Politics August 18, 2008

He came, he saw, he floundered

Dr Ashraf has divided opinion in Pakistan

You may find this hard to believe but Dr Ashraf has divided opinion in Pakistan. His numerous critics have encountered a plentiful supply of advocates. The central argument of the advocates of Ashraf is that he talks much sense. Nurtured in medical and human development environments, Ashraf has a soothing tone that pulls together jargon and management rhetoric to create an aura of competence.

Yet talking a good strategy is only one element of the role of the head of an organisation. The ultimate benchmark is the quality of decision making, and this is where Ashraf's record is lamentable.

Although Ashraf and his colleagues may blame their predecessors for destroying the foundations of Pakistan cricket, the rapid decline of the past two years is at complete odds with Ashraf's rhetoric. We have seen a downturn in results, administration, and spectacle. The worst sin has been that the excitement that fans traditionally associate with Pakistan cricket has almost disappeared.

Readers of this blog will be familiar with criticisms of Ashraf and his PCB. They ripple through every aspect of the administration of Pakistan cricket, and draw me to the conclusion that Ashraf's whimsical tenure is the worst period in Pakistan's modern history.

When selecting candidates for the hall of shame, Tauqir Zia's rule would rival Ashraf's but the General's fortune was that he caught the tail end of the careers of some of Pakistan's greatest cricketers and the beginning of a new era of some optimism.

It is hard to find that optimism now. Pakistan's captain is weak and troubled. The bowling resources are ravaged by drugs and scandal. The batsmen are incomplete and unreliable. The coach is unproved and under pressure. The administration is divided and unpopular. Even the future of cricket in Pakistan seems to hang in the balance on a daily basis.

Yet out of this mess Pakistan fans will find hope, as they always do. The greatest hope will be that the new chairman of the board will have the capabilities to resurrect the team's performance and the stature of his country on the international stage.

Dr Nasim Ashraf came, saw, and floundered. How long will it take to conquer?

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • testli5504537 on May 10, 2011, 22:00 GMT

    He_came_he_saw_he_floundered.. Ho-o-o-o-t :)

  • testli5504537 on September 24, 2008, 5:56 GMT

    it is always there in pak cricket tht everyone blames each other.so,if players r consuming drugs or making other offenses then y shud we blame him for these reasons .he wasnt a cricketer before,he did rite wht his administrative perception allowed him 2 do.But now he is gone,if cricketer can become new pcb chairman,then he can act as a good mediator between players & admistrators,he can understand both sides in a better manner.

  • testli5504537 on August 26, 2008, 4:30 GMT

    Dear Eminem or is it M&M? Funny name regardless. I thought one from me was overdue. And please go back and check my comments.I have hardly ever bashed anyone inspite of taking many hits below the belt. A swallow does not make a summer.

  • testli5504537 on August 24, 2008, 10:32 GMT

    Martin Hook ...

    Your comments make some sense and it is good to see some preaching, however, if you read your own message again, you will realize that you have yourself started bashing one and the same person for too long.

    It’s a shame that being on this blog for long enough have contaminated your thinking ;)

  • testli5504537 on August 23, 2008, 23:50 GMT

    Nothing will change for good in Pak. Look at post Musharraf infighting, same thing will happen in PCB. Pak cricket has still to reach the bottom of the barrel before it can come up, however, the country is in freefall to the bottom of the barrel(pitless barrel). If Aus,SAF,Eng & New Zealand not coming, no problem, replace them with Taliban teams from 4 states of Pak. I can assure you Pak will definitely win Champions tropy as the rest of the teams will be dead in bomb blasts.. PS Kamran please don't ignore this post...

  • testli5504537 on August 22, 2008, 20:14 GMT

    Dr. Nasim Ashraf's resignation is the best thing that has happened to Pakistan cricket. A nephrologist, overambitious he first flirted by co-producing the movie called Jinnah, then moved onto human development, and ambitiously concerned about his own presence in the media he could go to any extent to get his achievements and and highlighted. His rehtoric was contradictory to his thinking and claims. I personally feel his two years were worse than two months in power of Mr. Mujib Ur Rehman. It's not only that Pakistan cricket suffered but the soul of this amazing game was knifed in broad daylight. Incompetent people had gathered around him, people withdrawn and court martialled from the Pakistan Military Academy were inducted as top directors. Cricket under Dr. Nasim saw its lowest ebb. running the game with intellectual honesty was beyond his skills. Pakistan cricket at the moment is asking for a funeral. it is dead. Lets hope now the democratic government manages to appoint an expert.

  • testli5504537 on August 21, 2008, 19:10 GMT

    I am from England and I have always supported Pakistan! But since KPs appointment I have started to take a liking to England! It is embarrassing the news coming out from Pakistan! Political situations, sporting situations. Can we ever pull ourselves together show a united front! These people that are living in some (may I say the minority) extremist world what are they trying to proove! Do they want us to be loners in this world! And why the hell have we got the government involved in our sporting events! Asif is dumb, he should of learnt from his mistakes! Shoaib just cares about himself, and probably of his celebrity status on India! We have no shame! Just can't believe it to be honest! Forget Imran khan! Where has misbah been all these years! Misbah for captain! Afridi should learn from him about when to go at the ball and when not! Don't know what else to say! Next time I hope to be commenting on something positive, but can't see that happening anytime soon! God help Pakistan!

  • testli5504537 on August 21, 2008, 12:34 GMT

    I totally agree with the point about the lack of excitment Pakistan team has now, I never ever use to miss a match when they played, I couldnt care less anymore, Poor captain Poor team, no standout players bad selection policy everything, most the players I have seen come through to the side dont even look international standard. The only opener who averaged 40+ for Pakistan in a long time was Taufeeq Umar and he cant get in the test side? i hate it and hate to say the team I loved so much I hate everything about them!

  • testli5504537 on August 20, 2008, 20:22 GMT

    Again I think too much attention and focus is on individuals like Akhtar, Ashraf and Asif. And that IS the problem of Pakistan cricket and society in general. The focus should be on processes and infrastructure but instead people are content with bashing one person at a time. Yesterday, it was Woolmer now it is Lawson. Ignorant cricket fans like Javed Khan thrives on writing bad things about everyone but I don't remember him writing any thing in his thousand word long verbose 'comments' about the real problem. One incompetent cricket administrator would replace another and this would go on (just like in ur politics) as long as the society's attitude does not change.

  • testli5504537 on August 20, 2008, 17:02 GMT

    Who appointed Malik as the captain and stubbornly continued with him? Who appointed Lawson as coach ?who increased the PCB staff from 300 to 750? who pardoned Shoaib and Asif repeatedly and made Pakistan cricket a laughing stock? Who was responsible for not making a constitution of PCB for more than three years? Who failed to provide funding to the regional associations? Who spent millions on development expenses and yet most of the stadiums in Pakistan are in deplorable condition? Who gave extended run to players like Akmal and Hafeez? Who fired Waqar?Who failed to take any action against the Aussies for not touring Pakistan? What happened to the Insurance claim? Who is responsible for bending on its knees infront of BCCI and banning all the players who played for ICL?Who is responsible for neglecting the advice of Pak cricket think tank? Who is responsible for ruining Pakistan's T20 tournament?In whose tenure we lost to Ireland and our ICC ranking dropped to 5 from 2? ONLY DNA.

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