November 11, 2007

Blood him now


Even the Pakistan Cricket Board has now realised that Kamran Akmal requires some time away from international cricket. Akmal's wicket keeping lapses have become a chronic disease--and a costly one for Pakistan cricket. There are psychological and technical issues that beg urgent attention, not just for the sake of Pakistan cricket but also for the future of Akmal, a former shining talent. Catches win matches is perhaps the oldest wisdom in cricket, and if your wicket keeper persists in dropping them then there can only be a harmful effect on your results.

The time to try somebody different arrived weeks possibly months ago but not a further moment can be wasted. Akmal's form is too wretched to risk in the Test series, while it would be equally unfair to plunge a rookie straight in. The only logical conclusion is to give Sarfraz Ahmed the remaining one-dayers to settle in before the Tests.

Kamran Akmal is young enough to win his place back but the only criterion for selection can be form. It should never be a nostalgic memory of what a player was once capable of. The PCB has often talked of its desire to ape the Australian system. It has even appointed an Australian coach rumoured to perfectly espouse that system's mentality. If either the PCB or Geoff Lawson hesitate even now, they should ask themselves what Australia would have done with the same problem? My guess is that the answer would be based on ruthlessness not sentimentality.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • testli5504537 on May 10, 2010, 22:56 GMT

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    Whitney Nixon

  • testli5504537 on May 10, 2010, 12:29 GMT

    Indeed cool story you got here. I'd like to read a bit more about this matter. Thanx for sharing that material.

  • testli5504537 on November 17, 2007, 20:18 GMT

    A lot of people must be happy who do not like Afridi because he is returning home after one day series. Well stupid selectors should have sent Kamran Akmal with Fawad, Afridi and Imran Nazir, so Kamran can also take part in domestic cricket. Keeping two wicket keepers is a stupid decision because both will play under pressure and just to secure their place and not for the team.

    Afridi's omission is another silly decision which Pakistan will have to pay in test series. This has become a habit of PCB to use someone to blame for the failure instead of addressing the real reason and coming up with improvements next time.

    A disastrous tour by Pakistan team so far – I remember when Australia lost Ashes in England, Steve Waugh blamed Aussies for being too friendly with English mates on their tour. Not exactly the same reason with Pakistani team but look what ShahRukh Khan has done, showed them his dance with Karina ( he pulled some of them on stage to dance with him) and some of young cricketers have been seen quoting “SHAH RUKH KHAN SAY MILNA HAMAR KHOOS NASEEBI HAY”.

    What a lot of crap. I am not against entertainment but on field there should be intensity which Pakistani team has been lacking through out this tour so far.

    Rubber stamp match will be won by Pakistan team to keep their heads high and to allow few players another chance to keep their places.

  • testli5504537 on November 17, 2007, 11:57 GMT

    Im sorry to say this but as a pakistani cricket supporter im absolutely ashamed of our team. We cant bat, sure we can bowl but to not much use. Pakistani cricket is a complete and utter shambles with Akmal being a very weak link behind the stumps...get rid of him, hes cost us a few games with his dropped catches and his batting isnt up to much. If hes trying to be like Gilchrist then he has an awful lot to learn to be honest. Our openers Butt and co are absolutely useless, if it wasnt for Yousef...we wouldnt even make 100 runs in the games we have played since hes been back. Thank god hes still hitting on all cylinders but the question long is he going to be expected to prop up our innings when everything around him is falling apart. Younis i still feel is a decent batsman although he hasnt been very consistent like Yousef. Afridi needs to learn that he cant every freakin ball out of the ground. Misbah is good but hes gettin on a bit and doesnt really add much...fine hes had a few good games in the 20/20 WC but he cost us both matches against India in the group stage and final with some pretty stupid shots.

    Bowling wise??, Im glad Shoaib is back and i hope he behaves now although in the last odi recently, he got hurt so was out for a bit. Umar Gul??, what the hell happened to him??..hes been absolutely terrible since the 20/20 WC...mind boggling at how leaky he has become. Afridi as well hasnt bowled very well either. Asif in injured which concerns me as the Tests are coming up so we could do with him.

    All in all i think the Pak team is getting worse and worse since the 20/20 WC, first we lose a home series both in tests and ODI's against SA and now we just recently lost an ODI series against the Indians. It makes for very sad viewing in my opinion. I dont think appointing Lawson was a smart move, i mean who is he??...never heard of the fella before. Fine we had a good run in the 20/20 final but we cant seem to win any tests or ODI's so the buck stops with him. Personally i would have liked to see Dav Whatmore in charge..someone who has a good pedigree in cricket ie Winning the WC with Sri Lanka and also coaching Bangladesh to some pretty big wins. Pakistan cricket needs a good kicking up its backside..get rid of Akmal for a start...get rid of Butt, whos pretty useless i think. Get some of these U19 WC winners into the squad...for gods sake stop perservering with these useless older players...its no wonder we have become literally the laughing stock of world cricket these days.

  • testli5504537 on November 17, 2007, 8:11 GMT

    Javed Khan, I disagree on the issue of Malik's captaincy. If the PCB made a mistake in appointing him the captain, they should immediately come forward and appoint a new one to minimize the damage that the next few years might bring. Apart from that a rule should be set straight that whoever doesn't deserve a place in the team shouldn't be in the team and certainly shouldn't be the captain. What would you rather have, a team playing defensive, timid cricket for the next 4,5 years or a change of captain that might turn things around? Shoaib Malik was always an experiment in sight of the lack of leaders and the decision should not needlessly demonstrate the continuity property. Afridi might just be the right shoice to change him with. But of course that won't happen now since it is the PCB that leads the show. Pakistan will lose 4,5 consecutive series and then the PCB will scapegoat Malik and ditch him altogether, quite unfairly when he wasn't captain material in the first place. I have been waiting to see some good tactics from him, a change in his mental attitude, but it hasn't happened. When Dhoni and Youvraj came to batting, he had only 4 fielders in the circle and didn't give the Pakistani team a chance (what was he thinking, he will defend the score from there?). Apart from that he is making it quite miserable for the team by chopping and changing the batting and the bowling orders each game. He seems to have this idea (that is if he has any idea at all) that a good team has players who can bat on all positions each time and bowlers who can change their roles each time. The skill and the worth doesn't seem to matter, and thus we see less of consistent strategy and plan and more of this so-called versatility and apparently random changes. Lastly Fawad Alam has been on the bench too long and Kamran Akmal has been hurting the team. But Malik obviously doesn't think that some new players need to blooded in, replacing a 33 something and a person who keeps on dropping every other catch. If this will continue to be, then these results will continue to be. And the dissapointing aspect of this all will be that the team is not building (not that a few new and younger players are making the adjustments), just that the old errors are being persisted with.

    If Malik is a learning captain, then so is Dhoni. But Dhoni is a much better and more aggressive captain, and actually a captain who is 'learning' as well.

  • testli5504537 on November 17, 2007, 7:58 GMT

    I am amazed by the way in which people in Pakistan do not fancy Mohammed Yousuf's batting. Ramiz Raja mentioned in his audio comments after the Ind-Pak 4th 1 dayer that Yusf was being selfish in not making more runs and faster. I do not understand what should the man do more than making 99*(105) in a total team score of 254. His rate was not bad and he is not at fault for the team losing. The other batsmen if he hasn't nboticed didn't lend him support and he played it to the best way he plays. Does Rameez expect him to play an Afridi knock, 100 in 45 balls or something which comes once in a blue moon, or rather red moon, and that too if he manages to cross 50!!! I just do not understand these people . I am an indian, and I should express my conceren that this is exactly the problem with the Pakistani supporters, they never give any leeway for their players. If anyone should be criticised, it should be Kamran Akmal. He is sich a pity. Its long time they changed him. Although Shoaib Malik doesn't seem to have any sense of direction, I believe he should be given faith for minimum 1 more series before people start criticising him. Had Younis Khan should have taken the mantle, the picture would have surely been more rosier. Bowlers like Shoiab Akhtar and Mohammed Sami should be stopped given chances as they have failed to deliver tiem and again. Shoaib due to his ego and lack of fitness and Sami due to his lack of commitment. Bowlers liek Rao Ifthikar rightly deserve a place in the team. Where's the young prodigy who rocked the Under 19 youth world cup in Sri lanka in the final last year i think. Try giving him some chances. Don't expose him completely though, give him chances in teaspoons and see where he goes on. Afridid needs to get a kick in the backside, he just doesnt seem to understand the value and responsibility a senior member of a side needs to bring.Malik needs to assert himslef with his batting. Salman Butt has rightly said that openers should be given a long run. India atleast is better on the persistence area, but still lacks promise. Anyway hope Pakisatn sorts all the creases out. A well wisher.

  • testli5504537 on November 16, 2007, 23:14 GMT


    one of the first things that I learned in parenting was never to compare your child with another child :) We should stop comparing EVERYTHING to Australia! Even the latest comments by Lawson about Salman Butt having an ethic like the "australians" are sooo lame. We should have our own character and our own style and professionalism....not just copying Australia.


  • testli5504537 on November 16, 2007, 22:00 GMT


    Salman Butt has played like Lara before. Remember when he couldn't stop scoring runs against Austaralia in Australia on those bouncy seaming wickets against the likes of Mcgrath, Lee, Gillespie & Warne.

    Jahangir Murtuza

    Yes I agree with you, Akmal has only thrice tormented the Indians-then again he has only played three series against India. You will agree thats a 100% record

  • testli5504537 on November 16, 2007, 18:17 GMT

    Awas, Thanks for your message. I got bored of writing the letters after my name. When I started posting on this blog (seems like decades ago) I didn’t think I would be bothered enough to continue posting and become a regular member. Hence I started with “khansahab” (instead of my real name) which is what my father occasionally refers me as. Both my maternal and paternal grandfathers were called “khansahab” by their acquaintances and my father is also at times referred to by that title. It has passed on me to somehow and since it sounds distinctive, I decided to carry on with it. :-)

    There have been so many salient justifications I have attempted to provide to Wasim Saqib and Javed Khan, amongst other bloggers, but my posts have constantly been blocked. I try reading the Pakspin rules and although I do break a few of them occasionally, so do many other bloggers, some even on a regular basis (I abstain from mentioning names). I know Pakspin is not a popularity contest and if there is anyone who knows that it should be me, considering the flak and ridiculous accusations I have faced for a few months on this blog. However, when learned regulars like Wasim Saqib and Javed Khan expend time and energy focusing on a point regarding me they have fundamentally misinterpreted, I do feel a duty to justify my stand.

    I don’t know why the blog owner has developed an agenda against me and what I ever did to him. For instance, people on this present thread have been discussing politics and issues that do not relate to the topic of the thread, yet those comments are being allowed. But no matter what comment I make, it is dealt with apathy and bias. I don’t consider myself as the best writer here (I have mentioned this numerous times) and I do not have the “celebrity” status that seems inextricably attached to Javed Khan’s name. However, I do occasionally get praised and encouraged by some selfless and decent individuals like yourself and I do believe I have a good cricketing mind. Sure I have made controversial statements on this blog, but who has not? I am not very concerned about what Wasim Saqib or Javed Khan think of me, but when Mr Abbasi, whom I have deeply respected, supported and wished well so many times, starts to act upon a biased agenda against me, I know there is a problem. I believe in compromise over conflict and I hope we see the prevalence of peace and equality soon on this blog.

  • testli5504537 on November 16, 2007, 17:20 GMT

    Jack Welch in his book "Winning" talks about a specific group of employees that most organizations are likely to have. They are called the sliders.

    Sliders are those who have performed admirably in the past, but for some reason seem lost and unproductive now.

    Most often, their current state is precipitated by an indiffernt leadership which takes these individuals for granted and does not invest time in grooming them for superior and challenging responsibilities.

    Kamran (Akmal) is a slider. Some time off from the game will work wonders for him.

    The last thing that we want is Akmal being treated as a leper owing to his new found replacement.

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