want to groom a maverik as batsman then that better be Imran Nazir.

  • Sam Ahmad on September 28, 2007, 8:17 GMT

    Bingo. Somebody has finally said what I have been wanting to hear for a long time. I hope Afridi reads your blog or some body show this to him. May be he is already aware of this problem but does not have that can do attitude to resolve it. may be has reached a point where he has achieved every thing he ever wanted and now he is playing cricket just for fun or for the sake of it. if that is the case the big question is, Is he worth while???

  • lala on September 28, 2007, 8:13 GMT

    don't make a big issue out of his not playing during ramadan. i respect his decision. in fact, i don't know why the pcb agrees to tours during ramadan, we need to be more assertive with other cricket boards, it's bad for spectators and players. i'm glad afridi has highlighted this issue in fact.

    he's an independent-minded maverick, and God bless him for that.

    keep doing your own thing boom boom!

  • sumit on September 28, 2007, 8:10 GMT

    Being an Indian, the entry of Afridi the batsman onto the pitch is always a fearsome prospect! 'Oh God will he be on rampage? We've lost the match if he stays for an hour.' Or 'Lets pray he attempts one of his mindless shots and gets out quickly.'

    These thoughts no doubt go thru the mind of every opponent team. Afridi is dynamite.

    But is the dynamite fizzling out? OK he did well as a bowler in T20. But whats this about fasting and not being able to play? In that case all muslims in all cricketing teams would opt out during the holy month/s. In fact, ICC should stop scheduling matches during these periods.

    What nonsense!!!

    Afridi wants to squeeze every drop of adulation that is coming to him from Pakistani fans. he knows that his inconsistency is consistent enough to let him down. He avoids responsibility. He wants a role without accountability. It is like - 'If I do well and hit a quick fifty or a few sizes, I'll take all the credit. But if I fail, I'll say I play like that only.'

    Seeing him on the field reminds me of seeing Kapil in his last pathetic few days in the Indian team. Everyone knew he was done and dusted, but nobody could say so. I remember an incident where Afridi missed a simple catch. There was no regret, no apology to the bowler, just a finger on his lips telling everyone to shut up. What attitude! What insolence!

    Summary? Afridi is dispensable. Pakistan cricket is in very good hands right now. Fantastic talent, exciting youth. Let stars like him be. You don't need him.

  • Osman Ali Khairi on September 28, 2007, 8:02 GMT

    I've always thought Afridi has been an over rated cricketer. You never quite know what to expect from him and though this eccentricity and unpredictability factor might be appealing, entertaining and spell bounding to ones fans in the embryonic stages of a person’s career, later on it just becomes increasingly frustrating to see a guy not use his head and frankly, MATURE, in every aspect of the word. I don’t know what 18 months Kamran bhai is talking about? I have never ever associated the words ‘sensible’ and ‘professional’ or terms like ‘leading from the front’ for Afridi. Essentially, because he has never displayed any of these qualities, EVER. Period. And I certainly, don’t think his batting standards have declined or deteriorated by any means. I think this is how he has ‘always’ batted. Which is exactly what makes me want to tear my hair out!! A guy that has been blessed with so much talent could have worked on his shortcomings and become a dangerous batsmen ala Peterson or Symonds but alas, the Afridi we see today is the same Afridi that burst onto the scene back in 1996-1997. Aggressive yet stupid and dim-witted (and that’s putting it mildly). I have often pondered why Afridi can never play with controlled aggression as opposed to (as he very appropriately says) trying to hit every ball for six! And I have gotten my answer from Ramiz Raja when he says, “Each time we try to cool him down and ask him to play according to the situation, he says Ramez bhai please, don’t get too technical, just let me be” . Ugh. I have never been able to comprehend that! Let it be? …Afridi will always be an underperforming enigma. Nothing can be done about that… To be honest, I’m more perturbed about this Afridi syndrome (which is synonymous with having the worst shot selection in international cricket) that has dissipated in the team and become deeply-rooted in some like Imran Nazir. For he too, seems to be following in his footsteps. Despite, having all the shots in the book, he still keeps getting out to ridiculous swipes and slogs. This Afridi madness is contagious and simply, just not cricket and frankly, I’m glad the germs will be away for at least the duration of the South African series.

  • JZ on September 28, 2007, 8:01 GMT

    Thats the problem with fake birth certificates. They can't actually make your body any younger.

  • That guy on September 28, 2007, 7:58 GMT

    Afridi should never play. Evar.

  • UM BAJWA, Islamabad on September 28, 2007, 7:54 GMT

    KA IT SEEMS YOU ARE FINALLY REALIZING THAT AFRIDI IS NOT MEANT FOR TEST CRICKET AT ALL.

    AFRIDI IS ONLY BORN TO PLAY TWENTY20 VERSION OF CRICKET, WHICH HE PROVED BY BEING CAPPED AS THE PLAYER OF THE TOURNAMENT.

    GENERALLY, EVEN IN THE ONE DAY VERSION OF THE GAME, HE IS A MEDIOCRE CHOICE. IN ONE-DAYS, HE HAS SHOWN US THAT HE CAN DISPLAY HIS “BOOM BOOM” PLAY ONCE EVERY 10 INNINGS OR SO, AND BY THE WAY HIS “BOOM BOOM” INNINGS TOO IS USUALLY DEVOID OF ANY ELEGANT, CLASSY OR EXQUISITE STROKES BUT CONTAIN A POTPOURRI OF POWERFUL BUT UNIMPRESSIVE HEAVES & HOICKS.

    HIS RECENT EXCUSE OF REQUESTING OMMISSION FROM PAKISTAN TEST SQUAD ON THE GROUNDS OF RAMADHAN DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENSE AT ALL.

    IF PCB ACCEPTS HIS REQUEST ON JUST THESE GROUNDS THEN IT WILL BE LABELLED AS FAVORITISM, BECAUSE OTHERWISE ALL THE OTHER “EQUALLY MUSLIM” PLAYERS IN THE PAKISTAN TEST SQUAD SHOULD ALSO BE RESTRICTED TO PLAY THE TESTS WITH PROTEAS.

  • Rehan Haider on September 28, 2007, 7:43 GMT

    I am relieved to find out that Afridi has pulled out of the test squad. I don't think he deserves a place in the Test side as his bowling is not really good enough to warrant him a space in the side as a bowler and his batting is simply not consistant enough! We don't need bits and pieces players in the test team! I am also glad Abdul Razzaq has retired from cricket! His bowling was so frustratingly ordinary! I never really understood why he was picked again and again for the test team! Apart from saving a test match in india with Kamran Akmal, Razzaq never done anything wit the bat either! We need specialists in places! 4 front line bowlers! 6 batsman and keeper!

  • Hasan on September 28, 2007, 7:18 GMT

    I think Afridis batting always crumbles under pressure and his place should be at the top of the order. How many times has he come in with the side struggling after the top order has collapsed, with a high required run rate, and evryone hoping for him to do well and how many times has he dissappointed us (The 20/20 WC final being a prime example where he threw away his wicket on the first ball). His bowling has improved but dont forget that was Twenty20 where containing the batsmen would frustrate them and induce a rash stroke. Test and One day cricket is a different ball game and I dont think Afridi's bowling would be very succesful in the Test matches against the South Africans. Pakistan should pick Abdur Rehman. Also by allowing Afridi to skip the Test matches, PCB has set a bad example. In the future, what if half the team says they dont want to play in Ramzan, will PCB let them all skip matches ? If not, they will cite Afridi's example, where he was allowed. I think Pakistani cricket is the only sport where religion plays such an important part. Afridi should know that one has to fast despite their work and vice versa. It might have been a bad idea to schedule these Test matches during Ramadan in the first place because we're going to see empty stadiums and it will be really hot as well this time round but playing cricket is Afridi's job. What if everyone starts sitting at home in this holy month from now on citing that they cant fast and work at the same time ? As far as this series is concerned my prediction is that South Africa will win the Test Series and Pakistan will probably win the One days 3-2

  • M Mahboob Hossain (Dhaka) on September 28, 2007, 7:08 GMT

    Afridi's self exclusion from Test team might be a blessing in disguise for Pakistan. No way, he can force in the Test squad as a spinner a head of Kaneria (Not even a head of any regular finger spinner) & his batting would have been exposed against a four men pace attack. Moreover, Malik being the Captain, he'll be the automatic choice & playing two all-rounders (Neither of them good enough to qualify in the team individually as a specialist bowler or batsman) will be back firing in crunch situations.

    I guess, the composition will be 5 batsmen (2 regular openers please), Malik, Akmal, 2 new ball bowler, Kaneria & depending on the wicket, a 3rd seamer or a left-arm spinner (Since Malik can support by 15/20 overs of off-spin). Recently, Afridi has been dropped down to 7 in ODIs (even in 20/20s), which I don't think related to his batting decline (Apart from his enormous hitting power, the only other thing he uses in his batting is his eye-sight & certainly not brain or technique).

    I think Afridi was dropped down the order by Woolmer since WSC in 05. Probably, Bob wanted to build Afridi in the Klusner mold, which was quite logical, since both have tremendous instant hitting power & can go almost from ball 1. The way this two men are able to hit from the 1st ball & can finish 20/30 in 10/12 balls, I doubt even Viv Richards could have been more destructive, in such short time. However, the difference was in the thing that rests over your shoulders, the shot Afridi played in the Wonders final, only a Pakistani batsman can play in that situation (I keep my bet regularly (Actually, despite supporting Pakistan, won huge amount from my Indian supporter friends in friendly betting, even after the target was set 158, on the best batting pitch, the smallest ground & with India clearly short of 1 bowler), anything over 200, for that matter 140 in 20/20, a chasing Pakistan team is a lottery).

    I think against teams like South Africa, in ODI’s Afridi’s position should be at 6 or later, since they will not start bowling a single ball on his half, & despite playing over 10 years international cricket, he doesn’t have the maturity to wait till the bowlers crack down & starts to experiment. However, in coming Indian tour, Afridi will have a big roll to play, batting at 3 in ODI’s & on crumbling Indian Tracks, with his quickish leg-spin as a second spinner.

  • blue on September 28, 2007, 7:04 GMT

    Why you always write negative about pakistan cricket can't you write anything positive as well?

  • ramesh on September 28, 2007, 7:01 GMT

    guys, you have missed a trick here. When so called boom boom afridi made his debut, he said he was 16, but test on his wrist said he was 22, thus we were to take it, now he is 33, and not 27.

  • Mk on September 28, 2007, 6:55 GMT

    Afridi however exciting he may be, does not warrant a place in the test team full stop. The Test Team should be...

    Opener1 Opener2 Younis Khan Mohammed yusuf Shoiab Malik Missbah ul Haq (cos of his maturity and ability not to crack under pressure) Kamran Akmal Shoiab Akhtar (if h ever plays for Pak again - otherwise another fast bowler not necessarily an allrounder) Umar Gul Mohammed Asif Danish Kaneria.

    The ODI team should be exactly the same except Afridi replaces Kaneria.

    These shouldbe the teams. Pak can choose any openers from the followong combinations..Butt, Nazir, Hafeez, Umar...as they will hit one day and miss the next three...so it doesnt make a difference...our openers just cant play the moving ball so will always struggle!!

    But those are backbones our teams should be built around. with just question marks over 3 places.

  • Naren Damodaran on September 28, 2007, 6:49 GMT

    I think there is a larger picture here. Afridi's reluctance to bat up the order stems from a management decision, and it seems to me that he is not favourable with certain people anymore. The talent he harnesses is incredible and all of us are left wondering where went the biggest hitter in the game?

  • Ramesh from India on September 28, 2007, 6:45 GMT

    I would definitely drop Mr.Boom Boom for a full season for taking that wild swipe in the T20 final. I am sure Pakistan has several good players who can take his place. This is a common problem Indian and Pakistani cricket face. Super stars rule the roost...

  • Fawad on September 28, 2007, 6:40 GMT

    Hello my fellow beings... i think all this praise about Afridi must come 2 an 4 he single handedly lost the world cup 4 his country... yea yea its easier said than done but 4 a player playing the sport 4 over 10 years now sure must've known tht his stupidity cost millions of people the chance 2 celebrate something great in the field of any sports (THNX U MORON), because of his refusal 2 play up the order has cost Pakistan 2 fully implement their tactics in the batting... he should've realised tht he can never b a finisher type of batsman so him telling everyone tht he prefers 2 bat lower is beyond belief... yes he has immense talent but u cant keep talkin abt his talent if he has done the same thing 4 the past 10 years of his international career n i.e refuse 2 learn from his mistakes n keep costing Pakistan big games... yes my piece is completely outa the subject tht v r discussing here but just wanted 2 say if Afridi is still playing 4 Pakistan after consistent failures then Razzaq should b seen as an indispensable part of the team... please open ur eyes guys players like Afridi who r great every once a while n below mediocre most of the time should give ways 2 the other deserving players(Misbah is a great xample)... all he had 2 do was 2 stay at the wicket 4 a lil bit *sigh*

  • MULLAH SHOAIB LAHORI on September 28, 2007, 6:12 GMT

    When are you guys going to understand that Afridi is just what we call a andha-dhoondi

    hitter( blind hitter). He just swings his bat and if it hits then it hits on his lucky day

    which is once in 20-25 matches.Any tom dick or harry can play blindly on one day .Hey but

    other teams dont take such player because winning one maych and playing the next 20

    matches with just 10 players is not worth it.Oh well cant blame Pakisanis becasue they are

    afterall pakistani(IQ level refernce) becasue .......;) you guys know why...dont you;). About the T20 world cup comment by shoaib Malik,he was under wrong impression that all Muslims support Pakistan. The great SRK and the Pathan brothers are prime example and icing on cake was MOM for India was Pathan(Secularism at its best). Looks like Shoaib malick is another Mullah in making like Inzi.

  • Amr Hassan on September 28, 2007, 6:12 GMT

    I for one am was very dissapointed to read about afridi backing out of the SA test matches. first i was shocked to see that he was so sure he would be picked for the team. the decision to keep himself out of the team is very characteristic of him. he tends to let down his fans more and more as he grows older. it really is a let down. i respect ramadan but i am not sure this is the sole reason. perhaps he thought this better then being embarrased by not being selected. the shot he played in the T20 final was heart breaking. i am a die hard afridi and hence always loved reading Kamran bhai's articles however this is just too much. he may not do what shoaib akhter does, but he lets down his fans none the less. i dont know what should be done, but this is not right. some action must be taken.

  • Waim Ahmed on September 28, 2007, 6:11 GMT

    AoA, I don't want to talk anyone else comments because i would like to something about Afridi. Now since Pakistan won Test series against India at home and away, if i would be captain then i never drop Afridi from Test team because these days of cricket one of player so much required in Test matches type of Afridi, who could play natural game and change it quickly, I don't know that you will agree with me or not but Pakistan able to win Test match in Banglore when Afridi's quick fire and bowling helped Pakistan to drawn series. Actually people expect lots from him that's why he fail sometime. Unfortunately people talk about only his bating rather bowling and fielding, people should realize that he Allrounder not only batsman. He is getting better now so we should support him. I can bet that with coaching you can not produce hard hitter like Afridi because his gifted talent by Almighty Allah and i Pakistan is lucky have Afridi in his team. He should must use in Test i will strongly recommend. Thanks

  • shahzad khan on September 28, 2007, 5:58 GMT

    nice words sir Kamran used for Afridi and i guess he deserve more than this, he is the most talented guy but unfortunately we are not getting 100% from him, we are wasting his wild talent ( i wonder, why captain sends em at no 7 ? He only can score in first 6 overs of 20-20 and first 20 overs of Odis, there are feidling restrictions that time and those shots will be goes for " fours n sixes " which he played in the final of 20-20, For GOD sake get 100% from afridi, he is a talented player, we should nto waste his talent like..... you are awesome Afridi !! keep good work up

  • Asif on September 28, 2007, 5:54 GMT

    I think afridi took the right decision not to play in ramadhan.The selectors would not have included him in the playing eleven.It is better for afridi to come fresh after ramadhan for the one day series.Also it is wrong to blame only afridi for the defeat.I think younus,shoaib malik & hafeez were the real culprits.All of them played irresponsible shots & younus went for the suicidal single & got imran out.So why blame afridi alone. People forget that afridi atleast bowled brilliantly whereas younus & malik were total failures in the final.Also afridi was not utilised properly. He should have opened from the very beginning.It is sheer nonsense not to capitalise the initial 6 overs where there are fielding restrictions.Ian chappell & shastri both were suggesting pakistan to open with afridi but malik did a blunder by not sending afridi at the top.Look afridi opened in only one match & that was the best start for pakistan in the entire tournament.The pressure was too much on afridi when he came in to bat at # 7 which could have been avoided if they would have opened w/afridi.All the teams were sending their pinch hitters at the top except for pakistan.Also it is wrong to say that afridi did not deserve the man of the series. The fact of the matter is afridi got the man of the match award in the very 1st game otherwise pakistan would have been eliminated in the 1st round itself like the previous world cup.Then against sri lanka & australia he bowled & fielded brillantly & he almost got the man of the match award against bangladesh.If afridi would have batted at the top pakistan would have won the world cup.Afridi has won more matches for pakistan whenever he has opened the batting. So I request the pak team management to send afridi at the top in one day & 20/20 matches & at # 6 or 7 in test matches.The chances of afridi getting out are much lesser when he bats at the top rather than in middle overs when fielders are spread all over.The same shot would have fetched a boundary if he would have been batting in the 1st six overs in the final. The very same former players & the media always try to blame only afridi which is totally wrong.

  • Californian on September 28, 2007, 5:54 GMT

    First of all let me tell you Afridi does not deserve to be in a Club Team,forget about National Team,even a Moron can score 40 or 50 in a match out of ten,he fails to score every other match he plays and whenever it matters, he fails and who needs his bowling,we 're short of good Batsmen,as long as those Idiots keep a player like him in the team,we'll lose,no matter what... and I don't know what the hell those guys smoking who gave him man of the tournament,just let me what the hell did he do to get it,the only Bowler deserved it was Umar Gul...for God sake get rid of Afridi if you want Pakistan team to win,be real,please,would you.....

  • Yawar Khan on September 28, 2007, 5:52 GMT

    I think Afridi is misguided and confused. With over 10 years of experience, He can play a better batting role than this. But unfortunately, because of the slogger label and high expectations from everybody to hit a six on every ball, Afridi has lost his game which was nourished with time and experience. He can play as an orthodox batesman, i have no doubt in my mind about that, as he has shown on numerous occasions. But thats not how everybody wants him to play. I think he should sincerely stop living upto the public expectations as BOOM BOOM Afridi and concentrate as a pure batesman. He definately has got it in him and he is still young.

  • ali on September 28, 2007, 5:51 GMT

    i agree umar gul should have been the man of the series was unjustic to him. As long as afridi is concerned i dont knows whats up with him, he prolly need to become vice caption or caption in order to perform to his full strength. At this point his attitude toward the game isnt right and i believe pcb is to be blamed for it too.

  • Sohail Bhatti on September 28, 2007, 5:44 GMT

    Pakistan cricket has only itself to blame for the decline in Afridi's batting.If this guy was playing for Australia i can bet my best sunday hat that he'd be holding all batting records in ODI's. Pak cricket has started respecting him too little too late! On the same note bring Razzak back. If you had Razzakin your final against India at no.7 you'd have come home with the trophy!!

  • usman on September 28, 2007, 5:40 GMT

    Afrid should not have been man of the t20 seires he should have been named man of ther series if he had done well on the final but it looks like it was decided before the match, shame on ICC. Now Afridi not playing test cricket, i think he is better off in test match than one day, because in one day all he wants to do is swing the bat witout even looking at the ball, and at least in test he will give one over before he swing. Now his descion to not play againg SA in test, well it should not be the player cal it should be the board calling it, but this PCB is so shame less that they can't do any thing right, player should be able to say no if he has a ligitmit excuse but comon ramadan is not an excuse so is he saying people who work hard in construction or building roads they don't fast and cricket is much harder, shame on him.........I think he knows he is out of batting form and making a lame excuse, as much as I like him when he does not play it hurts pakistan team more. I think OCB should make him a vice capt right away and make him play and force him to improve his batting.

  • Hussain Khan on September 28, 2007, 5:36 GMT

    Afridi is a flukish player who only bats well once in a while. It seems that the sun, moon and the earth all have to line up for him to produce some good batting.If he is an allrounder then he cannot retain his place in the team as one side (batting)of being an allrounder is badly lacking.

  • Alex Farooque on September 28, 2007, 5:34 GMT

    I agree with you Mr. Abbasi. I used to think that if Afridi doesn't want to open then let it be. Because let the player be comfortable where he thinks he can perform better. But after reading your article, I agree with your analysis. Afridi seems to be down this time around. It could be multiple reasons. But I will suggest to you Mr. Abbasi that please print this article in the Pakistani papers and maybe he reads it and then will ponder on his decisions and reactions.

  • Euceph Ahmed on September 28, 2007, 5:21 GMT

    The first and foremost thing you must remember about Afridi is that he's a pathan... he'll give his life but not give up the "roza." khocha hum nahi khailti hai khana kharab ho tumhara. A pathan is a pathan is a pathan. He may be city-born, but you can't take the "akhroat" out of him. So let us leave it to Afridi to decide when he'll be ready to play test cricket. If he doesn't believe in himself then no outside forces can make him believe otherwise.

  • Ash on September 28, 2007, 5:18 GMT

    As an Indian, I think Pakistan should have won the twenty20 final with ease. And If I had to blame the Pakistan loss on one person, I would blame Afridi.

  • cricketer on September 28, 2007, 5:16 GMT

    i was always think about Afridi that he captain should try him to batting at No.6 when Pakistan is Battaing 1st and when pakistan batting 2nd for chasing Afridi should bat at No.2. we can see his History that he always play good stroke at the top of the order when we are chasing a target. why we are wasting his talent. he cant bat at 6 or 7 in under 16 crore peoples pressure.. i remember Afridi's last 100 was in Kanpur when pakistan was chasing 250 at an uneven wicket but he played his best inning angainst the indians. Please Pass this message to Coach and Captain that try for once only for me i we will see he give his 100%. i am sure.. (anyone comment on this)..

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on September 28, 2007, 5:10 GMT

    In my previous post I have quoted the news clipping about Shahid Afridi opting out of the test series against SA and, I asked Mr. Abbassi to write something about it. Thank you Mr. Abbassi for paying heed to my request. I knew he is disappointed with Afridi's action and it was expected that he would write something like this. I was also expecting that, there would be a lot of criticism and Afridi bashing after this decision to opt out. Right now there are just 4 posts on this blog but, very soon the numbers will multiply.

    I think he did the right thing and I don't consider it as any sort of reluctance or shortcoming in his batting prowess for his opting out. He took a bold decision and requested the PCB not to consider him for these two test and he is honest enough to make them clear that he cannot cope the pressure of fasting and playing in the hot and humid conditions and that too for 5 days. The PCB has accepted his request and it should not be considered as any kind of violation of their rules or Afridi has betrayed his team, nation, fans or even himself.

    In my previous post, I have mentioned how difficult it is for anyone to fast and perform 100%, but people are going to stir up an argument by saying there are other players who can play and whats so different about Afridi, why can't he play? Yes, there are other players who may or may not be fasting or who may be fasting and still willing to take their chances. But, he believes that he cannot give his 100% and he wants to give a chance to someone else. So, whats wrong with that? What makes anyone feel that he is lacking in self confidence? It is very easy for the critics to go ahead and criticize him or anyone for that matter. Tongue wagging is the easiest thing that anyone can do in criticizing someone.

    I know some people will say that I blindly support Afridi. I do support him whole heartedly but, NOT blindly and that is purely on the basis of his talent and his ability to turn the game in favour of Pakistan. I have criticized his boastings when he said three days ago i.e., after winning the player of the tournament award that he is concentrating only on bowling and fielding, and I said its all BS, if he had scored a couple fifties in the last two games he wouldn't have been saying that.

    Also, I hold him responsible for that loose shot on Pathan's bowling in the final. That's his madness but that does not nullify his exceptional qualities and capabilities as a player, he is not the only one to be blamed for that defeat, except for Misbah, Gul and Tanvir, I blame everyone (another exception in this match is Imran Nazir) for that defeat. The biggest criticism goes to Younis Khan.

    I have always criticized the players (irrespective of who they are) when they have done anything stupid in the game, but not when it is something personal or off the field, like Shoaib Akhter's private life etc. And, I have always supported them when anything malicious or stupid has been charged against them. Be it Shoaib & Asif's Nandrolone case, Inzamam's ball tampering case with Hair or the recent Malik-Mukul case, I have supported the players. When Shoaib Akhtar crossed the limit by hitting Asif, I was totally against that action and I said, enough is enough and he should be banned from playing for Pakistan.

    Therefore, if I am supporting Shahid Afridi now for opting out from the two tests supported by a valid and genuine reason, should not be construed or misunderstood as a blind support, he is not my cousin, nor my girayeen and I am not his fan, if he wants to be - he can be my fan - I have many and he can join the crowd. ;-) The only reason I support him is because he is a very talented player who has often been misused, ignored and ill treated by the selectors and the captains in the past. I am excluding Malik from the captains list, because Malik is too soft towards Afridi. As a captain Malik should not ask him where he would like to play? He should see, evaluate and judge the situation and tell his players to follow the batting order that he has dictated. Yes, that is why it is called "Batting Order" and not "Batting Request." A captain has to be bold enough to do that.

    I don't understand the two different scripts in Mr. Abbassi's thread, one he says: "Unless Afridi regains his purpose, Pakistan must write him out of their Test script. He cannot command a place as a Test leg spinner ahead of Danish Kaneria," and the bottom line is a kinda hope cum prayer: "I hope Ramadan helps Afridi return with the determination to fulfill his proper role in Pakistan cricket. Don't halt the shots Shahid."

    A lay person might agree with the first script but, if you look at Kaneria's success it is only on a deteriorating pitch that he exploits the rough patch. He was unplayable in the Bangalore test on the fifth day. But, who did the earlier damage? Afridi's 58 runs in 34 balls and his three crucial wickets in the second innings and that too of Tendulkar, Laxman and Ganguly. And Ganguly was bowled from behind his legs with a beauty that he thought he was stumped and he is not out and he remained inside the line, the umpire had to raise his finger twice to make him walk. The commentator was saying 'someone should tell Ganguly to go and see the replay.' Kaneria took 7 wickets and Afridi took 5 wickets in that match and Afridi's economy rate was much better than Kaneria's, check the stats.

    In the first test at Mohali Afridi was not played for reasons best known to Inzamam and Woolmer. Second test in Kolkata Afridi was included and he scored 29 and 59 and took 3 wickets. When India came to Pakistan in Feb.2006 Afridi scored 103 in first test, 153 in second test and 60 in the third test. It is very easy to write-off any player or his performance especially when he is targeted for not coming up to their expectations.

    Inzamam's total career and his performance has been marred by just one loss against Ireland and despite being an exceptional batsmen he is ridiculed by the selectors and his critics and poor fellow trying to prove his worth by playing for Yorkshire is now being summoned and sued by that Hairless Monster. My criticism on Inzi's lethargy or his bad captaincy is restricted to that aspect of his game only, but you cannot take away the qualities of Inzamam the batsman he is. Likewise, you cannot take away the qualities of Afridi or any player for that matter. We are very quick in giving titles and accolades and equally very quick in dissing out our heroes and making them zeros. Shouldn't we be a little more realistic and moderate in our approach? Is it like asking too much? I rest my case here and I am prepared to get the flak from those who disagree with my views. :-)

  • shwet awasthi on September 28, 2007, 5:09 GMT

    I never believed that Afridi was that great a talent as he has often been hyped. Don't take this as criticism but he was never more than a methodical slogger. His shots never had any authenticity and could never be called proper cricketing shots. The pioneers of good shotmaking who came after Afridi have performed much better than him and have done it consistently. Gilchrist is a great striker of the ball and look at his consistency. Sehwag averages over 50 in test cricket and 35 in one day cricket , he has scored 195 within two sessions in a test in melbourne , scored 300 in four sessions against Pakistan or take Yuvraj , India's most consistent match winner over the past two seasons in one dayers. All these players are great stroke makers and play authentic cricketing shots , this is the reason they are so successful , an Afridi is a modified slogger who uses his power to hit some great shots once in a while and gets away with it once in 10 matches. I seriously believe Pakistan needs to look away from this lunatic. He is not passionate about his job , is fickle minded ,temperamental and prone to needless aggression.Also the other day waqar younis was raving about Afridi being hot blooded due to his Pathan lineage. This is another comical scenario whenever somebody asks Pakistani cricketers why they have produced so many genuine quicks over the years the standard response is "OH! they are from Punjab and are strong people." As if the strongest people in the world come from Punjab , this myth is strong in India as well where Punjabis are considered to be Physically much superior e.g the power hitters like Yuvraj and quicks like VRV singh both Tall and powerfully built men well above six feet.Agreed these specimens are good examples but is modern cricket all about strength , No! its about athleticism and fitness , I am sceptical and critical when somebody like Waqar raves that Afridi should be forgiven for his stupid shotmaking because he is a hot blooded Pathan.Yeah right! the world's greatest hotheads have been Pathans , for god's sake ex cricketers should know what they are talking about and it is an insult on somebody like Younis Khan who always plays for the team and is a Pathan as well. Afridi is irresponsible and a 'Mercurial Maverick' the kind who are detrimental to a teams growth , Pakistan should show maturity and ditch this man who shirks from his responsibility. Also Ex Pak players should stop making excuses on his madness to his Pathan Lineage , which is downright insulting on the community.

  • Haider on September 28, 2007, 5:07 GMT

    Even if he had been available for selection, Afridi's inclusion in the playing 11 of the test team would have been very very difficult.

  • Saad Qureshi on September 28, 2007, 5:00 GMT

    After the shot he played against India in the Twenty20 final, he lost any right to be called a batsman or even a bowling all rounder who can bat. My Pakistan shirt with Afridi #99 emblazoned on the back will never be worn again...

  • Subodh B on September 28, 2007, 4:55 GMT

    If talent alone was a good enough criteria for a player to consistently be part of a winning combination the Shahid Afridi's name would always be the one name pencilled in by the selectors...maybe even before the captain's name is jotted down. Alas, Cricket and performance on the big stage calls for more than raw talent. His dropping himself out of the SA-Pak series that commences in the next few days has helped the Pak selectors no end. They have been spared the 'ordeal' of dropping him from their list , which was anyway on the cards. The abridged versions of the game camouflages a lot of short comings of a player's technique , temperament etc and Shahid has been capitalising on it a huge deal. But , of late , even in the condensed versions the opposition has been quick to play on his ego , which is larger than life, and he invariably is back in the hut (or the dug out as it is called thanks to T20) even before one can finish saying Boom Boom Afridi !! His place in the ODI / T20 side is secure more because of his wily and street smart bowling than his now highly overated abilities with the willow.His linking the month of Ramadan to his decision to back out of the current series makes the whole issue even more quirksome. Has Shahid never played cricket be it Test or ODIs in the month of Ramadan before? Or has he suddenly discovered the spiritual streak in himself ? It just seems a convenient way to soften the blow to himself and his over zealous fans and a stick to beat his detractors who may be baying for his blood anyway after his dismal show with the bat in the T2o world cup , especially in the final againt India. Nothing better to stir the waters than by bringing in the Holy name into the equation is there?? Storm in a tea cup , did some one say??

  • Elle - South Africa on September 28, 2007, 4:48 GMT

    At least South Africans are happy about this. No Afridi means one less thing to worry about...But, I must admit, I am a bit of an Afridi fan, and although I respect his decision, I am dissappointed in him. I think this was a selfish decision, made by a man who obviously believes that he is now in a position to make any demand he wants... He must realise that no -one is irreplacable...He can ask Shoaib Akhtar. What if someone better comes along to take your place? Well my good man, then you dissappear into the sunset, with no fanfare...Just ask Inzi.

    So, my fellow safricans are happy with no Afridi to torment them in the tests...But I myself? Not happy at all...

  • Paul on September 28, 2007, 4:48 GMT

    His descent down the batting order is alarming. -A descent caused by the management and selectors, not him. Pakistan, more than any other country, chops and changes it's line up in terms of personnel, and the batting order, every day, let alone every week. Here's a novel idea...how about, when they choose the side for the test series upcoming, they put every batter and bowler (batsman especially though) in one settled position, and agree to leave them there for 6 months. Then at the end of that period we can accurately judge afridi, and the rest, on that period in more settled conditions. But they won't do that? Why....it would require good team management, and good team management is just a skill Pakistan never has, or will have.

  • nizar dinani (Dallas Tx) on September 28, 2007, 4:34 GMT

    looks like he is the only true muslims in pakistani cricket team. During the holy month of ramadhan every body in pakistan are working, poor pakistani works on the street. To serve our country is also the part of our religion. How about everybody in our country has same attitude than who will play, who will work, who will secure our borders. just Danish Kaneria can not do all this job. What can I say. God bless our nation.

  • khana bacha on September 28, 2007, 4:29 GMT

    Dear Afridi, you always play on the people's prays beyond your talent. you declare a right thinking. this is the only thing can now help your batting. and i also pray for you. and he should rest in odi's as well bcoz the upcoming series vs India. we all want to see your best series in your career. pls do it

  • Junaid on September 28, 2007, 4:16 GMT

    Kamran..you just need an excuse to showcase your writing skils. the man has opted out so that he can fulfill his duties a muslim ..why cant we all respect that. there are bigger things in life than just cricket. so ..shut up and respect the man's decision.

  • basit on September 28, 2007, 4:04 GMT

    i think you forgot to talk about his match winning inning against sri lanka... right after wc... hence disqualifies this article..

  • Badar Siddiqi on September 28, 2007, 2:15 GMT

    Afridi made a lame excuse for skipping the test series against SA. He knew he doesn't merit a place in the test team so he pulled himself out. Didn't he play the T20 championship during Ramadan that he couldn't play now? I'm surprised that the PCB agreed to his request. That's totally double standard because the PCB refused to give Inzamam the central contract as he wasn't available for both formats of the game. Shouldn't Afridi's contract be revoked now that he opted out of the test series? He must realize his responsibilities as a senior cricketer and his obligation towards his country. As a professional cricketer, he must be available to play anytime irrespective of any factors. Can someone please remind him of his national committments. If other muslim cricketers can play during Ramadan then why can't he?

  • Ashaq on September 28, 2007, 0:32 GMT

    Afridi does not need to halt the shots, he calls the shots! The Brother brings in the Sponsors the Pcb is gonna stick with him for a few years yet. Besides he is rich beyond his wildest dreams, with all them personal Sponshorship deals, why apply your mind when you can get rich without thinking too much?

    Full respect to Afridi for making the most out of his Opportunity.

    Also how long before they bring Akhtar back? another guy very popular with the sponsors, cricket is big business and controversy sells.

  • SYED AHMED on September 27, 2007, 23:41 GMT

    I have always been a great fan of Afridi. Most of the times, I watch matches because of him. But, I am very disappointed with his 20/20 World cup performance and his childish attitude. He didn’t deserve the Man of the tournament award. I am not sure who and why gave it to him. It should be either Misbah or Umar Gul.

    I believe only reason he pulled back is because it is SA and he is afraid of failure and can not face then even in his home country and city.

    What a shame….

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on September 27, 2007, 23:08 GMT

    Mr Abbasi,

    Afridi has been a regular occurrence for 11 years now and he has not been “harnessed” yet. Shoaib Akhtar and Afridi are two players who will not get affected by anyone because what matters more to them is their ego and their subjective standards of “personal greatness”, than harnessing their talent consistently to benefit their team. Afridi started as a batting all-rounder but then he suffered what most of Pakistan’s young prodigies suffer- decline in consistency. He lost focus and then decided to shuffle about the batting order. After a while he realised that he could only muster a permanent place in the team if he improves his bowling. When he was finally dropped a few years ago he worked hard on his bowling, the effect of which is that he became a force to reckon with as far as bowling is concerned in limited overs’ cricket. Afridi in my opinion is not a Test player because he is a bowling all-rounder now whose bowling is not attacking enough for Test standards and also because his batting is a gamble and in Test cricket, you can’t afford to gamble. That is why you need specialists unless the calibre of the all-rounder is akin to Flintoff or Kallis. I thoroughly support your statement when you acknowledge that concentrating on bowling is not an excuse to neglect batting and this is what I have tried to get across to some staunch Afridi supporters on this blog. I fear Afridi’s best batting years are behind him. He has reached a stage now where he has been playing international cricket for over a decade. His bowling is at its peak and his batting has already started waning. I don’t support playing Afridi as opener in ODI’s because he has a weakness for genuine pace. A few months before he started batting down the order I noticed that most of dismissals were surprisingly “bowled’s” and “LBW’s” as opposed to “caught out”. He started having a problem playing fast bowlers who could swing the ball. He should open in T20 cricket because the team only has 120 balls to contend with and Afridi must be used to maximise the benefit the fielding restrictions confer. In ODI’s I would place him between nos 6-8 on the batting chart normally unless the situation demands otherwise. I know Afridi is amongst your favourite players but I feel rueful to suggest that Afridi has reached a stage where he cannot alter the way he bats. He has also realised that he will probably never be promoted to captain. That has affected his confidence. In my opinion Afridi was never a strong candidate to play Test cricket anyway, because to play Test cricket successfully you need to have patience, tenacity and a calm head. You also need to look ahead and plan things in advance whereas Afridi is a spontaneous and volatile character. For a leg spinner (in Tests) you also need to spin the ball profusely like Warne or Kaneria. Anil Kumble does not spin the ball as much but he has tremendous variety, and although Afridi has variety too, Kumble has the patience and resilience to keep bowling accurately in certain areas despite not spinning the ball as profusely. Afridi for all his variety is not a very accurate spinner which means that after putting pressure on the batsmen for a few balls, he bowls an inaccurate delivery that goes for runs and provides the batsmen with much needed relief, which in turns eradicates the pressure.

  • Amyn Habib on September 27, 2007, 23:03 GMT

    I am quite pleased that Afridi has dropped out of the test series. He is -and always has been- a terrible and extremely overrated batsman. On the other hand, his bowling has improved and he could perhaps merit a place in the team as a specialist bowler, especially in the shorter forms of the game (and especially as Kaneria has never really delivered as a top bowler). I think he has matured and realizes his limitations as a batsman. He may not be well served by fans who build up very high expectations for his batting.

  • The Tooting Trumpet on September 27, 2007, 22:08 GMT

    What is Boom Boom up to? Pakistan needs him, cricket needs him, even sport needs him, as he could be up there with the Beckhams and Jeters as huge stars in a team game. He's, what, 27, and has talent to burn (and is burning it), charisma to reach across the oceans and a coach in Henry Lawson to guide him.

    I respect his decision re Ramadan, but please hurry back.

  • omar hussain on September 27, 2007, 22:08 GMT

    I read your blogs at the same time as the announcement that Afridi has backed out of the SA test series due to Ramazan.I just cannot understand his attitude which is quickly becoming childish and egotist.If he is realy a geniune test player he should relish the challenge of SA.As much as i admire him i think if he keeps on doing his usual and not give Pakistan the chance to establish consistency he should be dropped and a player willing to go through all challenges given a chance.We might be better off in giving Fawad Alam,Yasir Arfat,Abdul Rehman etc more chances.A place in the team is not Afridi's birthright and if he wants to keep it he has to face challenges like a man.

  • EAMIRAN on September 27, 2007, 21:55 GMT

    Kamran Abbassi, you give Afridi too much credit (as do many others on this blog). IMO Afridi should not be in the test team. Kaneria is a better spinner and he has to be given preference. If the theory that bits-and-pieces players are the "specialists" required for T20 cricket, than full-time batsmen and bowlers must be regarded as the necessary specialists in test cricket. The only "non-specialist" personnel Pakistan needs is a genuine pace bowling all-rounder and that position can be filled in with Sohail Tanvir. He is more of a bowling all-rounder (some may say a handy lower order bat) and can be used as a 1st or 2nd change bowler, depending on who plays.

    Finally, you are only partially correct when you comment that "--- something popped in Afridi's brain about 18 months ago and he has never recovered." Something did pop in his brain, but it happened 20 odd years ago - when he was repeatedly dropped on his head! Someone who is unwilling, or unable to learn and/or develop after playing cricket for several years, does not deserve to be in the team. As far as I am concerned - good riddance!

    P.S. Umar Gul deserved to be the Man of the Tournament award, not Afridi.

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  • EAMIRAN on September 27, 2007, 21:55 GMT

    Kamran Abbassi, you give Afridi too much credit (as do many others on this blog). IMO Afridi should not be in the test team. Kaneria is a better spinner and he has to be given preference. If the theory that bits-and-pieces players are the "specialists" required for T20 cricket, than full-time batsmen and bowlers must be regarded as the necessary specialists in test cricket. The only "non-specialist" personnel Pakistan needs is a genuine pace bowling all-rounder and that position can be filled in with Sohail Tanvir. He is more of a bowling all-rounder (some may say a handy lower order bat) and can be used as a 1st or 2nd change bowler, depending on who plays.

    Finally, you are only partially correct when you comment that "--- something popped in Afridi's brain about 18 months ago and he has never recovered." Something did pop in his brain, but it happened 20 odd years ago - when he was repeatedly dropped on his head! Someone who is unwilling, or unable to learn and/or develop after playing cricket for several years, does not deserve to be in the team. As far as I am concerned - good riddance!

    P.S. Umar Gul deserved to be the Man of the Tournament award, not Afridi.

  • omar hussain on September 27, 2007, 22:08 GMT

    I read your blogs at the same time as the announcement that Afridi has backed out of the SA test series due to Ramazan.I just cannot understand his attitude which is quickly becoming childish and egotist.If he is realy a geniune test player he should relish the challenge of SA.As much as i admire him i think if he keeps on doing his usual and not give Pakistan the chance to establish consistency he should be dropped and a player willing to go through all challenges given a chance.We might be better off in giving Fawad Alam,Yasir Arfat,Abdul Rehman etc more chances.A place in the team is not Afridi's birthright and if he wants to keep it he has to face challenges like a man.

  • The Tooting Trumpet on September 27, 2007, 22:08 GMT

    What is Boom Boom up to? Pakistan needs him, cricket needs him, even sport needs him, as he could be up there with the Beckhams and Jeters as huge stars in a team game. He's, what, 27, and has talent to burn (and is burning it), charisma to reach across the oceans and a coach in Henry Lawson to guide him.

    I respect his decision re Ramadan, but please hurry back.

  • Amyn Habib on September 27, 2007, 23:03 GMT

    I am quite pleased that Afridi has dropped out of the test series. He is -and always has been- a terrible and extremely overrated batsman. On the other hand, his bowling has improved and he could perhaps merit a place in the team as a specialist bowler, especially in the shorter forms of the game (and especially as Kaneria has never really delivered as a top bowler). I think he has matured and realizes his limitations as a batsman. He may not be well served by fans who build up very high expectations for his batting.

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on September 27, 2007, 23:08 GMT

    Mr Abbasi,

    Afridi has been a regular occurrence for 11 years now and he has not been “harnessed” yet. Shoaib Akhtar and Afridi are two players who will not get affected by anyone because what matters more to them is their ego and their subjective standards of “personal greatness”, than harnessing their talent consistently to benefit their team. Afridi started as a batting all-rounder but then he suffered what most of Pakistan’s young prodigies suffer- decline in consistency. He lost focus and then decided to shuffle about the batting order. After a while he realised that he could only muster a permanent place in the team if he improves his bowling. When he was finally dropped a few years ago he worked hard on his bowling, the effect of which is that he became a force to reckon with as far as bowling is concerned in limited overs’ cricket. Afridi in my opinion is not a Test player because he is a bowling all-rounder now whose bowling is not attacking enough for Test standards and also because his batting is a gamble and in Test cricket, you can’t afford to gamble. That is why you need specialists unless the calibre of the all-rounder is akin to Flintoff or Kallis. I thoroughly support your statement when you acknowledge that concentrating on bowling is not an excuse to neglect batting and this is what I have tried to get across to some staunch Afridi supporters on this blog. I fear Afridi’s best batting years are behind him. He has reached a stage now where he has been playing international cricket for over a decade. His bowling is at its peak and his batting has already started waning. I don’t support playing Afridi as opener in ODI’s because he has a weakness for genuine pace. A few months before he started batting down the order I noticed that most of dismissals were surprisingly “bowled’s” and “LBW’s” as opposed to “caught out”. He started having a problem playing fast bowlers who could swing the ball. He should open in T20 cricket because the team only has 120 balls to contend with and Afridi must be used to maximise the benefit the fielding restrictions confer. In ODI’s I would place him between nos 6-8 on the batting chart normally unless the situation demands otherwise. I know Afridi is amongst your favourite players but I feel rueful to suggest that Afridi has reached a stage where he cannot alter the way he bats. He has also realised that he will probably never be promoted to captain. That has affected his confidence. In my opinion Afridi was never a strong candidate to play Test cricket anyway, because to play Test cricket successfully you need to have patience, tenacity and a calm head. You also need to look ahead and plan things in advance whereas Afridi is a spontaneous and volatile character. For a leg spinner (in Tests) you also need to spin the ball profusely like Warne or Kaneria. Anil Kumble does not spin the ball as much but he has tremendous variety, and although Afridi has variety too, Kumble has the patience and resilience to keep bowling accurately in certain areas despite not spinning the ball as profusely. Afridi for all his variety is not a very accurate spinner which means that after putting pressure on the batsmen for a few balls, he bowls an inaccurate delivery that goes for runs and provides the batsmen with much needed relief, which in turns eradicates the pressure.

  • SYED AHMED on September 27, 2007, 23:41 GMT

    I have always been a great fan of Afridi. Most of the times, I watch matches because of him. But, I am very disappointed with his 20/20 World cup performance and his childish attitude. He didn’t deserve the Man of the tournament award. I am not sure who and why gave it to him. It should be either Misbah or Umar Gul.

    I believe only reason he pulled back is because it is SA and he is afraid of failure and can not face then even in his home country and city.

    What a shame….

  • Ashaq on September 28, 2007, 0:32 GMT

    Afridi does not need to halt the shots, he calls the shots! The Brother brings in the Sponsors the Pcb is gonna stick with him for a few years yet. Besides he is rich beyond his wildest dreams, with all them personal Sponshorship deals, why apply your mind when you can get rich without thinking too much?

    Full respect to Afridi for making the most out of his Opportunity.

    Also how long before they bring Akhtar back? another guy very popular with the sponsors, cricket is big business and controversy sells.

  • Badar Siddiqi on September 28, 2007, 2:15 GMT

    Afridi made a lame excuse for skipping the test series against SA. He knew he doesn't merit a place in the test team so he pulled himself out. Didn't he play the T20 championship during Ramadan that he couldn't play now? I'm surprised that the PCB agreed to his request. That's totally double standard because the PCB refused to give Inzamam the central contract as he wasn't available for both formats of the game. Shouldn't Afridi's contract be revoked now that he opted out of the test series? He must realize his responsibilities as a senior cricketer and his obligation towards his country. As a professional cricketer, he must be available to play anytime irrespective of any factors. Can someone please remind him of his national committments. If other muslim cricketers can play during Ramadan then why can't he?

  • basit on September 28, 2007, 4:04 GMT

    i think you forgot to talk about his match winning inning against sri lanka... right after wc... hence disqualifies this article..

  • Junaid on September 28, 2007, 4:16 GMT

    Kamran..you just need an excuse to showcase your writing skils. the man has opted out so that he can fulfill his duties a muslim ..why cant we all respect that. there are bigger things in life than just cricket. so ..shut up and respect the man's decision.