New age April 14, 2008

Superficial stars of a failed system

131

Today, a reader sent me a message arguing that it is my social responsibility to start a new thread on Younis Khan, as cricket fans are poised to comment on his extraordinary withdrawal from the current series. An excuse of fatigue is hard to believe. A fit of pique (at the visit by the anti-corruption unit) would be more in character. A statement explaining that he is tired of playing the world's less challenging teams might be understandable. An expression of irritation at Shoaib Malik's captaincy would play to the gallery.

You decide.

Instead, I'm using Younis Khan to highlight a different point. An observation that is reinforced by the presence of two Pakistan XIs in action simultaneously. It is further emphasised by the enigma of Shoaib Akhtar. Once upon a time, Pakistan cricket had more big time players than little piddling ones. Since Inzamam's retirement, Mohammad Yousuf is the only player that will genuinely merit comparison with the top players of the past.

Younis is an erratic and temperamental talent. Shoaib Akhtar and Shahid Afridi could be described in the same way. The rest are a talented bunch yet to cut it when it really matters or show enough depth to be deemed irreplaceable. And there are so many of these superficial stars that we now have two teams of them: one battering Bangladesh and the other humbled by lightweight Indias and World XIs.

Look across these two teams and tell me how many players can be judged to have had satisfying international careers? Yet you will not disagree that therein lie buckets of talent, possibly even thimbles of genius, a catalogue of might-have-beens and what-ifs. Mohammad Asif is the one exception, but injury and injudicious supplement taking have ruined the honeymoon. The rest are superficial stars, promising much delivering sporadically. This is what Pakistan cricket has become, and the breadth of the failure implies the failure of a system.

Now, some readers would like me to move off this theme and start talking up the state of Pakistan cricket and its cricketers. Applaud the PCB for its wonderful stewardship of what was once a national treasure. But what can you really say about comprehensive victories over Bangladesh on flat tracks? Should we hail Salman Butt as the next Saeed Anwar, Shoaib Malik as the new Imran Khan, and Kamran Akmal as the inheritor of Adam Gilchrist? Should we congratulate Dr Ashraf for ensuring the boys get some cricket and win a few games?

All we can really say is that the malaise in Pakistan cricket is a chronic one. It began when the team was at its strongest in the 1990s and has only intermittently been reversed since, such as briefly inspirational spells in the long rule of Wasim Akram and the short period of unity between Inzamam and Bob Woolmer.

New administrations talk long-term strategies and walk quick fixes. The current administration is no different. Only two years ago, Inzy and The Bob had engineered Pakistan into a fight for the second spot in world cricket. Since then, the decline has been quick and distasteful.

What to do with a system that has consistently failed? There is little point in sweating blood to make it work better. It won't. The answer lies in a new system, a whole new approach. And for that the politicians in Pakistan must cut the cricket board free of political rule, appoint an interim administration of independent professionals to revamp the governance and operations of the cricket board, and then appoint a new cricket board of individuals benchmarked against the skills and experience of administrators in the best run cricket boards.

It will take high-quality people, protected by robust governance, to restore the fortunes of Pakistan cricket. The process has to begin now and the change in government offers an ideal opportunity. Pakistan cricket needs to decide if it is happy to continue with its quick-fix production line of superficial stars or whether it is willing to commit to a fundamental rethink of its cricket administration so that it can begin to invest in a more meaningful future?

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ghazanfar on September 25, 2008, 21:22 GMT

    People... Not saying this cause I am a big fan of Afridi's but because Im a big fan of the sport. I don't know how many of you will agree to what I say. But there is always so much expected from Shahid Afridi. You guys might be saying that he needs to learn how to play patiently or that he doesn't have team ethics. But his fans watch him for what he does best. He's not called Boom boom for nothing now is he? Secondly the way he is demoralized after each and every match he doesn't perform in. Its all about for guys. I know its been quite some time since Afridi has been in form. But we have to keep giving him the chances cause we can't just get rid of him. Cricket is all about entertainment people. Without Afridi in the team quite honestly, I don't think there is much to see in our team as it is. Especially when magically some great players get disappeared. I think its high time we stop criticizing the way Afridi plays. Its not like no one has ever told him to play sensibly.

  • Omer Admani on April 18, 2008, 21:56 GMT

    I disagree, though, that Younis is a superficial star. Younis is the only player who has actually improved in the last 4,5 years and is the second-best batsman in the team. Just look at the rubbish statements of Malik's nowadays.

  • JAVED A KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on April 18, 2008, 21:08 GMT

    The Superficial Star-cum-Actor who never really got the chance to put up a real show, neither in cricket world nor in the movie world, is now talking like a cheap bimbo and is busy in mudslinging over those who supported him. I am talking about Show-Aib Actor, a blighter who wasted his career in bad mouthing against everyone and now he is oozing out venom against Javed Miandad and Younus Khan. The irony is Javed Miandad has recently supported Shoaib Akhtar on his recent ban and criticized the PCB. Whereas, Shoaib during a recent TV interview questioned, "why was Javed Miandad not punished when he raised his bat against Denis Lillee?" He was trying to justify his act of hitting Asif with his bat. The difference between him and Miandad's act is, Denis Lille was the culprit who not only elbowed Miandad but, also kicked him on his thigh. Miandad only threatened him, if he wanted to hit him, he would have and no one would have stopped him. Lillee was fined $17 for the boisterous, blatant and shameless act and the penalty he got was like a slap on the wrist. Shoiab Akhtar prior to this interview claimed that Younus Khan is his friend and in the TV interview he tried to justify his visits to Bollywood and asked the TV person, why did the PCB not object to Younus Khan when he went to Mumbai on a private visit? It shows how petty and low he can be, I am sure Miandad or YK would never stoop so low. I am against the ban that the PCB has imposed on Shoaib but, Shoaib is a pathetic case and it is not his fault it is that Chaudhry Wadehra mentality that is imbued in his psyche which Zakir Khan Saheb Chaudhary is preaching, propagating and trying to justify in his pseudo intellectualism by adding a dum chulla of Khan to his Chaudhrahat and giving a sermon to everyone here.

  • Omer Admani on April 18, 2008, 19:31 GMT

    Exactly my thoughts. I bet you are hoping that Malik and doctor are relieved of their respective duties, too. But Pak didn't lose to Bang on flat wickets, and now 11 straight wins means Malik indeed is one of the mre successful captains. Now he can lose 5 times to Aus and 5 to SA, yet his win/loss ratio will be positive. He has a lost of statistics to support him and so does DNA.

  • Rauf on April 18, 2008, 14:31 GMT

    To Karan

    "Did not wish to comment until I read someone give the stats between India v Pak"

    You should have read my whole post. I braught the stats in reluctantly because some of your fellow Indians always like to drag Pak/India comparison no matter what the topic is. Read some of the posts.

    If you forget the past successes/failures then you don't have anything to measure against. If you don't like the fact that Pak dominated Indian cricket for well over three decades then that is your load of bricks to carry. As for me, I would like to mention this fact whenever some Indians get carried away with their analysis.

    The way IPL/BCCI bosses are behaving so arrogantly towards media and ICL, I hope this "goolie danda + bollywood fest" ends up as WSC so that we can enjoy some "real" cricket.

  • Ali Kuli Khan on April 18, 2008, 2:14 GMT

    Philip John Joseph, in first few mails you posed as an Indian. I am glad that veneer has slipped. You are a partisan paki who has nothing sensible to say except indulge in India bashing.

  • Zakir Khan Saheb Chaudhary, on April 18, 2008, 2:11 GMT

    Khan saheb you are surely jealous of my longer name but let me explain few things to you. Only person who thinks Javed Bhai is somehow 'respectable' is you. So why dont you shut up and go away to your farm.

  • faisal....from south pole on April 17, 2008, 19:20 GMT

    Give the charge to Imran Khan then you will see that all the problems are gone...that all i gota say

  • M. Y. Kasim. Houston. Tx. on April 17, 2008, 19:10 GMT

    If I understand correctly, the article by Mr. Abbasi was about the mis-management of cricket and the un-profesional manner of Pakistani players. It had nothing to do with Indo-Pak comparision. It was only a passing remark to emphasis a point. If you ca'nt comprehend this, you better keep your analysis and comments to yourselves instead of showing your ignorance!!

    When Pakistan was challenging Australia and West Indies at the height of their dominance, India were struggling against England and New Zealand!!

    Time changes. Pakistan still has plenty of talents. All it needs is, proper handling and grooming by competent management. And thats what Mr abbasi and most well-wishers are calling for.

  • khansahab786@gmail.com on April 17, 2008, 18:39 GMT

    The system has undeniably failed and the players are undeniably talented. This is the revelation we keep waking up with every now and then. A new system and an altogether new approach is definitely needed. For whatever reason we will have to come to terms with the fact that Shoaib Malik, Younis Khan, Shoaib Akhtar and Kamran Akmal have not fulfilled their promise and are unreliable players. Salman Butt who has some diehard supporters behind him, is only a flat track bully. I feel like proposing a new plan of action and recommending a new and fresh team under the leadership of Shahid Afridi. The only other player who deserves to be in this fresh team is Mohammad Yousuf. But no matter which players play, unless the Board is free of corruption, lack of accountability and mismanagement, the problems will continue to arise.

    Zakir Khan Saheb Chaudhary,

    Last time I checked this was a cricket blog. So please discuss cricket and don't come here to satisfy your personal vendetta against individuals more popular, respected and accomplished than yourself.

  • Ghazanfar on September 25, 2008, 21:22 GMT

    People... Not saying this cause I am a big fan of Afridi's but because Im a big fan of the sport. I don't know how many of you will agree to what I say. But there is always so much expected from Shahid Afridi. You guys might be saying that he needs to learn how to play patiently or that he doesn't have team ethics. But his fans watch him for what he does best. He's not called Boom boom for nothing now is he? Secondly the way he is demoralized after each and every match he doesn't perform in. Its all about for guys. I know its been quite some time since Afridi has been in form. But we have to keep giving him the chances cause we can't just get rid of him. Cricket is all about entertainment people. Without Afridi in the team quite honestly, I don't think there is much to see in our team as it is. Especially when magically some great players get disappeared. I think its high time we stop criticizing the way Afridi plays. Its not like no one has ever told him to play sensibly.

  • Omer Admani on April 18, 2008, 21:56 GMT

    I disagree, though, that Younis is a superficial star. Younis is the only player who has actually improved in the last 4,5 years and is the second-best batsman in the team. Just look at the rubbish statements of Malik's nowadays.

  • JAVED A KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on April 18, 2008, 21:08 GMT

    The Superficial Star-cum-Actor who never really got the chance to put up a real show, neither in cricket world nor in the movie world, is now talking like a cheap bimbo and is busy in mudslinging over those who supported him. I am talking about Show-Aib Actor, a blighter who wasted his career in bad mouthing against everyone and now he is oozing out venom against Javed Miandad and Younus Khan. The irony is Javed Miandad has recently supported Shoaib Akhtar on his recent ban and criticized the PCB. Whereas, Shoaib during a recent TV interview questioned, "why was Javed Miandad not punished when he raised his bat against Denis Lillee?" He was trying to justify his act of hitting Asif with his bat. The difference between him and Miandad's act is, Denis Lille was the culprit who not only elbowed Miandad but, also kicked him on his thigh. Miandad only threatened him, if he wanted to hit him, he would have and no one would have stopped him. Lillee was fined $17 for the boisterous, blatant and shameless act and the penalty he got was like a slap on the wrist. Shoiab Akhtar prior to this interview claimed that Younus Khan is his friend and in the TV interview he tried to justify his visits to Bollywood and asked the TV person, why did the PCB not object to Younus Khan when he went to Mumbai on a private visit? It shows how petty and low he can be, I am sure Miandad or YK would never stoop so low. I am against the ban that the PCB has imposed on Shoaib but, Shoaib is a pathetic case and it is not his fault it is that Chaudhry Wadehra mentality that is imbued in his psyche which Zakir Khan Saheb Chaudhary is preaching, propagating and trying to justify in his pseudo intellectualism by adding a dum chulla of Khan to his Chaudhrahat and giving a sermon to everyone here.

  • Omer Admani on April 18, 2008, 19:31 GMT

    Exactly my thoughts. I bet you are hoping that Malik and doctor are relieved of their respective duties, too. But Pak didn't lose to Bang on flat wickets, and now 11 straight wins means Malik indeed is one of the mre successful captains. Now he can lose 5 times to Aus and 5 to SA, yet his win/loss ratio will be positive. He has a lost of statistics to support him and so does DNA.

  • Rauf on April 18, 2008, 14:31 GMT

    To Karan

    "Did not wish to comment until I read someone give the stats between India v Pak"

    You should have read my whole post. I braught the stats in reluctantly because some of your fellow Indians always like to drag Pak/India comparison no matter what the topic is. Read some of the posts.

    If you forget the past successes/failures then you don't have anything to measure against. If you don't like the fact that Pak dominated Indian cricket for well over three decades then that is your load of bricks to carry. As for me, I would like to mention this fact whenever some Indians get carried away with their analysis.

    The way IPL/BCCI bosses are behaving so arrogantly towards media and ICL, I hope this "goolie danda + bollywood fest" ends up as WSC so that we can enjoy some "real" cricket.

  • Ali Kuli Khan on April 18, 2008, 2:14 GMT

    Philip John Joseph, in first few mails you posed as an Indian. I am glad that veneer has slipped. You are a partisan paki who has nothing sensible to say except indulge in India bashing.

  • Zakir Khan Saheb Chaudhary, on April 18, 2008, 2:11 GMT

    Khan saheb you are surely jealous of my longer name but let me explain few things to you. Only person who thinks Javed Bhai is somehow 'respectable' is you. So why dont you shut up and go away to your farm.

  • faisal....from south pole on April 17, 2008, 19:20 GMT

    Give the charge to Imran Khan then you will see that all the problems are gone...that all i gota say

  • M. Y. Kasim. Houston. Tx. on April 17, 2008, 19:10 GMT

    If I understand correctly, the article by Mr. Abbasi was about the mis-management of cricket and the un-profesional manner of Pakistani players. It had nothing to do with Indo-Pak comparision. It was only a passing remark to emphasis a point. If you ca'nt comprehend this, you better keep your analysis and comments to yourselves instead of showing your ignorance!!

    When Pakistan was challenging Australia and West Indies at the height of their dominance, India were struggling against England and New Zealand!!

    Time changes. Pakistan still has plenty of talents. All it needs is, proper handling and grooming by competent management. And thats what Mr abbasi and most well-wishers are calling for.

  • khansahab786@gmail.com on April 17, 2008, 18:39 GMT

    The system has undeniably failed and the players are undeniably talented. This is the revelation we keep waking up with every now and then. A new system and an altogether new approach is definitely needed. For whatever reason we will have to come to terms with the fact that Shoaib Malik, Younis Khan, Shoaib Akhtar and Kamran Akmal have not fulfilled their promise and are unreliable players. Salman Butt who has some diehard supporters behind him, is only a flat track bully. I feel like proposing a new plan of action and recommending a new and fresh team under the leadership of Shahid Afridi. The only other player who deserves to be in this fresh team is Mohammad Yousuf. But no matter which players play, unless the Board is free of corruption, lack of accountability and mismanagement, the problems will continue to arise.

    Zakir Khan Saheb Chaudhary,

    Last time I checked this was a cricket blog. So please discuss cricket and don't come here to satisfy your personal vendetta against individuals more popular, respected and accomplished than yourself.

  • Samy on April 17, 2008, 16:48 GMT

    All my fellow Indian bloggers, I think what Kamran meant by 'lightweight Indias' was the ICL India team, which consisted of mainly unknown domestic players such as G.Vignesh, R.Sathish, Raviraj Patil, Ali Murtaza etc., players who have no or very little international experience. On paper at least the team looked very lightweight, even though they eventually won the tournament.

    Samy(not the same person as 'Sammy')

  • Fahad on April 17, 2008, 16:29 GMT

    Hi, Though I am from India I am a big admirer of some of the biggest stars of PAK and I think one palyer the so called Cirtics and the Media ignore is Abdur Razzaq. Man he is one star who has been under-rated by the so called critics, he is sidelined just like is Inzamam. Like in the above review you mentioned yousuf and Inzy but u missed Razzaq......

  • Naeem Afzal on April 17, 2008, 16:24 GMT

    Hats off to Dawar from LA. Am really happy that someone brought about this issue that PCB and Shoaib Malik are boasting. Malik and board are so shameless that they are "breaking" records of Imran Khan and comparing this unit with the team of 90s. Yes, its understandable that board and Mr. Malik have discovered new lows of honour and dignity. BUT why have my countrymen forgotton cricket? How come they oversee this incompetence by board and the fact that now we have to put full strength side to face mighty Bangladesh. Pls people dont let Naseem Ashraf and Malik run away. Mere sacking isnt enough. We must seek their heads so future opportunists can be deterred.

  • Prude to be Pakistani on April 17, 2008, 14:14 GMT

    Hi Mr. Kamran, Sorry I am bit away from the topic, I just like to pass on a small message to my Paki brothers and indian friends. hope you don't mind to post it.

    Listen up folks, Pakistan's talent has never been doubted, We have never ending heroes, if our indian mates are feeling happy at the moment for being in better position just for a little recent past. they shouldn't forget they waited for this moment for very long time. I am very sure of our Paki boys, that once the internal differences gets over and luck favours a little towards us, nothing! I repeat, nothing can stop us.

    Love Pakistan and Love Pakistan Cricket with no conditions.

  • Philip John Joseph on April 17, 2008, 13:54 GMT

    Imran Ali and Fahad Khan:

    I was going to point out what you pointed out, but I didn't because it's just incredibly frustrating for me to see "fellow Indians" talk such utter rubbish. Anyway, good that you did. The tragedy of it all is that there are dimwits who come on to this blog and parse the article for some pathetic excuse to launch a meaningless anti-Pakistan tirade; or alternatively, try and start some kind of online "fight". If only they could get their english comprehension skills up to the point where they could actually find something "pickable-upon" instead of imagining some non-existent point that they think gives them the opportunity they so desperately seek.

    Apropos Fahad Khan's statement that India must accept blame for the poor security situation in the sub-continent, I will amend this to India should accept ALL the blame for the poor security situation in the sub-continent; and rectify it by having open borders for human beings with both Pakistan and Bangladesh.

  • shiraz on April 17, 2008, 13:50 GMT

    Whole PCB needs to be sacked. Pakistan has wasted two very important series where they should have only played young talent but they did not. Why yousuf keeps coming two down when we know he can play i want to see young guys play like fawad alam. Why is kamran akmal coming opener again when we have a chance to give guys like khurram manzoor or khalid latif a chance. Its mind boggling that Afridi is still in the team , all he does is politics in the team. If he is a bowler as he says why is he coming 4 down to bat. Its crazy. Kamran akmal should be dropped as he continues to drop catches and sarfraz should be played. I have yet to see these young talent bat. Its so shocking to see all the old guys coming early to bat to make there averages look good and when a good series comes they will be throwing away wickets again. My suggestion kick out younis khan , afridi , akmal and akhtar. Shoaib Malik has no leadership skills i think Misbah should be the captain.

  • Karan on April 17, 2008, 6:43 GMT

    Mr.Abassi your last 3 blogs have been similar with rantings against the PCB & DNA. Well most of the participants agree to that and so what the point ? Everyone Indian / Pakistani or others feel that PCB should be revamped and administration should improve. I think many people have given some ideas aswell as to how to go about the changes. I only feel that many friends here have pinned their hopes on individuals rather than collective effort. I dont think one Imran Khan or Javed Miandad can make a diff. Due to their past people in Pakistan are feeling that they have a magic wand which they will wave and all will be fine. That wont happen. Yes, they with their exp and knowledge will make a diff but it will have to be a collective effort. You have the power of the people, they can contribute. You should focus not on the problem but on the solution, how can you and the other Paki fans contribute to improve the situations or implement your ideas. Remember Public pressure is the best weapon.

  • Karan on April 17, 2008, 6:31 GMT

    Did not wish to comment until I read someone give the stats between India v Pak. Well all I got to say is that I sympathise with you because like many you also like to live in the past, unfortunately for you those were the best days for your team. When the sheikhs invited our team to win matches in sharjah with their money & underworld. Why dont you give the world cup stats ? To the best of my memory it reads 6-0. I feel sorry that you are clinging to the stats of the past. The present is that we are rated as the second best team in the world and have beaten the aussies in their back yard. The present is that is the IPL where the name, fame and money lies. Every tom dick harry wants to jump at the IPL/ICL bandwagon. In 2 days time the IPL will start and the rest of the world cricket will be forgotten. There is a great chance that it will be a grand success and a slim chance it may fail, fact is that its the Indian public which will decide the fate of the game, and that makes me proud.

  • K. B. Gopallawa on April 17, 2008, 1:01 GMT

    Are there any bowlers similer to Sri Lanka's new sensation Ajantha Mendis - who bowls the Carrom Ball - a ball flicked by the finger as would a Carrom player. On the same token do you believe the term Carrom ball - gaining popularity among fans would gain currency as the Doosra? Whoever coined the term has to be creatively brilliant and we must thank that person for enriching the cricket lexicon.Let us know what Mr Abbasi and readers of this blog think of the term Carrom Ball.

  • Moin on April 16, 2008, 21:04 GMT

    I dont know why ppl start a Ind Vs Pak Battle

    Asians always have big egos...like Mr. Rauf

    Statistics dont matter butter team matter

    Pakistan had great players in the past and good teams, which now unfortunately is in a bad state

    BTW get the stats for the past 2 yrs between india and Pak, you will know the difference

    BTW am an indian

  • Anjo on April 16, 2008, 18:21 GMT

    "And for that the politicians in Pakistan must cut the cricket board free of political rule"... Wishful thinking Kamran. Do you remember when Shoaib Akhtar said he was advised not to comment on the drugs issue by none other than President Musharraf! In the sub-continent cricket is a more than useful instrument for a politician. Do you honestly believe the change in governance is going to inspire a radical changes to the PCB? The greediest, most corrupt people usually have the most power and will do everything they can to hold on to that power. The only way I can see the PCB being rid of corruption is if it is uprooted at every level in society. You're asking for nothing short of a revolution in Pakistan. For what, a better cricket board? There are far more pressing problems in Pakistan that need to be addressed, I can't really see this change in government being that revolution, I can't see it addressing most of the country's problems let alone that of a corrupt cricket board.

  • Rizwan Khan on April 16, 2008, 18:10 GMT

    about the shots they play, surely Salman Butt thinking is an achievemnt, so why is it that the we bring him down for being better then other tried and tested openers. All of you guys are double standard, when a guy is talentless, you bring him down, but at the same time, when an opener has shown aptitude and a willingless to fight for his place, then why do you bring him down? all of the people on this blog are pathetic, now wonder the pak cricket team is in tatters, what motivation do they receive from a bunch of laloos like you guys. I can understand Akmal, an international keeper whould be able to to hold on to nearly al the catches he receives, but what exactly has Salman Butt done, yeah he had poor form against South Africa, but he is a young man who is still learning, not even 50 odis yet, what do you expect, for him to come in and smash a double hundred in each match? As far as consistency goes, where he has been in form, has he not been consistent ?

  • Rizwan Khan on April 16, 2008, 17:59 GMT

    One question, what does eberybody in this blog have against Salman Butt, is it because hes punjabi or something because thats racist, or is it because hes punjabi so he might be in league with Malik, thats bull, he is picked in the team becuase everys season he tops the batting averages in nearly every high profile domestic competition, just now in the Pentangular cup, he smashed 290, against non other than shoaib Akhtar with new ball, he averaged 137.6 in the whole cup, this is the reason why he gets picked. People talk of Asim Kamal returning to the team, yet he wasnt even good enough to be considered for any team in the pentangular cup. Salman Butt is only 23, and is no doubt the best opener in pakistan at this time when considering the patheticness of others(did you see how Nasir Jamshed got out in the 2nd odi, how was he even considered for international cricket). Salman Butt is probably the only opener who does not play irrational shots, how any of our openers have ever

  • Zakir Khan Saheb Chaudhary on April 16, 2008, 17:40 GMT

    I think Javed Bhai has lost it big time and his psychobabble amuses no one any more. He is bringing more and more shame to our great country by putting up the most nonsensical face possible. Average Pakistani's are much smarter and sensible then this nicompoop from Canada who has no sense of history or shame.

  • Shariq Hussain on April 16, 2008, 17:29 GMT

    This post is a bit off the topic but still related to Pakistani team. As i write this post, fourth match between PK and BD is going on. Every one is talking about Shoaib Malik on cusp of beating a record held by Waqar Younis and Imran Khan. First of all, I don't like the comparison. Shoaib is no where in the same league as the legends of Imran and Waqar. Secondly, Imran and Waqar performed the feat against top notch teams; not against two minnows! Thirdly, Imran in particular, thrived on giving chances to youngsters and promoting their inner game. Shoaib seems to be completely consumed in saving his own place and giving easy scoring chances to his senior players. Look at how he handled today's game. Sohail Khan had an oppurtunity to get 5 wickets. But he kept persisting with Afridi, Gul and himself rather than giving him his rest of the five overs. Fawad Alam is another casualty of his lousy captaincy. Why give him a chance, if you are not going to bowl him or bat him higher up!

  • Dawar, LA USA on April 16, 2008, 16:28 GMT

    To Mr. Rauf (above)

    Your statistics

    Matches played 59 (Tests) 113 (ODI) 2 (20/20) Won by Pakistan 12 66 0 Won by India 9 43 1 Drawn/No result 38 4 0 Tied 0 0 1 (Won by India in bowl out)

    Do you notice whom you are winning Zimbave, Bangladesh, Kenya or at your home. Our team is not winning team any more.They can win only agianst weak teams like India in 70s, 80s and 90s. so please keep your statistics in trash.

    Dawar LA, USA

  • Dawar, LA USA on April 16, 2008, 16:12 GMT

    Good article Kamran. I'd like to give comments on current Pakistan cricket team performance. Well done Malik as a Captin today you won 10 consecutive match. Breaking the record of Imran Khan as Captin. I urged PCB to arrange serise against Kenya and holland, so my Dear Malik will break the record of Ricky Pointing.

    Dawar LA, USA

  • Fahad Khan on April 16, 2008, 16:09 GMT

    Sammy- the weakened Indian side Kamran is mentioning is not the Indian national team, he is referring to the ICL and the India XI in the ICL. Rohan, if you have so many issues with violence in Pakistan, you can find daily instances of violence in India as well. There are Maoist shootings and also attacks in the NE of India on a daily basis. You also had a PM who was killed by a suicide bombing, so why the arrogance? Pakistan is still primarily a peaceful country. As for people rushing to India to play quality cricket, I think you will find that people are going there to make money, and nothing else. I do wish the best for the ICL and IPL though, along with India in general. However, if you want to criticize Pakistan, I think you will find the blame does lie on your side of the border a lot. The recently released Indian spy in Pakistan admitted to espionage and subversive activity and Baloch tribemen have openly stated that they received arms from India. So get over yourself.

  • Martin Hook on April 16, 2008, 14:23 GMT

    It is alright to point out the problems but what is the solution? I think Mr. Abbasi should write-up a follow up article on what could be potential solutions to some of the problems discussed. I have couple of mine: 1. Demovratize PCB 2. Hold regular elections every 2 years or so 3.

  • Imran Ali on April 16, 2008, 13:54 GMT

    @ Indians I would like clarify to most of the Indian supporters here that Kamran referred the 'lightweight Indian' to ICL-India XI team and not the current Indian team as most of you guys have misunderstood. Hope this clarifies the matter. Please don't jump on bandwagon without understanding what the words are meant for.

  • Waqqas Qavi - Melbourne on April 16, 2008, 13:04 GMT

    I fail to understand why countless people in this blog have the propensity to initiate comparisons between Ind and Pak where it bears no relevance to this matter. Javed Bh, Montreal, you have my consensus on your thoughts about culprits who commit mischievous acts and then request clemency. Perhaps one would imagine for remorse to sink in any way but subsequent to your comments, they may like to think twice before their much-sought vengeance. And Rauf quite a decent job that you posted the official stats between Ind and Pak, and whilst I have no doubt on India’s current capacity, it is well known to any cricket fan how it only got battered by Pak in the past. So for all those discussion deflectors, please be mindful that the blog is no comparison between Ind and Pak so leave that aside and put the so meaning full thoughts to assist the forum. All the best!

  • Rauf on April 16, 2008, 10:33 GMT

    To Ricky, Martin Hook, DadhiBaba, Swami and others that I may have missed.

    Topic at hand is PCB and Pakistan cricket team and it's current situation. Please save your psycho babble about Pakistani politics, Pakistani people in general and comparison between Pak/India when the topic actually calls for it. It seems that some Indians are so paranoid that they will drag Pak vs India comparison discussing wild life state in the Antarctica.

    And for those paranoid Indian fans who always like to do Pak/India comparison no matter what. Here is Pak/India head to head all time summary. Now go and chill out.

    As of 13 December 2007

    Matches played 59 (Tests) 113 (ODI) 2 (20/20) Won by Pakistan 12 66 0 Won by India 9 43 1 Drawn/No result 38 4 0 Tied 0 0 1 (Won by India in bowl out)

    http://stats.cricinfo.com/statsguru/engine/current/stats/index.html

  • Philip John Joseph on April 16, 2008, 10:23 GMT

    Greetings Mr. Abbasi:

    Was wondering if it might be possible for you to reverse the order of the posts so that the "Post your comment" box comes right after your article, and then your readers' posts follow, with the most recent post at the top, just after the comment box, and the first post at the bottom, at the end/bottom of the page. In other words, a format similar to the one on the Fox Sports blogging section; except that I like your one page format, because the Fox Sports multi-page format is clumsy. Thanks and great blog.

    Apropos your article, I believe what you are referring to is the sub-continental malaise, and I still believe that the situation is much worse in India, except that the problem is masked by the relatively large quantities of money sloshing around in the game of cricket in India. From a political science/economics perspective, you are absolutely right in stating that radical changes beat incremental changes. Therefore radical changes are needed.

  • srivathsan on April 16, 2008, 9:49 GMT

    My blog got disconnected ,may be because of 1000ch.Let me complete.kamran is always un biased.You read it for second time, you will know.What he means is Indian team was light as sachin,dravid ,kumble did not play either in some tests or one dayers & hence light which does not mean that the indian team is lightweight.In fact it is a compliment.May be a slight change in wordings would have made it more clear.

  • srivathsan on April 16, 2008, 9:39 GMT

    I am writing this to clarify some blogger's wrong interpritation of Mr.KAMRAN ABBASI'S THREAD.Mr SAMI,for the first reading ,even I mistook the word light weight as you have thought.But knowing kamran who always

  • T on April 16, 2008, 8:42 GMT

    To Ricky, governance and patience are exactly the qualities the USA could not teach to other nations of the world, let alone Pakistan. Failing wars and failing economies come to mind.

    And democracy is and always has been a sham. The fault of Pakistans recent debacles is solely on the shoulders of the players. Simple as that.

    Pakistan underachieves in recent times and it's because they're not democratic enough. Boo hoo. India overachieves in modern times and they're a threat to the world game. Just more pathetic rantings of an old dictatorial order.

  • Rohan Kapoor on April 16, 2008, 8:15 GMT

    Javed Khan is a self opinionated person not just about his country but also about himself. He went on refugee status to Montreal, stays on Employment insurance given by Quebec govt. As a result he has time on hand. In this time he conjures up his imaginative powers and dreams about a Pakistan which is economically and politically stable. A Pakistan which is ahead of not only India but UK/Aus in terms of financial stability , economic stability. He just ignores suicide bombers , fanatic and failing cricket team where all good players are rushing to India to play competitive quality cricket and make few $$$ more than what they would make in Pakistan. But still in mind of Javed peaceful , preposperous Pakistan exists. Cool buddy. Hey did you get your EI this month javed becos I hear due to tax period it may not come this month ;)

  • Ozman Mirza on April 16, 2008, 8:05 GMT

    I am all for the change, Nasim Ashraf needs to go, Pakistan cricket has been made a laughing stock in eyes of the world, i don't think many people would disagree if I said that we have never really lacked the talent, but the way the board has operated in recent times is nothing short of an international embarrassment for Pakistanis around the world, enough is enough, why is someone like Nasim Ashraf in charge anyway, he lacks the credentials and people that understand the game better should be offered the role instead, we are wasting our talent and Pakistanis are being made to feel hugely embarrassed infront of the world, we always seem to be in the news for the wrong reasons, if Pakistan if managed properly they have the capabilities to send shockwaves through world cricket, Shoaib Akhtar is no angel, we all know that but the ban handed out to him stinks of a personal grudge, if that is the way a board chairman conducts himself, then i find him very unprofessional and he needs to go !

  • Waqqas Qavi - Melbourne on April 16, 2008, 4:34 GMT

    Timely article Mr.Abbasi,perhaps the malaise gets chronic ever since it instigates amongst the youngsters lining up for the team i.e. there is no distinction between contribution and commitment.The later is what is sought in this contemporary world of cricket and what Pak lacks awfully.Whilst Younis Khan’s talent is not sceptical but its interpretation on and off the filed appears to be a perpetual conundrum.Citation of fatigue is the most idiotic excuse ever as Pak has only been beneficial to implement their supremacy on the might of Zim and Bang in the last 12 months, so why is he depleted? Summary, severe attitude issues!Albeit I am not a hard core fan of Afridi but his performance separates Pak from the rest and it is rare that his contribution goes in vain.Pak system has been a victim of state discrimination,hence the talent of youngsters is getting squandered.While as cricket lovers, we are all acquainted with the incumbent issues in Pak, I merely anticipate a resolution.

  • Rayan Khan on April 16, 2008, 2:47 GMT

    Now that we lack the ability to bounce back why don't we ask our legends to help us and bring to the table what they had and they learnt... legends like wasim akram, waqar younis, saqlain mushtaq and Abdul qadir... where are the quality all rounders like imran khan and Abdul razaq? but its not only about the talent and their grooming its about utilizing them... All I am seeing with this administration is "Might is right". Pak cricket team looks like a orphan kids. This team needs a father so they can have a sense of a family and a common purpose of being in there. God Bless!

  • Muhammad Asif on April 16, 2008, 2:27 GMT

    Have domestic cricket not without spectators but with spectators if not 100% but atleast above 50%. With as much coverage as possible. Set a very simple logic that for 1st timer in Domestic cricket, one cricker per series would be given a chance, one selected by purely selectors, one scoring highest runs, just like that not as what I have said. Made these thresholds public before the start of every domestic season. Until & unless we have a board run professionally, keep the threshold system to make a beginning.

  • Hamzah on April 16, 2008, 2:00 GMT

    Dear Kamran: As an avid fan of Pakistan cricket it depresses me to see the state our cricket team is in. Just one request, could you please not depress us even more by writing these negative articles. I know you want to make a point about the systematic failure in our cricket but please show us a glimmer of hope. As Pakistanis we are in desperate need of cheering up and historically cricket was the avenue which provided us with happiness but even that is snatched away from us now. Has there ever been such a depressing period for Pakistan as a whole? But then again that is what is going to happen if you put a DOCTOR in charge of national cricket!!!! Only in Pakistan can you get away with murder.

  • Madan on April 16, 2008, 1:59 GMT

    Fellow Indians on this thread, please calm down. By lightweight India, Kamran is obviously referring to the ICL India team which is inexperienced but beat the Pak and World XI teams. At least check your comprehension skills before criticizing the article!!!

  • JAVED A KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on April 16, 2008, 1:34 GMT

    People like Marty Hooka are on this blog with an avowed purpose to ridicule and humiliate Pakistan cricket team and the country in general. After spitting venom each time he then apologizes like virgin Mary. On this blog, there is a so-called Pakistani who is suffering from chronic inferiority complex and he loves to take hooka's sides. He is Chaudhary da sand & Zakir Khan di and or, Sammy in disguise etc., 3 in 1. He is ashamed and apologizing Hooka because, Kamran Abbassi has called some of our players as "superficial stars" and he thinks I am a refugee! LOL, then I pray to God that everyone should be like me and no one will be poor in this world. How much more generous and philanthropic you want me to be? Sammy, one doesn't need a kaleidoscope to see a chameleon and identify his colours no matter what you do, you will still be identified and spotted as ichara's puffta.

    As regards dropping Afridi, yes he should be dropped because, the Pak selectors love to drop him without any reason, this time they have a reason and i.e., he is the highest wicket taker in this series so far. We should allow Salman for gyrating his Butt in front of Malak Saab & Co. And we should allow Akmal for dropping a few more catches behind the stumps and we should give more opportunities to players like Nasir Jamshed the same way we are giving chances to Bazid Khan for being so inconsistent at international level. And, DNA should not be replaced by anyone because, DNA is inextricably linked to life.

  • normy on April 16, 2008, 0:55 GMT

    i am sick of us pakistani fans.if theres no politics in the team it doesnt feel right its natural.as for shoaib aktar how dare you people hav go at him the best and most entertaining player on his day.you can watch him knowing hes not out there to take wickets and hurt the indian openers wake up guys.this is the art of pakistan

  • Yasir Khalid on April 16, 2008, 0:04 GMT

    Seems like the PCB can not concentrate on cricket any more. After loosing Abdur Razzak and Shoaib, they did not care and lost another great talent. Hopefully not permanently... The PCB needs a messiah!!! A messiah who will revamp all of Pakistan cricket. Ranging from the Cricket systems down below at the academies to the PCB it self. There is plenty of talent in the streets of Pakistan. It just needs to be brought up through the right system instead of just being wasted when it joins one of the political parties.

    Pakistan cricket is like a farm. The players are the crops. The selection system is the soil. They are never pulled out at the perfect time. Either too late or too early. Too early for players like Shoaib Akhtar who weren't able to mature and too late for players like Misbah who weren't used when they were perfect.

    I opt for a complete change in Pakistan cricket!!! i wish there was a restart button for the cricket of Pakistan. we need it!!!

  • Faisal Taquie on April 15, 2008, 23:39 GMT

    Kamran...I agree with your approach of having a system completely separated from the country's political system. Unfortunately, it is impractical in out country. If it was easy to do-away with current dysfunctional systems, and determine and deploy new systems .....free of politics, then we would not have the problems we are having today: energy, food, law and order, ...., cricket....

  • Awas on April 15, 2008, 22:42 GMT

    Sammy

    “humbled by lightweight Indias and World XIs” This was in reference to India X1, Pak X1 and world X1 in ICL not your national team. In fact Kamran Abbasi was admiring that even a “lightweight” India X1 of ICL could beat a star stutdded Pak X1.

    It’s about time you get over your inferiority complex over Pakistan that has been thrashing your pride and joy all those years till now. India now is definitely a better team as Kamran clearly implied.

    Aftab

  • saurabh kukreti on April 15, 2008, 21:34 GMT

    Kamran, where does Pak Cricket head from here on? Dumping Shoaib,letting go of Abul Razzaq, and now the anguish of Younis K. All these are players, and great players. No one realizes this but Younis has filled in the number 3 slot for Pakistan in the last 7 years like no other player after the departure of Javed Miandad. Last year when he was playing against India, it was He and He alone who was carrying the team on his shoulders. It is not wrong to feel aggrieved but to do it in the open, means something is wrong with Pak Cricket. Perhaps it's time Pak Board learns that there is talent in Pakistan and nurture that rather than persisting with Butt, Akmal and the likes. If not for T20, misbah would have been lost, thank god he is playing for Pakistan even if he is 33. He got his 2nd chance, other's like Asif Kamal may not get that. So stop playing politics and play the game

  • M. Y. Kasim, Houston. Tx. on April 15, 2008, 20:21 GMT

    Neem hakeem, khatrae jaan, Naseem hakeem, khatrae Pakistan Cricket.

  • Martin Hook on April 15, 2008, 20:07 GMT

    Stupidity has many names. Mr. Khan from Montreal wants to paint a fairy tale of his country sitting in another country, only if he lived among countless compatriots who feel the frustration seeping into every aspect of their lives, he would not insult their intelligence in this manner. If you want to live in nostalgia you could do so but here at your home cricket is dying in slow motion. Comparison to India are justified in the sense that with the same kind of resources if they can build such bright future so could their neighbour.

    When one runs out of anything sensible to say they engage in kind of verbal vitriol Javed regularily employs. But in the end it is he who comes across as silly bully.

  • Sammy on April 15, 2008, 19:47 GMT

    To Javed 'the refugee'...

    Pls. stop screaming while writing!! No need to type in bold. We all can see well and clear! If anyone, you are the one who needs glasses to read. BTW, Kamran, like you, makes comparisons with India in every article he posts. Read the tripe he has posted again and you will see the reference to India. "And there are so many of these superficial stars that we now have two teams of them: one battering Bangladesh and the other humbled by lightweight Indias and World XIs."

    What the heck do you mean "lightweight"? India is second in the ICC rankings and not at the bottom of the heap with Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.

  • Feroz Faisal Merican on April 15, 2008, 19:35 GMT

    One, cannot , in good conscience defend Shoaib Akhtar, too many times in too many tests he only bowled one innings before crying off with an injury thereby letting his ten team mates down, let alone his county, and Pakistan's supporters throughout the world. As for Younis Khan, how this batsman ever became a number three beggars belief, it is not an exxageration to state that only Inzy and Yousuf were talented and disciplined enough to play for any Test side in modern times. I never saw that quality or discipline in Younis Khan. Why Imran Khan continued to push for his promotion only he knows. And perhaps some of you as well. I will never forget Younis' perfomance in the World Cup and I refuse to say any more lest I be accused of slander. I thought he should never play for Pakistan after the World Cup, the fact that he did shows the intelligence and character of the Board. The day Younis Khan retires will be the day I think Pakistan will finally end the horror of the last few years.

  • cricketexpert on April 15, 2008, 18:52 GMT

    The cricket board has made many mistakes but has done one thing right by dealing with the ignorant Shoaib Akhtar. whenever he gets fit to play a match he gets injured again in less than half an hour anyway so there is no point in bringing him back into the team or firing Nasim Ashraf for banning Shoaib

  • Nawed Ibrahim on April 15, 2008, 18:48 GMT

    In regards to bringing back cricket to Pakistan.

    One way would be to build a man-made island a few KMs off of Karachi(like the Palms in Dubai), and build a stadium on it and a hotel at least. Then stage matches there, as it will be easier to secure the island, and the teams will surely be willing to come.

  • safwan on April 15, 2008, 18:36 GMT

    @ Bartholomew....excellent overview of the current situation that faces pakistan cricket....i thoroughly agree with you on Younis...no doubt he is perhaps one of the best no.3 batsmen in the world, yet its the sudden abnormality in his temprament and behaviour that costs the team so much! i mean we have never seen Yousuf complain or quit a series in mid-way, he is our best bat yet he performs consistenly against every opponent he plays.....PAKISTAN CRICKET ONLY NEEDS A FEW MORE COMMITTED, MODEST AND SINCERE INDIVIDUALS LIKE HIM....WHO HAVE MORE COMMITMENT AND LESS FLARE! and also more importantly to get rid of this stupid guy that heads our board!

  • Awas on April 15, 2008, 18:12 GMT

    Kamran, a very nicely written article indeed, as always. The power of writing and also oratory can be such that it can make people say “I agree 100%”. You have definitely made some very good points but the mediocrity of our current national team full of “superficial stars” is not all down to fault of the Board.

    Pakistan always has had the luxury of producing talented players like Fazal Mahmoud, Hanif & Mushtaq Muhammed, Asif Iqbal, Majid Khan, Zaheer, Salim Malik, Miandad, Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar and so on. Such players were the real stars that Pakistan has had from time to time but the fact is that you cannot make stars. Stars are made who have a combination of talent and mental strength. Talent is something you are born with and mental strength is something you acquire due to self belief that cannot be instilled in you by someone else and is a product of upbringing within the environment that you are being brought up in. Imran and Miandad were two contrasting examples of mentally strong individuals from different backgrounds. One educated and cultured the other not so but both stars in their own right.

    What we have nowadays in the likes of Shoaib Akhtar, Afiridi and Younis Khan even M Yousaf are premadonnas but no stars. Whenever they got moody, the chairmen be it Tauquir, Shaheyar or DNA and the ones before have bend over backwards offered them lollipops to bring them into line. Captains like Imran and others did the same ie got their own ways. The difference is that what we have now are whimsical “superficial stars” and when the officials try to put their foot down people start blaming them.

    Now either the men of steel with talent are non-existent or the discovery of them is lacking in itself. The Boards, one way or the other, have behaved the same way all along, so no difference there.

  • jitendra on April 15, 2008, 17:52 GMT

    i think it is the political situation & insecurities in players thereof which had lead to downfall of pakistan cricket. they r giving too much importance to individuals(akhtars & afridis)rather they sd

  • TTU on April 15, 2008, 17:21 GMT

    Salman Butt delivers in small amounts but then doesnt, he is talented, i still remember his 100 against the Aussies, 2004 in there backyard and the match winning 122 aganist the English in 2005. It seem he does have talent, but cannot use it consistently. As for Younis Khan , i rate him as one of the best number threes going, at lest in tests, maybe his career should be left to that form of the game, possibly even as captain. Another thought on Younus is that maybe his "resting against weaker opposition" is just an excuse to go and play for IPL Jaipur whos first match is on 19th april, if he misses it thean he is not elegible for his full fee, my reply to that is well done, who would want to play for pakistan at such a time when dictators and an diot doctor is running it, its good that he is seeking his fortunes elsewhere. But still, is it another case of "money over country", and if Younus does it, then how many more will follow suit, considering the fact the Younus is well respected

  • Zakir Khan saheb Chaudhary on April 15, 2008, 17:21 GMT

    I completely agree with Martin Hook. Pakistan and India's approach to cricket must be compared as these two countries strated with similar resources. But, one is now a place where top cricketers are lining up for being invited while other is vying for even Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. So a comparison must be made if pak has to improve its cricketing culture. Like everyone else, I am ashamed of mud throwing nature of imbecile in Montreal Canada and would like apologise to Mr. Hook for his sincere support and comments on state of cricket in pak.

  • TTU on April 15, 2008, 17:09 GMT

    Shahid Afridi must be dropped from the team, for the time he has been in international cricket, he does not have anything to show, his bowling has long been worked out and now is only effective against tailenders, even the likes of Aftab Ahmed and Tamim Iqbal picked him easily in the 3rd odi.I still believe that Akmal, if he works on his wicketkeeping, deserves his place his place in the side, and he should open, he is one of pakistans most talented opening batsmen(4 odi hundreds in the limited time he as had to open says something) and avergaes more with the bat that any other pakistani wicketkeeper(including sarfraz ahmed) and has saved our asses more than enough times in tests, dropped catches are a problem but they can be worked on, he has a whole year to do so before we play any more tests. Salman Butt strikes me as an opportunist, form against India and then mediocre batting against eveyone else(other than bangladesh), he what Abassi has termed as a superfiacal star, delivering

  • TTU on April 15, 2008, 17:00 GMT

    Finally, Mr Abassi you have written words that have some meaning, i agree with you when you say that Yousuf can be compared with top players in the past, but unlike the glourios Imran Khan led cornered tigers, he to plays only for himself, the hundreds he makes are to keep his place in the team,noticed how he doesnt takes risk against top opposition even when pakistan need 50 off 20? so really the pakistanis havent got any REAL players, all of them are out to make there bread and butter, there is no real determination to win and be champions and unless that changes, the pakistan cricket team will stay where it has been since, effecively, the 2006 champions trophy,in tatters. Shoaib Malik must stand up and lead from the front, he has put in some good performances against bang and zim (hence his number one odi all rounder positioning), now he must convert this to the bigger nations, the ideal time to do this would be the Asia cup, a time to prepare for the champions trophy.

  • Aurangzaib Chawla on April 15, 2008, 16:44 GMT

    I think these reviews need to be printed on front page of all leading newspapers of Pakistan to show the confidence of viewers(cricket fans from Pakistan and around the World) in our PCB’s management. It should be a slap on face of our so-called running management of PCB, who promises to do well in every following World Cup after humiliating defeats. Trust me its Shoaib Malik now and after 2011 defeats from up coming teams like Holland or may be if Iran or Mexica (if they start playing), Kamran Akmal will be our next dummy captain. Dr Naseem should be working somewhere in ICU’s or Labour Rooms.He should be banned for life time from even watching a cricket match. We all know he will be there at the opening ceremony of IPL to show his support to his Indian counterparts, also may be as a thanking gesture since they supported him over Shoaib’s rift. I hope he realises that we talk about his desperation to get into limelight of media and how he made an a$$ of himself by appearing WCup 2007

  • Bartholomew on April 15, 2008, 16:29 GMT

    I'm not Pakistani- I can only offer a foreign perspective. This article generally seems about right from what I know about Pakistani cricket, but is rather harsh on Younis. Whether an egomaniac or not (and his fits of pique, including captaincy refusal, have doubtless not been helpful), he is one of the finest Test no.3's in the world (only slightly short of Dravid/Ponting/Sanga class), and his record bears this out, especially given that Pakistan have not produced a consistently competent opener since Saeed Anwar. Remember his 267 vs India? The millions of huge Younis/Yousuf 3rd-wkt partnerships after the openers failed again? Certainly not fair to compare him to Shoaib (as a Worcester boy, I regard him as one of the worst county imports ever- he took no interest in his team, sat half his matches out and was determined to bowl at 100mph, much as for Pakistan), or Afridi (one of the most talented all-round cricketers ever, but also one of the least disciplined).

  • Faraaz on April 15, 2008, 15:44 GMT

    Man, I completely disagree. First let me ask you this, what would Inzamam and Woolmer done differently given the current resources? Would Younis be committed or Afridi learn some patience? Nope. It just wouldn't happen. What you're expecting of Pakistan is to produce superstar after superstar. Tell me, what other country consistently produces players of that quality? Sure India and Australia have stars, but after them its looking pretty rough. Another point you cover is the overhaul of the cricket board. Here's my issue, what exactly has changed so dramatically since the time when Pakistan produced star players like Wasim and Waqar? Have they decided to pick less talented players and leave the talent out? Of course not, the board might not be as nurturing to young talent as other countries would be, but there are plenty of resources around for talent to develop. Countries go through patches of good and bad, so we just have to wait and stop making scapegoats when things look bad.

  • Fahad Khan on April 15, 2008, 15:44 GMT

    As someone who cares a lot about Pakistan and Pakistan cricket, I would like to give my opinion. I think there are a lot of great players throughout our country, so our selection process needs to be a little more ruthless and we need to stop giving chances over and over again to players for no reason. If they perform well in domestic matches and are called up again when they are in better form, its different. IMHO, Kamran Akmal has been given too many chances. Shoaib Malik does not seem to be a good captain to me. He seems to be the type of player that would be replaced on any other international side. Misbah and Yousuf are definitely stable players who have been performing well. But I would say half of the players on Pakistan's team could easily be replaced. The international side is supposed to represent the best Pakistan has, that does not seem to be the case now. We also need to prepare better pitches so we can play better overseas. Maybe it will get better soon.

  • Gulab Khan on April 15, 2008, 15:40 GMT

    Malik always played well and fit against weak teams. he should be out. Kamran Akmal dropped easy catch again. Winning SIND/Karachi team played in ABNRO can easily beat Bangladesh. So we do not need to overwhelm.

    http://www.paktribune.com/news/index.shtml?125515

    Last article on the page about Malik fitness.

    Gulab Khan

  • Amuzing on April 15, 2008, 14:59 GMT

    One thing I find funny in Kamran's column is that no matter what the discussion is about in Pakistan cricket, somehow Indian Cricket comes to play. Dude I just have one thing to let you know that just worry about your country's cricket and your board, BCCI and Indian cricket will take care of itself. They don't need your suggestion or guidance. We already have enough people for that....

  • true fan on April 15, 2008, 14:51 GMT

    it keeps getting better and better for pakistan cricket(that was sarcasm), this team will be one of hte worst teams in the world along side bangladesh, ireland.

    unless naseem and the entire pcb is sacked.

  • JAVED A KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on April 15, 2008, 14:16 GMT

    Ricky like your "P" is silent in your name you should also put a lid on your icky comments about Pakistan politics, you don't need to blab it out and splatter it out when the thread is only about the game. As an ardent hater of Pakistan you are no less generous than the guiles of Marty "Hooka" who is disguised as an Englishman like, Chitty Bang Bang's Eggs & Bacon. He too, never wastes a single opportunity in criticizing Pakistan at every level. In this particular thread Kamran Abbassi has not made any India / Pakistan comparison, so why the hell do you need to provoke people by comparing the two countries to create silly differences? Criticism for the sake of betterment is welcome but, criticism for the sake of criticism or to spill venom in the name of criticism needs to be shoved back to where it came from and to where it belongs and you need to bend backwards to welcome that kinda criticism. Mr. Lakhani, the team captain is only a player, a leader who leads the team and not a ' despot dictator' that his decision cannot be questioned. The word "team" comprises a group and not an individual. A leader, if he is making mistakes can always be told on the spot and not when the water is over one's head or when you are in deep waters, it is better to be safe than sorry and there is no point in crying over the split milk. Likewise, a good captain must have an open mind to take hints and suggestions from other experienced players and amend decisions on the spot and not in the dressing room. I reckon Imran Khan taking hints and suggestions on the spot from Javed Miandad. Disagreements among players does not mean attitude problems, being a simpleton, stubborn, naive and unable to correct your decision making also means having an attitude problem and that is more dangerous. And who doesn't agree that Malik as a captain is not a simpleton? Perhaps only a nincompoop wouldn't.

  • Naveed on April 15, 2008, 14:15 GMT

    Well said Mr. Kamran Abbas. The real problem in the pakistani cricket team lies with the temparament. To have a balanced temperament, education is the most important criteria. Look at pakistan cricket team's background, most of them are picked-up from no where and made them into a fighting unit. The fighting spirit is there very much, but the way they fight on the field can be related to a country side match or at the best a club match with a taped tennis ball. If you look at the history of pakistan cricket (post Imran era), one can find almost every possible unsporting event that shouldn't take place in sports, be it drugs, ball tampering, in-fighting among players, openly critising the team mates, picth tampering (Shahid Afridi againts England), bans, night-outs before the mathes, faking injuries, match-fixing,...... what not? What does the team need is a strong and well educated captain like Imran Khan who can turn this street-smart cricketers into a real professional unit.

  • mer on April 15, 2008, 14:06 GMT

    Pakistani team playing in ICL can beat current pak team, easily!! Governing of PCB is fruit of dictatorship, where people do not have autonomous rights to live their lives way they wants, everything else are just minor contributors. Democracy can not be kept hidden if existed, Dictator ways might show flashes of success but will never sustain.

  • dr aziz ul qadir on April 15, 2008, 14:04 GMT

    even an ordinary cricket lover in pakistan knows what player to select and what not.Proper un-biased selection and continuity is required.we have talent but we do not have the vision.

  • Madan on April 15, 2008, 14:04 GMT

    I agree with TonyP, it's ok to be passionate about cricket but it cannot become the nation's business. You have mentioned that politicians should create a new system free of system. That's an oxymoron, it cannot happen. Simply put, politicians, media, public should not interfere in the process of building the team and the selectors should nurture players from a long term view and not hire-and-fire. If Sharad Pawar had listened to journalists who said Ishant Sharma was Vengsarkar's pet because he was included in the squad that went to England, India would not have won a Test at Perth (and probably not at Kanpur either). An able administrator should run the cricket board but the panel of selectors should be entirely independent of the board and adequate time must be given for them to deliver results. Three members of the ICL Pak team are former openers who never got a long enough run to adjust to international cricket and perform and were axed whimsically. Isn't that telling?

  • Nadeem Salik on April 15, 2008, 14:00 GMT

    Kamran, you touched upon a real problem this time around. I guess, we have to completely re-think the culture of our cricket and its administration. If you look back at the last 60 years of pakistan cricket, you will notice that Pakistani team has produced the best results, the best individual performances and achieved the unthinkables only when they had a STRONG CAPTAIN who is completely out of boards dictats. We did the best and achieved the unthinkables under Abdulhafiz Kardar, Imran Khan and then under Inzimam-ul-haq when the later became strong enough not to be bullied by the Board. Does that say something? Yes, that explain the comments of Younis Khan, two years ago when he said, he don't want to be a dummy captain, something the self appointed board always want to have. If the board officials stop giving statements on daily bases abs start doing what they are paid to do and accept that its the team who is important not the board VIPs, things will start getting better.

  • Zeeshan, London on April 15, 2008, 13:48 GMT

    I think the problem with Pakistan over the years has been the PCB. Particularly the reign of Dr Ashraf, his single minded ambition to stay in power has meant we have no strong personalities who challenge the board’s authority.

    There argument or fear was that Inzamam like Imran Khan had a strangle hold over the team, but was this the case? And was that terrible? A lot of the fans forget how well a unit Pakistan had become when they were in charge.I’m not saying we need a dictator as a Captain but what we and every other side in any sport needs is a strong leader and no board should prevent that regardless of there insecurities.

    The other institutional problem with the PCB has been there appalling treatment of players.All players should be treated equally and with respect not on a super star status, ego’s must be controlled! Players need to be coached to achieve and not discarded because of the slightest hint of poor form or injury.

    And someone pls bring back Pakistani Passion!

  • safwan on April 15, 2008, 13:47 GMT

    pakistan cricket is doomed, it can only be revived if javed an imran come out of retirement, a better option would be to encourage the ICC to make an exclusive pool of 3 teams i.e pakistan, bangladesh and zimbabwe, and encourage them to play only amongst themselves! MAYBE this way some of our pride may be salvaged, cause our state of affairs currently is a DISGRACE.....nasim ashraf and co are a DISGRACE!

  • Zakir Khan saheb Chaudhary on April 15, 2008, 13:20 GMT

    Javed compares India with pakistan with regard to cricket facilities and administration . May I point this to my friend that he is still living in 70s. India has had tremendous growth in every sector leading to huge improvement in cricket infrastructure, support and training all around. World's top coaches and trainers are working round the clock in India and money is pouring into first class cricket. Please stop traingulating and accept that Peshawar is no Banglore. Thanks.

  • Suhail Khan on April 15, 2008, 12:54 GMT

    Useless article, not telling us anything new. Mr Abbassi, I know PCB does not deserve any better but enough of board bashing. To be honest there is nothing worthy to write about Pakistan cricket at present. Let's stay silent until the next storm in the tea cup!

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on April 15, 2008, 12:19 GMT

    Kamran - I must admit that you have done a very good analysis of the situation and perhaps thats what you want to hear from your readers - a sweet and short echolaliac kinda response: "I am agree." This blog is very similar to the state of cricket in the sub-continent India - Pakistan i.e., one expects too much from the players in terms of performance by providing very little facilities and opportunities to them. Likewise, here it is expected from the readers to write quality comments within 1000 characters, not words but characters! You have played a long, painstaking test innings similar to that of Mudassar and Gavaskar but, it is expected that others should score a double hundred in a T20 game.

    Anyways, the point is if Younis, Shoaib and Afridi are erratic, temperamental and moody then Malik, Butt, Akmal & Co., are a bunch of slyly, foxy, tricky, wily, cunning and scheming opportunists and they know which side of the bread butts to be buttered. There is no dearth in talent, the problem is in using it to the best of their abilities and that is where the respective boards are at fault. They too, are a bunch of opportunists who do not care much about promoting real cricket, they are interested in creating divisions, fractions, rifts, regionalism, jingoism, nepotism and to make as much money as possible and provide practically no facilities to promote the game. "Every person reaches to his level of incompetence," a player is simply dropped or made to believe that he is injured, that is one way of dropping him by showing some respect. What about the board administrators and selectors, is there any respectable way of jetting them out? In Gully Foyle's book, "The Stars My Destination," deep space is the dwelling place, the stars are mere destinations but, in a failed system you will only find, superficial stars, black holes and a$$holes.

  • Naeem Afzal on April 15, 2008, 12:17 GMT

    I met S.Malik in 2003 and I saw a capitulated person, who fits PCBs bill of dummy captain role that characterises post 2003 era. PCB can not afford outspoken minds like Akhtar and Younis who speak their mind against board's continous backing of liability players. It seems all the other players in domestic cricket have died and we are left with Butt, Hameed, Bazid, Akmal and Iqbal so choice revolves around them. None of two U19 WC winners qualify. Kamran! if you take out linhpins of Afridi and Yousuf, I bet I can arrange at least 2 teams who can beat this team that PCB wants us to believe is the best possible. Will Malik+Naseem Ashraf be brave enough to accept the challenge? What have other players done wrong to disqualify without a chance and what wonders have most of repeatedly selected ones done for continuous backup by PCB. Despite failing to win single man-of-match in 50 ODIs they play. Isnt PCB biased? and if its criminal negligence and repeated too, then mere sacking isnt enough

  • TonyP on April 15, 2008, 12:03 GMT

    A major contributor to this malaise is the Pakistan cricketing public. Passion and enthusiasm are fine but it is not the end of the world if a team lose an important game or series. The shorter the game the more likely an upset is. Australia have had their fair share of luck but they also have a public who will not stone their houses or burn effigies or go overboard. Australian players can therefore relax and concentrate on doing their best because they don't have to be so afraid of losing.

    The Pakistani cricketers are not so fortunate, and the PCB responds to public pressure by bowing to mob rule and indulging a selection process that is so arbitrary it erodes what little confidence the players have left.

    Pakistani cricket fans can stay passionate, but cricket is a game and it needs to be viewed in that context.

  • omar hussain on April 15, 2008, 11:59 GMT

    Well!Mr.Abbasi we know well and truly that most of us,Pakistanis of course,are excessively egotists!Younis is no different which is a pity because he has it in him to be a great batsman.As for our system my dear man as long as we have the same bureaucracy over and over again there will be little improvement here.BUT.Let me remind you the rich cricketing talent of Pakistan will always overcome,one way or another the genius that is the blood of Pakistanis will insha-allah continue to amaze the world.There is one authority which is bigger than the corrupted Pakistani leaders and by His grace the deserving genius will materialize.Have faith in our youth.Masha-Allah!

  • Syed on April 15, 2008, 11:54 GMT

    PCB's primary responsibility is pormotion of the game to help develop healthy nation and provide healthy entertainment. Provide grounds and facilities to the young and old to enjoy the game first hand. Once they focus on these basic things cricketing talent in Pakistan will take care of itself.

    On the professional side rather than focusing on developing competitive leagues and provide opportunities to more and more players, PCB focus on 'Next world cup' and event few years down the road that can be lost by one bad day in the field.

  • Sanjay on April 15, 2008, 11:40 GMT

    Lightweight India? Since when? It's Pakistan who are the lightweights now.

  • Rauf on April 15, 2008, 11:03 GMT

    Simple question: Which way Pakistan cricket has gone ever since Dr. Naseem Ashraf took over?

    Simple answer: To the bottom of the cricket world with one way tickets in hand.

    Buck must stop with the chairman of the PCB. He can't blame People working for him or even the players for Pak cricket failure. Someone must be thrown to the dogs at times like these and usually it's the person at the top.

    I say, start cleaning from the top all the way to the bottom... this can ONLY happen if someone in the present govt reads this blog to know how frustrated the fans has become and is willing to do something about it. If elections were held today to elect the next PCB chairman, I am sure DNS will be in the same boat as Chaudry brothers.

  • zir on April 15, 2008, 11:00 GMT

    no cricket is better than the cricket that is being played in pakistan. pcb's management is a bunch of clowns headed by that shmuck dna who have no idea what to do or where to go. pcb needs a ceo and not a chairman! get someone who has international experience of running a corporate body! these morons dont know a jack about cricket or business. irony is that our chief selector and chief operating officer have not played enough cricket (both were dropped after playing 2 or 3 test matches ** makes me wonder if both these stupid idiots are twins** why cant we have someone as a selector who has played more than 50 test matches! why cant we have imran khan, javed miandad, wasim akram, waqar younis, saeed anwar, inzamam ul haq as our selectors? or to put it right why cant we have someone with common sense as a selector. pcb always picks up the wrong thing. i really want to take them to a lottery store and pick everything that they dont choose, i ll b a sure winner!!

  • Aurangzaib Chawla on April 15, 2008, 10:35 GMT

    I 100% agree with every word of this article. We need unbiased board representatives. We don’t need chairman who are more show off and media lime light oriented. I still remember Naseem Ashraf’s first interview when appointed as chairman about the religious discipline in Pakistan’s cricket team.

    There is no doubt their religious faith is a motivating factor in the team, “It binds them together. But there should be balance between religion and cricket.” “I have told him {Inzamam} clearly that there should be no pressure on players who don’t pray regularly or any compulsion on them to do it. That was not a surprise comment from one of the best friend’s of Mr President since in their views it is new form of enlightened moderation. They are ruining our cricket stars. We are left with only two big stars i.e. Shoaib and Afridi. They have already played with the future of Abdul Razaq (proved himself in ICL) and Inzamam (who could have played more test cricket). I think we have an

  • Suneel on April 15, 2008, 10:30 GMT

    Pakistan team has been popular for playing cricket in a fearless fashion.but of late they have been surrounded by controversies , indiscipline by the players (both on and of the field). if this is the way the start conducting themselves , they will soon loose their charisma and would be restricted to rebel leagues likes ICL to showcase their talents. what Pakistan team need is a proper code of conduct and should be strictly implemented by PCB at the earliest.If younis or yousuf or some one else is not interested to represent their national teams with passion , let them not. absence of few players would not affect the nation which has been consistently producing the most amazing raw cricketing talent.

  • Malik Saeed on April 15, 2008, 10:27 GMT

    Dear Kamran Thank you for initiating a debate on what afflicts pakistan cricket and suggesting action with a view to retrieving the situation. Your line on Younis khan is spot on; his behaviour on and off the cricket field suggests he has become another prima donna in Pakistan Cricket....fast emulating Inzi into oblivion. The Country Pakistan no longer beckons as he has comfortably created an income with a county in England and sees the likes of ICLs and the IPLs as potential employers for the future. It is time PCB recognise this and throw him out of the team before he creates havoc much in the same way as Inzi did. In your noble and very timely call for overhaul of Cricket setup, may I suggest we pursuade Imran Khan to lead Pakistan again......this time as an Administrator. Malik Saeed Canada

  • Majid on April 15, 2008, 10:26 GMT

    Well conceived and written, I totally agree with your evaluation of the current state of Pakistan cricket and cricketers. We need to wakeup and understand that with current system, booard and bunch of cricketers we can never be able to become a force in cricket world. The only way to regain our past glory is through change of the system, change of the board and particularly the honesty with which we will take our future decisions. I sincerely hope that we would be able to witness some positive changes in Pakistan cricket very soon.

  • Atul Bhogle on April 15, 2008, 10:16 GMT

    I dont agree entirely. When Pakistan was a force to reckon with it was largely because the players were skilled and strong willed individuals who were able to rise above the chaos around them.

    The players either came from the streets or from public schools in England, both of which, due to different reasons, had the stomach to fight it out.

    For whatever reason, that Pakistani fighting spirit seems to have diminished. One more reason is simply the absence of a leader. Pakistan require people like Imran and Akram to rouse them. The fact that they are representing their country does not seem good enough.

    Thus I think the cause needs to be found within the players than the administration.

  • Omar Ansari on April 15, 2008, 10:01 GMT

    It's sad to see that our team is a mere shadow of what it once was, if truth be told, i would say our team is a huge mess right now.

    We have got no solid openers, just 2 regular middle order batsmen (Yousuf and Misbah) The rest of the team is made up of make shift players...

    Shoaib Malik may not be the most talented player but he has a good cricketing brain which makes up for the lack of class.... Pakistan could turn the current situation to their advantage at least in ODI cricket. By playing 3 all rounders (Afridi,Alam and Malik) along with 3 specialist bowlers, 4 regular batsmen and a keeper, we could become one of the most flexible teams ever. The perfect recipe to cater to the needs of odi cricket i would say...

  • J on April 15, 2008, 9:49 GMT

    younis has to go if his priorities are different. How can he be tired of his profession?? Cricket is paying him his salary. Yes you get an annual leave but is it like this?? He has always disappointed when given a responsibilities (World Cup 2007).

    I sincerely which he retires (or joins ICL) to open slots for talents like Asim Kamal. Who is being mishandled my the current MUSH-RAF board. Board which had people like Salim Altaf. Musharaf please go and take ur puppet(ashraf) along. We love this game, its in our blood...

    J

  • Amit on April 15, 2008, 9:48 GMT

    Hi Kamran, as you said, Politics is playing a big part in Pakistan's decline, but along with it I would add, the behaviour of few indivisuals is a thing of concern too. If these players can forget the ill past and play as a unit then Pakistan would be power in international arena for sure. Asif, Akhtar, Gul and Rao can prove a leathal attack with the smart spin of Shahid and Malik. Though an Indian, I have always been a huge fan of Pak openers, but I dont understand the reason why the Pak think tank thinks other way and rotate them in virtually every match. Pakistan had 7-8 openers in recent times but most of them are still untested for a long run. In current situation, Afridi should open with Butt, followed by the huge experience in Yousuf, Younis and Malik. I always look at Pakistan as a team with bunch of very tallented players and few Not-So-Wise-Men in admisnistration. Lets hope that these players would understand the importance of playing for country and make the team a superpowr

  • Wahid on April 15, 2008, 9:20 GMT

    Firstly they need to get rid of Dr Naseem Ashraf, he has practically destroyed the Pakistani cricket. I hope they get someone who has played cricket and knows his ins and outs of cricket.

  • Nabil Hoodbhoy on April 15, 2008, 9:13 GMT

    Great article as always Mr Abassi. I wonder if you read the comments written by your readers. I am an aspiring journalist as well and I take inspiration from you, hence the query whether you read the comments written by your readers. Well I totally agree with your article, however there are some points I would like to add to it. I feel the malaise in Pakistan cricket is a microcosm of the society we live in. It is a true reflection of the inherintly corrupt society in which we live. A society in which in order to get a cush job someone needs to pull some strings for you. it is the same with the cricketers. Most times many deserving cricketers get left out due to the nefarious designs of selectors who play their favorites in return for money or returning favors to influential people. In addition I think side by side the Pakistan cricket team has been hijacked by player power since the time of Imran Khan. Only difference is back then we produced reults whereas now we do not.

  • srivathsan on April 15, 2008, 8:57 GMT

    Overall ,I agree that pakistan cricket needs to be toned up .It is not only PCB but players as well are responsible for the present state of affairs.I Fully agree with the remedies suggested by you in the last para.As an interim measure, a change in captaincy may yield some good result.Why you have not commented on the new coach who appears to pretty ordinary & nowhere near woolmer.

  • Tauqeer on April 15, 2008, 8:47 GMT

    I am optimistic about Pakistan Cricket Team. Right know we have got two problems. Less test matches on calender, who is responisble ? How to avoid it in future? PCB has to answer these questions and fix it. In future we have to plan carefully to have enough text matches/cricket on calender. Second problem is security situation in Pakistan. PCB and cricket team is responsible for what has happend for the last 1 year. Pakistani government has to work tom improve over all law and order situation.I am sure, if we get enough cricket against top team home and away, our cricket will improve.

  • Owais on April 15, 2008, 8:12 GMT

    Lately I have started agreeing with you more and more. This one is a prime example, especially your comments about our under-achieving players. Yes we need to change the system.

  • Shani on April 15, 2008, 7:52 GMT

    I really think Shoaib Malik should use himself as an opener and lead from the front as a captain. Pakistan's middle is already pretty strong with Mohammad Yousaf, Younis(if he plays), and Misbah.

  • Mustafa Pasha on April 15, 2008, 7:50 GMT

    I also wanted to say something about Shoaib Akhtar. He too can be blamed for being unprofessional and in general making a complete fool of himself. Im not going to speculate on what should be done with him. all i will say is that growing up in the 90s unlike everybody else i would always wish that Pakistan bowled first. Wasim and Waqar embodied the soul of Pakistani cricket for over a decade; fast & aggressive they provided the purest joy i have ever derived from televised sport. Shoaib Akhtar in that sense brings me back to those glorious days, and anyone who has seen him at full pelt yorking and bouncing the best batsmen in the world cannot disagree.

  • Mustafa Pasha on April 15, 2008, 7:44 GMT

    Im not going to comment on the shipwreck that is Pakistani cricket. But i do wish to vent on the subject of Younis Khan. Here is a man who always claims the moral higher ground yet whines like a little girl when things dont go his way. He abandoned his team in the aftermath of the Bob Woolmer tragedy, this after he had been groomed for the captaincy for over two years. Lets get one thing clear cricketers dont play for their country, they dont play for their fans, they play for money and for their team mates. His refusal to captain the country in 2007 clearly showed that he doesnt give a hoot about his colleagues, while his decision to opt out of the Bangladesh matches makes no sense unless hes scared that his pathetic out of form performances may affect his participation in the IPL. I say get rid of this man child who has shirked his professional responsibility at every turn, at the very least he should never be allowed to captain his country ever again.

  • Sheeraz on April 15, 2008, 7:38 GMT

    The main cause of failure for Pakistani Team is the PCB. Politics and Sports should be separated. Players doesn't have full trust on PCB because of their adamant, indecent and inexperienced behaviour.

  • Mohammad Qasim on April 15, 2008, 7:28 GMT

    The cancer of politics has spoiled our all Sports i.e. Cricket, Hockey, Squash etc and for this the authorities has to think seriously and has to take some bold steps by appointing right people for the right job and also provide opportunity to our great players who had load of experience by polishing them with proper training which will save money which PCB is spending on foreign people and still failed to get expected result. Why we are the champions in past ?? bcz the institutes our schools are the production factories who are producing great players but this process is stopped now a days, so it is been a request to the authorities to plz give grants to schools beside wasting it in building academies and giving grants to these academies which are not physically operating. There are lots of other factors which are not feasible for our sports but the major thing is to attract new blood for these games and make efforts to grab these talent on merit basis.

  • Zamil Akhtar on April 15, 2008, 7:26 GMT

    Quality post I feel. We need to have players who can play for Pakistan for the next ten years, and that does not just mean finding talent, it means developing players and sustaining them.

  • Saad Akhtar on April 15, 2008, 7:25 GMT

    I think the problem exists with our lexicon when referring to our cricket board. CA, ECB and even BCCI are run as businesses. We continue to talk about the way PCB 'governs' cricket. Businesses are 'run' not 'governed.' The talent is present, the returns will show, the team will succeed and grow and the money will roll in if we put businessmen in control of the business of the Board.

  • Fouad on April 15, 2008, 7:20 GMT

    Younis Khan in reality does not deserve to be in the one day squad. He has never performed in any crucial one day game against the strong teams, and has somehow managed to leverage his test performances to gain a position in the one day squad. Take note that once you remove the weak teams such as Hong Kong (century against them), Netherlands, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe etc., Younis Khan's average is somewhere in the mid 20s. Occupying the crucial Number 3 spot in the line up, his inability to score against the better teams is partially to blame of the decline in the overall batting performance of the team. New finds are now crucial to rebuild the team. But in order to achieve this goal, hard decisions have to be made. E.g. Younis Khan can be key in the test team, but must not be in the one day team (similar to VVS Laxman in India). Same applies for other players also.

  • sunny on April 15, 2008, 6:58 GMT

    i agree with you on this kamran. PCB current situation is so pathetic, i think pathetic is even a good word for them. I should have used a harsh word. i have said this before and will say it again only person that can save pakistan cricket is imran khan , if he can for few years become PCB head and then go back to politics or a very well qualified person with management skills, someone with business background.

  • Noman Yousud on April 15, 2008, 6:56 GMT

    Nice article Kamran. You're right on the money when you talk about a failed system because in the long run, a malfunctioning system could produce only the kind of results that we see today. Unfortunately if nothing is done then we could end up like West Indies of today (not that we're too far from them anyways). We need to free the system of politics and we should not look towards politicians to do that. We need to revamp our domestic structure ( I've my set of suggestions on the issue and you should do a separate blog on it to discuss the issue) and need to elect the board democratically which should appoint professionals to run the show. That's the best form of accountability that we could provide and that's our only hope.

    P.S. The way politicians are intervening in the Shoaib Akhtar's case is disgusting.

    Cheers!

  • Aftab on April 15, 2008, 6:45 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi, I have been reading your columns for a while now but never had a chance to comment on any of it, but this situation with younis Khan has finally driven be to say a few words. Personally, Younis is a premadona who thinks the cricket world revolves around him. He really has not done much for the game and his presence is not really needed in the Pakistan team. He acts worse than a spoiled child. When he was given the opportunity for captaincy, he declined it, and now that its not available he wants it. He needs to learn to either be a leader , follow the leader or get the hell out. He is by far not a captain material and he only bats to his convineance. I dont remeber him ever being their for his team. If he wants to sit out, let him sit out for a while. There is plenty of talent that needs to be brought forward and groomed before the next worldcup. There is no need for a prissy little puffta in the Pakistan squad.

  • Ash Zed - Saudi Arabia on April 15, 2008, 6:40 GMT

    Superficial stars of the failed system do not only reflect our cricket but they are a perfect reflection of our society. Why only blame cricket? You are bound to face such a situation if the whole country is in the process of disintegration and there is sharp deterioration in every field including moral ethics & values.

    The current team (except Yousef) does not have anyone who could be compared with the top performers of past golden years. Just look at Shoaib Malik… hardly any performance but too much arrogance and off the field style. Pak is not even able to find a competent person to run PCB then how PCB can find good captains and players??

    It should be an eye opener that no one likes to visit Pak, no one is even interested to host Pak. DNA made a big blunder by not playing against Australia at a neutral venue because situation in Pakistan will not improve for another 25 years and you will see no one will visit Pakistan. Will someone explain what is the future of Pak cricket?

  • Imad on April 15, 2008, 6:32 GMT

    Younis Khan - egomaniac whose head is too big for this game. I cant remember the last time he won a game for Pakistan in circumstances where everyone else had fallen by the wayside. Dont need him in the team. Shahid Afridi - Grow up. You cant make a 100 off 37 balls every time, nor should you try. And for once, try playing the game and not the crowd.

    Shoaib - same advice. Grow up. And watch Major League II. Dont be charlie sheen...noone is bigger than the game. We dont like you. We dont want you in the team. You do nothing but disgrace Pakistan. Go play in the IPL and shake your tushie with Shahrukh.

  • Adeel Azhar on April 15, 2008, 6:04 GMT

    Kamran is getting over-critical of PCB in recent times. Sir, knowing pakistani political system would you expect the new "democratic" govt of Pakistan being democratic/non-political about the appointment to one of the most lucrative post in Pakistan? Pakistan just need to play a bit more of good cricket. We lost to India in india but u would agree that we fought well despite of a depleted bowling attack. Lets be positive sir. I sometime wonder, why are all writers about Pakistan (whether pakistani or not) so negative about this country.

  • Nabeel Adeel on April 15, 2008, 5:59 GMT

    Kamran The state of Pakistan cricket is so disappointing that one does not even feel writing about it anymore.But i still wanted to applaud what you wrote.Whatever little talent we had left in the team is playing in ICL and so players like Razzaq are banned to play for Pak.Banning shoaib at this stage is stupid.Nasim has ruined cricket in Pakistan.What does a doctor with a bad reputation even in USA, know about cricket??As for Younis he is at best mediocre but thn again the team is below mediocre now so.Nothing is right about Pak cricket team niw it seriously is a joke.........

  • Zubair Shahab on April 15, 2008, 5:59 GMT

    I'm going to ignore most of the thoughts running into my head and concentrate on one thing. You ask for government to be set apart from cricket but in the same breath you see the new government as an ideal opportunity to begin relaying the PCB's bricks. Way to go Dr. Abbasi! No offense, but I think you've taken a leaf out of our beloved politician's books.

  • farrukh on April 15, 2008, 5:15 GMT

    Good suggestions.However many Pakistani cricket supporters have suggested similar things.Implementation of such ideas is just not possible as you need to have discipline in every aspect of life.Sports is just one aspect.If a nation is not good in solving simple issues of law and order,fixing a cricket Board is impossible

  • Muzher Sharif on April 15, 2008, 5:04 GMT

    Well said Kamran, I think you've pretty much summed up the core problem with Pakistan cricket over the last 1-2 decades.

    Just one thing though. I don't think it's quite fair to label ALL the players of the Lahore Badshahs/ICL Pakistan as "superficial stars, promising much delivering sporadically." The likes of Inzamam, Mushtaq Ahmed, and Saqlain were great players who definately "can be judged to have had satisfying international careers." While not as great as the latter three, the all-round duo of Razzaq/Mahmood were pretty solid players, underrated in my opinion. The ICL has highlighted the fact that some of the Pakistan players in the so called rogue tournament had years left in them to compete on the international stage, before being abandoned by the PCB.

  • Faisal on April 15, 2008, 5:03 GMT

    How can you blame the team when the captain isn't even close to being strong enough to lead? How can you blame the captain when the board doesn't WANT a strong captain? How can you blame the board when its run by a person who himself admitted that he isn't good enough to lead yet he has made to carry on?

  • Swami on April 15, 2008, 5:02 GMT

    To an outsider, it seems the Pakistani mind is fundamentally unstable and fickle. There are not many characters who can judge objectively. I would like some Pakistani to throw light on why it is so. In the Indian team, we may have different problems, but not this kind of instability of mind.

  • Jayavelan on April 15, 2008, 4:57 GMT

    Good article Mr. Kamran Abbasi, But will asian politicians ever care for sports, Your thinking is like a dream will never come true.Good luck

  • Adam H. Nadir on April 15, 2008, 4:42 GMT

    Very well written article bringing out what bothers the Pakistani fan base the most: an inapt team barely carrying on the torch of their past glory. Younus is over rated, no doubt. But, then again, so as many others in the team. They have a pacer who won't quit his ways of leaving his team in desperation expecting him to bowl like he can. And, regularly cajoling his own ego and laughing in the face of discipline, rules and regularity. Sending out the worst message of all-it is OK to act like you are above your team. No organization, club or even the smallest gathering of people has ever been succeeded without executing the fundamentals of group cohesion. A model where no singularity exists or known, you watch your brother's back as he does yours. And together, you push forth the heartiest of efforts to ensure victories. Pakistan club is far away from such model, and has too much distance to travel.

  • DadhiBaba on April 15, 2008, 4:34 GMT

    PCB is mirror of your countr's state in every walk of life.. A failed state will have only failed systems. It will hurt all Paki's but it's a fact. kamran Akmal scoring a century?? i beleive Kamran Abbassi can bat better than him..

  • ZAIN_TORONTO on April 15, 2008, 4:15 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi,

    By far the best article you have posted. I vote you as the next head of Pakistan Cricket. This article really is a great sum of everything that is Pakistan cricket. Hats off to you Sir.

  • Fawad kk on April 15, 2008, 3:20 GMT

    Our cricket reflects the country's condition in general. No one wants to come to Pakistan to play cricket for security reasons. Is that DR Ashraf's fault? Or is that Younis Khans fault. Cricketers are like everyone else in Pakistan. There is uncertainty everywhere. Cricket is in out blood and it will re-emerge. I just wish that we get out of the hole that we have got ourselves in.

  • Ricky on April 15, 2008, 3:11 GMT

    The malaise is with the mindset. There is no system worth the name in place in Pakistan cricket. A maverick administrative body runs the board like its personal fiefdom. The issue with Pakistan is their reliance on force and farce to bring order to chaos. Patience is required which Pakistan lacks; be it in democracy or in sport or in any walk of life. Comparisons with India will always project Pakistan in an inferior light given the common culture and history shared; however, as it appears Pakistan has failed not only as a state, but also in administration of sports. Governance and patience - Pakistan needs to learn- may be their US friends can still teach them a good thing.

  • Adnan Haq on April 15, 2008, 3:02 GMT

    Modern sport increasingly reflects a country's economic and social progress. The days of the noble amateur are long gone. Pakistan will soon find it's rightful place near the bottom of the rankings, same as all other sports it used to dominate. Sad but inevitable, since I'm a diehard fan. Try to get our GDP up and culture flourish and then we'll talk.

  • Hemang Shah on April 15, 2008, 2:48 GMT

    Mr.Abbasi, Pakistan's Cricket Board seems to under-perform and our Board seems to over-perform, thereby making a mess of the sport they serve...

  • ubaid on April 15, 2008, 2:31 GMT

    Here we go again! An all too familiar call of bringing in fresh blood. " An Ideal time for cure the cricket board of political rule" you say, which precisely it is not. Change in government should not coincide with change in political bodies for it invariably sets a precedent for the same thing to happen again and again. I will not blame the politicians for they are doing exactly what they are supposed to do i.e ride the wave of public sentiment for personal gain. But someone here should stand behind the official for making the one right decision amongst many wrong ones. I too am disconcerted by the meek surrender of the board in matter of Darryl hair, FTP failures, and inability to deal with younis's childish temper tantrums but I will offer them support for finaly dealing with one particular nincompoop. You all know who I am referring to.

    Ubaid

  • Usman Lakhani on April 15, 2008, 2:31 GMT

    absolutely right. There is no substitute for discipline and desire to achieve united goals as opposed to individual glory. Shoaib Akhtar, Shahid Afridi are 2 flamboyant characters and should be dropped from the team permanently. Yes the team will be weaker but it will be full of people who will want to succeed and will work for it. I saw Shahid Afridi question Malik's decision once after a game against India. How dare he question his captain ? This was a problem to be solved behind closed doors. His concerns should have been put forward as a strategy plan. Success in cricket will not always come from playing brilliant players with good attitudes but also from, and more consistently with, good players with briliant attitudes.

  • Martin Hook on April 15, 2008, 1:44 GMT

    You are right; it is systematic failure of of the system of governance. As I pointed out in my last post, PCB needs to be democratized. One Imran Khan gave great contributions to the cricket on the field (and he was a great great cricketer) but success of his autocratic style screwed up the system. Bing dictatorial became something desirable, and we all know that in the long tem autocracy always harms. In comparison, BCCI might be inefficient and corrupt but it is still a better system than what pakistan has come up with. You are spot on other issue as well, look at Shahid Afridi, a great talent but 10-15 years of cricket has still not taught him any patience or temparament. Why is it so? Because there has never been a system to encourage that kind of growth in character. Younis Khan likes captaincy but does not want long term responsibility that comes with it. Dhoni, Pieterson and Tendulkar were explosive too in their youth but how beautifully they are evolving into matchwinners.

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  • Martin Hook on April 15, 2008, 1:44 GMT

    You are right; it is systematic failure of of the system of governance. As I pointed out in my last post, PCB needs to be democratized. One Imran Khan gave great contributions to the cricket on the field (and he was a great great cricketer) but success of his autocratic style screwed up the system. Bing dictatorial became something desirable, and we all know that in the long tem autocracy always harms. In comparison, BCCI might be inefficient and corrupt but it is still a better system than what pakistan has come up with. You are spot on other issue as well, look at Shahid Afridi, a great talent but 10-15 years of cricket has still not taught him any patience or temparament. Why is it so? Because there has never been a system to encourage that kind of growth in character. Younis Khan likes captaincy but does not want long term responsibility that comes with it. Dhoni, Pieterson and Tendulkar were explosive too in their youth but how beautifully they are evolving into matchwinners.

  • Usman Lakhani on April 15, 2008, 2:31 GMT

    absolutely right. There is no substitute for discipline and desire to achieve united goals as opposed to individual glory. Shoaib Akhtar, Shahid Afridi are 2 flamboyant characters and should be dropped from the team permanently. Yes the team will be weaker but it will be full of people who will want to succeed and will work for it. I saw Shahid Afridi question Malik's decision once after a game against India. How dare he question his captain ? This was a problem to be solved behind closed doors. His concerns should have been put forward as a strategy plan. Success in cricket will not always come from playing brilliant players with good attitudes but also from, and more consistently with, good players with briliant attitudes.

  • ubaid on April 15, 2008, 2:31 GMT

    Here we go again! An all too familiar call of bringing in fresh blood. " An Ideal time for cure the cricket board of political rule" you say, which precisely it is not. Change in government should not coincide with change in political bodies for it invariably sets a precedent for the same thing to happen again and again. I will not blame the politicians for they are doing exactly what they are supposed to do i.e ride the wave of public sentiment for personal gain. But someone here should stand behind the official for making the one right decision amongst many wrong ones. I too am disconcerted by the meek surrender of the board in matter of Darryl hair, FTP failures, and inability to deal with younis's childish temper tantrums but I will offer them support for finaly dealing with one particular nincompoop. You all know who I am referring to.

    Ubaid

  • Hemang Shah on April 15, 2008, 2:48 GMT

    Mr.Abbasi, Pakistan's Cricket Board seems to under-perform and our Board seems to over-perform, thereby making a mess of the sport they serve...

  • Adnan Haq on April 15, 2008, 3:02 GMT

    Modern sport increasingly reflects a country's economic and social progress. The days of the noble amateur are long gone. Pakistan will soon find it's rightful place near the bottom of the rankings, same as all other sports it used to dominate. Sad but inevitable, since I'm a diehard fan. Try to get our GDP up and culture flourish and then we'll talk.

  • Ricky on April 15, 2008, 3:11 GMT

    The malaise is with the mindset. There is no system worth the name in place in Pakistan cricket. A maverick administrative body runs the board like its personal fiefdom. The issue with Pakistan is their reliance on force and farce to bring order to chaos. Patience is required which Pakistan lacks; be it in democracy or in sport or in any walk of life. Comparisons with India will always project Pakistan in an inferior light given the common culture and history shared; however, as it appears Pakistan has failed not only as a state, but also in administration of sports. Governance and patience - Pakistan needs to learn- may be their US friends can still teach them a good thing.

  • Fawad kk on April 15, 2008, 3:20 GMT

    Our cricket reflects the country's condition in general. No one wants to come to Pakistan to play cricket for security reasons. Is that DR Ashraf's fault? Or is that Younis Khans fault. Cricketers are like everyone else in Pakistan. There is uncertainty everywhere. Cricket is in out blood and it will re-emerge. I just wish that we get out of the hole that we have got ourselves in.

  • ZAIN_TORONTO on April 15, 2008, 4:15 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi,

    By far the best article you have posted. I vote you as the next head of Pakistan Cricket. This article really is a great sum of everything that is Pakistan cricket. Hats off to you Sir.

  • DadhiBaba on April 15, 2008, 4:34 GMT

    PCB is mirror of your countr's state in every walk of life.. A failed state will have only failed systems. It will hurt all Paki's but it's a fact. kamran Akmal scoring a century?? i beleive Kamran Abbassi can bat better than him..

  • Adam H. Nadir on April 15, 2008, 4:42 GMT

    Very well written article bringing out what bothers the Pakistani fan base the most: an inapt team barely carrying on the torch of their past glory. Younus is over rated, no doubt. But, then again, so as many others in the team. They have a pacer who won't quit his ways of leaving his team in desperation expecting him to bowl like he can. And, regularly cajoling his own ego and laughing in the face of discipline, rules and regularity. Sending out the worst message of all-it is OK to act like you are above your team. No organization, club or even the smallest gathering of people has ever been succeeded without executing the fundamentals of group cohesion. A model where no singularity exists or known, you watch your brother's back as he does yours. And together, you push forth the heartiest of efforts to ensure victories. Pakistan club is far away from such model, and has too much distance to travel.