Politics September 14, 2008

The murder of Pakistan cricket, a fan writes

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I have received a plea: “Dr Abbasi, please do something for Pakistan cricket!!!” I thought I was playing my part but clearly not forcefully enough for Fahad Khan from Oklahoma.

I guess his sentiments will chime with those of many Pakistan fans. This edited extract of his email letter speaks for itself. Do you agree?

“The reason for my email,” writes Fahad Khan, “is the frustration I am feeling within myself on the state of Pakistan cricket. I am not particularly talking about the performance of Pakistan team on the field, but the situation of uncertainty everyone involved with Pakistan cricket (including the fans) is facing and feeling.

“I thought that I needed to vent my frustration somewhere but the problem is that it will be of no use if I do it on an online forum. Who is going to notice?

“Then I thought of you, who knows people and who is known by many. Whatever you write is read by millions including those who are influential and have the power to act. I guess what I really want to see is someone like you saying loudly that there is a murder going on and someone needs to stop it.

“If nothing happens Pakistan cricket will die of a slow poison. That slow poison was probably injected sometime after the Pakistan-England five-Test series in England (1992). I guess few people realise that it was the last time Pakistan played a five-Test series against any side. It is shameful that a side like Pakistan has not played a five-Test series for more than 16 years.

“There was an influx of too many ODIs in the late '90s and the trend has continued. Pakistan slowly became a mediocre Test side because our players developed a temperament for one-day cricket, which has got little to do with real cricket.

“And then slowly Pakistan started to play fewer Test matches. There are two main reasons: incompetence of the PCB to get competitive series/matches, and reluctance of teams to tour Pakistan. In 2008 Pakistan hasn’t played a single Test in or outside Pakistan, and only played a few measly ODIs.

“I know all this information is nothing new for you but the most surprising part is no one seems to care about it. The PCB is trying to do something, which obviously is not working, but what's wrong with other countries and the ICC?

“Does the ICC realise that this situation can kill Pakistan cricket? Or don't they really care since the decision makers in Pakistan couldn't care less? We want someone to say that yes they are concerned about Pakistan cricket. It could be ICC, another cricket board, or someone in Pakistan?

“Dr Abbasi, I guess it’s you as well as, writers like you who have a duty and responsibility now. You can address this issue of insensitivity and indifference towards Pakistan cricket within and outside Pakistan. Please do something.”

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Amjad Rashid on November 14, 2008, 20:43 GMT

    Keep the faith things go round in circles, Inshallah Pakistan Cricket will be back

  • Amjad Ali on October 15, 2008, 10:03 GMT

    i demand we should stop pointing fingers at others and lets come up with something that may help the cause. and for this out there (the so called die hard pakistani fans) just reading and posting coloums, why havent any one yet gone out against the PCB and filed a case against them..if you guys believe that PCB is on the wrong side then why not go and file case against them or approach court (forget about what ever is happening in courts) i think this is the proper way of regestring ur protest as a die hard pakistani (cricket fan) i m ready to join hand with those who believe i m right..so when are we moving guys????

  • waterbuffalo on October 9, 2008, 6:23 GMT

    Perhaps Pakistan will consider only playing Test Matches away from home, this is the same problem the Sri Lankans had in the mid 80's. I was a state player in Malaysia in 1983(Junior-Colts) and we were supposed to tour SriLanka in Dec of 83, but because of the security situation, we changed to a 3 week tour of India, where I was fortunate to see Gavaskar's 236 in Madras. I fear the same thing will happen to Pakistan, not for one year, but perhaps for a decade. The Marriot Hotel bombing has set back Pakistan Cricket more than the mismanagement by the PCB. No one will tour Pakistan, except for the Indian Sub -continent, Pakistan has to get on their knees to tour England and Australia and that is the most tragic thing of all. And a batsman like Mohamed Yousuf will be this generation's Barry Richards, indeed, Pakistan will be this generation's South Africa of the 60's , through no fault of their own. I became a bowler because of Imran Khan, and quite frankly, my heart is broken.

  • Skand on October 5, 2008, 20:47 GMT

    Living in Dubai, I know even Pakistanis do not want to go to Pakistan for fear of bomb blasts. How, do you expect others to visit Pakistan ? Pakistan says that it will provide President level security to teams. Well there were three attempts on the president himself, he just survived. Was Benazir not given highest level of security? And if it was not given then why would one presume that Australian team would be given better security? In UAE, when Pakistanis and Indians have a chat, it is common for Pakistanis to start a sentence (when talking something negative), "In our India and Pakistan...". Politeness forces Indians to ignore such presumptuous statements. However unfortunately over a period of time Pakistanis actually start believing that India and pakistan can be bracketed and painted by the same brush. Yes, in 1947 we were one and same, but since then the two countries have taken very different paths and the whole world, except Pakistan can see it. India is a much safer place.

  • Haroon Ahmed on October 4, 2008, 11:25 GMT

    Pakistan cricket is really in miserable condition. From grass root levels to higher levels, we are at nowhere. There was a time when people got surprised to see the talents which pakistan cricketers possessed. But now all has vanished. Today, we dont have any world class fast bowler and batsman who can come forward and become a super star. Reason for all this is that we have involved politics and politicians in our cricketing governing body. Everyone sees the money that is involved in it and tries to get maximum out of it. Our last three PCB chairman's have come through this channel. No one is serious to do betterment of our cricket. Even cricketers like Miandad have always neglected talent and put forward names of their relatives. So its all very dismal. I dont see any super star coming in Pakistan and taking pakistan cricket to champions level.

  • Ash Zed - Saudi Arabia on September 30, 2008, 7:21 GMT

    Hello Kamran,

    Imagine a minister heading PCB and representing Pak in ICC. I just could not believe that. Unlike DNS, this chap has not even played cricket in his backyard. What a joke!!! Pls write something on this. In urdu there is a saying "aasman say gira khajoor may atka" PCB gets a minister after a doctor.

  • irfan on September 19, 2008, 19:25 GMT

    I am at the end of my wit as to what to comment on this situation. I think, if this is not the end, then surely it is the beginning of it. I really don't care about foreign countries not wanting to come to Pak this has been discussed in detail in several of the past threads. But what is painful to see is the demise of the quality of the players who use to come out of our sad depleted domestic cricket structure twenty years ago. Back when we use to lament about the state of its affairs it was still producing classy players. Absolute lack of planning, ad-hocism, nepotism, mismanagement has let this stream run dry. The tree may be lightly green at the top but the entropy has set in and the roots have completely withered. Complete politicization of our cricket will lead it to its final resting place i.e. the PCB headquarters. I think it is only just to write its obituary and ask the almighty to rest its soul in heaven.

  • M Mahboob Hossain on September 19, 2008, 18:51 GMT

    I don’t think the current situation is only dew to the fact that the western teams are not interested to tour Pakistan, whereas, the most security conscious team, Australia is touring India, playing at Delhi, within a month of series bomb explosion. Money talks, and I’ll blame PCB to put themselves in such a measurable position. When BCCI became one of the richest sports governing body in world, PCB couldn’t sell the same commodity to a similar potential market & today India is allying with other teams, gradually pushing Pakistan in second category team.

    As I wrote few months back, it all started in 2001, when PCB shamelessly accepted an offer of 2 Test series in England, despite having 8 of the worlds all time greats, which subsequently let that stupid board a FTP of around 50 Tests, when, the then far lower rated teams like India & England had over 80. Sri Lanka & even India previously was deprived of International cricket, never in such a situation, when in these busy Cricket day

  • J on September 19, 2008, 7:37 GMT

    ah here we go again.if its not race,its money.again a statement is made without a foot to stand on.Maybe you have been living in a cave or something for the past 10 years Dr_Love.Every single cricketer in this world,not only aus/SA/eng players,play for money..which just so happens to be a salary..Incase you haven't noticed.Its like you taking on a job because you get paid more..same thing.youre telling me that Mushtaq Ahmed,Saqlain Mustaq, Shoaib,Yousuf etc are playing county cricket on the other side of the world just for the sake of playing cricket..?..rubbish.money must surely be part of it.Thirdly,why did India create IPL...?The first and very valid reason is to produce and train youngsters for the future,the 2nd is most definitely the amount of money involved...so in my opinion maybe your statement is applicable to 1st class cricket but most certainly not to internationals.On a different note: how badly did Andre Adams (Notts) pin the Rawalpindi Express yesterday....ouch...!!!

  • dr_Love on September 18, 2008, 18:10 GMT

    Simple is that, Pakistan should boycott cricket Aus forever; there is no reason to tour Aus. I don't think so Pakistan makes much money to visiting Aus. Pakistan should consider ICC has only 9 teams. I really feel guilty to watch matches of these money hungry and double standard players.

  • Amjad Rashid on November 14, 2008, 20:43 GMT

    Keep the faith things go round in circles, Inshallah Pakistan Cricket will be back

  • Amjad Ali on October 15, 2008, 10:03 GMT

    i demand we should stop pointing fingers at others and lets come up with something that may help the cause. and for this out there (the so called die hard pakistani fans) just reading and posting coloums, why havent any one yet gone out against the PCB and filed a case against them..if you guys believe that PCB is on the wrong side then why not go and file case against them or approach court (forget about what ever is happening in courts) i think this is the proper way of regestring ur protest as a die hard pakistani (cricket fan) i m ready to join hand with those who believe i m right..so when are we moving guys????

  • waterbuffalo on October 9, 2008, 6:23 GMT

    Perhaps Pakistan will consider only playing Test Matches away from home, this is the same problem the Sri Lankans had in the mid 80's. I was a state player in Malaysia in 1983(Junior-Colts) and we were supposed to tour SriLanka in Dec of 83, but because of the security situation, we changed to a 3 week tour of India, where I was fortunate to see Gavaskar's 236 in Madras. I fear the same thing will happen to Pakistan, not for one year, but perhaps for a decade. The Marriot Hotel bombing has set back Pakistan Cricket more than the mismanagement by the PCB. No one will tour Pakistan, except for the Indian Sub -continent, Pakistan has to get on their knees to tour England and Australia and that is the most tragic thing of all. And a batsman like Mohamed Yousuf will be this generation's Barry Richards, indeed, Pakistan will be this generation's South Africa of the 60's , through no fault of their own. I became a bowler because of Imran Khan, and quite frankly, my heart is broken.

  • Skand on October 5, 2008, 20:47 GMT

    Living in Dubai, I know even Pakistanis do not want to go to Pakistan for fear of bomb blasts. How, do you expect others to visit Pakistan ? Pakistan says that it will provide President level security to teams. Well there were three attempts on the president himself, he just survived. Was Benazir not given highest level of security? And if it was not given then why would one presume that Australian team would be given better security? In UAE, when Pakistanis and Indians have a chat, it is common for Pakistanis to start a sentence (when talking something negative), "In our India and Pakistan...". Politeness forces Indians to ignore such presumptuous statements. However unfortunately over a period of time Pakistanis actually start believing that India and pakistan can be bracketed and painted by the same brush. Yes, in 1947 we were one and same, but since then the two countries have taken very different paths and the whole world, except Pakistan can see it. India is a much safer place.

  • Haroon Ahmed on October 4, 2008, 11:25 GMT

    Pakistan cricket is really in miserable condition. From grass root levels to higher levels, we are at nowhere. There was a time when people got surprised to see the talents which pakistan cricketers possessed. But now all has vanished. Today, we dont have any world class fast bowler and batsman who can come forward and become a super star. Reason for all this is that we have involved politics and politicians in our cricketing governing body. Everyone sees the money that is involved in it and tries to get maximum out of it. Our last three PCB chairman's have come through this channel. No one is serious to do betterment of our cricket. Even cricketers like Miandad have always neglected talent and put forward names of their relatives. So its all very dismal. I dont see any super star coming in Pakistan and taking pakistan cricket to champions level.

  • Ash Zed - Saudi Arabia on September 30, 2008, 7:21 GMT

    Hello Kamran,

    Imagine a minister heading PCB and representing Pak in ICC. I just could not believe that. Unlike DNS, this chap has not even played cricket in his backyard. What a joke!!! Pls write something on this. In urdu there is a saying "aasman say gira khajoor may atka" PCB gets a minister after a doctor.

  • irfan on September 19, 2008, 19:25 GMT

    I am at the end of my wit as to what to comment on this situation. I think, if this is not the end, then surely it is the beginning of it. I really don't care about foreign countries not wanting to come to Pak this has been discussed in detail in several of the past threads. But what is painful to see is the demise of the quality of the players who use to come out of our sad depleted domestic cricket structure twenty years ago. Back when we use to lament about the state of its affairs it was still producing classy players. Absolute lack of planning, ad-hocism, nepotism, mismanagement has let this stream run dry. The tree may be lightly green at the top but the entropy has set in and the roots have completely withered. Complete politicization of our cricket will lead it to its final resting place i.e. the PCB headquarters. I think it is only just to write its obituary and ask the almighty to rest its soul in heaven.

  • M Mahboob Hossain on September 19, 2008, 18:51 GMT

    I don’t think the current situation is only dew to the fact that the western teams are not interested to tour Pakistan, whereas, the most security conscious team, Australia is touring India, playing at Delhi, within a month of series bomb explosion. Money talks, and I’ll blame PCB to put themselves in such a measurable position. When BCCI became one of the richest sports governing body in world, PCB couldn’t sell the same commodity to a similar potential market & today India is allying with other teams, gradually pushing Pakistan in second category team.

    As I wrote few months back, it all started in 2001, when PCB shamelessly accepted an offer of 2 Test series in England, despite having 8 of the worlds all time greats, which subsequently let that stupid board a FTP of around 50 Tests, when, the then far lower rated teams like India & England had over 80. Sri Lanka & even India previously was deprived of International cricket, never in such a situation, when in these busy Cricket day

  • J on September 19, 2008, 7:37 GMT

    ah here we go again.if its not race,its money.again a statement is made without a foot to stand on.Maybe you have been living in a cave or something for the past 10 years Dr_Love.Every single cricketer in this world,not only aus/SA/eng players,play for money..which just so happens to be a salary..Incase you haven't noticed.Its like you taking on a job because you get paid more..same thing.youre telling me that Mushtaq Ahmed,Saqlain Mustaq, Shoaib,Yousuf etc are playing county cricket on the other side of the world just for the sake of playing cricket..?..rubbish.money must surely be part of it.Thirdly,why did India create IPL...?The first and very valid reason is to produce and train youngsters for the future,the 2nd is most definitely the amount of money involved...so in my opinion maybe your statement is applicable to 1st class cricket but most certainly not to internationals.On a different note: how badly did Andre Adams (Notts) pin the Rawalpindi Express yesterday....ouch...!!!

  • dr_Love on September 18, 2008, 18:10 GMT

    Simple is that, Pakistan should boycott cricket Aus forever; there is no reason to tour Aus. I don't think so Pakistan makes much money to visiting Aus. Pakistan should consider ICC has only 9 teams. I really feel guilty to watch matches of these money hungry and double standard players.

  • Zaid_SRI LANKA on September 18, 2008, 17:40 GMT

    Alhamdulilla,finally there is someone who has donr something smart for our loving pakistan cricket as a whole.well done fahad.i dont think any team in any sport is loved as much as pakistan cricket,we fans would do anything for this.what i feel as a solution is IMRAN KHAN and only him should become the chairman of the board and wasim the coach

  • J on September 18, 2008, 12:24 GMT

    wow,Thats quite a big statement there Nathan.Maybe you should have a careful look at how the SA/Eng/Zim teams have changed over the last decade.But I guess,just like anywhere else in the world,the easiest thing to ever do is blame racism, but its your opinion.Each and every country have their own internal problems and I think its a bit out of line to blame race for the problems existing in Pak.As one of the previous comments rightfully stated,because the political situation in Pakistan,cricket is not a priority..so cricket doesnt grow.Inevitably the quality of cricket simply doesn't even match other subcontinent countries(IND/SL).I certainly hope that the issues in Pakistan (and India to an extend) could be resolved...cos at this moment the sport that we have all come to love in our lives is being damaged seriously...and it could ultimately mean the end of a game through which everyone,regardless of race,were once speaking the same language...

  • Rauf on September 18, 2008, 10:12 GMT

    To Manoj

    "The threat perception in Pakistan for a westerner is obviously huge compared to India. Just look at the demographics in terms of religion and also that fact that majority of Indians are very well disposed towards the west and share their values of freedom and at least a major part of their ideology"

    This is the wrong perception that Indians constantly project. Reality is always different. Delhi blasts are one thing, look at recent attacks by Hindus on churches and killing Christians in Karnataka (BTW... Aussies are a Christian team), Volatile situation in Kashmir land dispute between Muslims and Hindus, Maoist attacks in Andhra Pradesh and ULFA terror in Assam, frequent sexual/violent attacks on "white" tourists in major urban cities and the list goes on.

    BCCI has lot more $$$ to offer then PCB and this is the ONLY reason why money hungary players/boards will continue to visit India. Psycho analysis about Pak and it's security/demographics is just a smoke screen.

  • redneck on September 18, 2008, 6:25 GMT

    PakistanLover mate your living in lala land!!! as a aussie cricket lover there is no advantage in destroying pakistan cricket! quite the opposite actually the more competative teams in world cricket the better as there are more competative matches played! i have been hanging out for a aussie tour of pakistan since 2002 as we have only won 1 test there in a good 30 year peiriod and would be good challenging cricket to watch! micheal clarke has even said recently he wants to tour pakistan before his career is over, there is no hidden agenda by the white nations to destroy pakistan cricket. however unfortunatly our media paints a pretty bleak picture of pakistan since Benazir Bhutto (true or not?) and when it comes to touring pakistan, players have that on their minds when thinking of their family's! if it dies down australia and the others will come! just look at 05 australia A toured with no complaints. its unfortunate that the aus tour was programmed right after your elections.

  • PakistanLover on September 17, 2008, 18:51 GMT

    Nathan Wrote:

    Comments by PakistanLover and others, such as 'This is the result of the white nations wanting to control everything. They hate that BCCI makes more money than them. They hate having non whites play their game' etc are a very scary insight into the mentality of some Pakistani cricket fans.

    It is true. How many were complaining that they won't be playing in Pakistan? The 4 White Nations who dragged WI along too. Who are always complaining about every damn thing about non-White teams? The White Nations. Until they are either kicked out or we form our own league, they will do everything in thier power to stop non-Whites and especially Pakistan because they hate it so much.

  • Manoj on September 17, 2008, 17:08 GMT

    There are so many comments ruing that Aussies are visiting India but not Pakistan. I think instead crying hoarse about it being unfair and double standards, one should try to look at the facts and see how things stand currently. The threat perception in Pakistan for a westerner is obviously huge compared to India. Just look at the demographics in terms of religion and also that fact that majority of Indians are very well disposed towards the west and share their values of freedom and at least a major part of their ideology. Just look at where Pakistan stands right now. Armed forces and intelligence services are compromised. And the elected government is more of a figurehead. How can you have any credibility in the assurance then? In India, the terror attacks are sponsored by the same extremist ideology that has its base in pakistan. How can you compare the two situations. India is a progressive country in the eyes of the world and Pakistan is regressive. Its just a fact. Manoj

  • Rauf on September 17, 2008, 9:25 GMT

    To B9337

    "The truth of this may be debated. The actual level of unrest in the country is beyond debate. Consequently, many governments, of cricketing and other countries, advise their citizens in no uncertain terms to avoid non-essential travel to Pakistan. We may love cricket, but in this context, it is surely non-essential.

    The Champions Trophy teams were offered "presidential security". If this is what Benazir Bhutto had, it was evidently inadequate."

    Have you checked the Aus govt travel advisory to Pak and Sri Lanka? It's identical. Common sense will say not to tour either of these countries, right? yet Aus/Eng/NZ/SA were more then happy to tour SL if the CT venue was moved there. How do you explain that?

    Bhutto was killed and so were the Gandhis and JFK. Bob Woolmer was murdered in his hotel room in WI. Do you stop travelling to India, US or WI?

    Common sense can easily cut thru media created hypes.

  • Qasim Ali on September 17, 2008, 6:41 GMT

    I have some comments about murder of Pakistan Cricket. 1- I think Nasim Ashraf's policies were not good for the players and PCB. So development stopped when he become Chairman PCB. 2- Australia is the responsible for muder of Pakistan cricket because they did not come to Pakistan, even they convinced other teams not to play in Pakistan in Champions Trophy 2008 and other tournaments. Now after Delhi bomb blasts, they are ready to tour India. I dont know what they want from Pakistan Cricket and my opinion is that they are destroying Pakistan Cricket. Pakistan is the safe country for Sports like cricket. I admire BCCI for helping Pakistan in CT 2008 case and they always send their team to tour Pakistan without security concerns. So I think they are working on cricket in Asia.

    So these are the realities that are damaging Pakistan Cricket.

  • Sunny on September 16, 2008, 22:48 GMT

    The answer is simple. Pak does not control the international money in cricket. So, even if Pak is the most peaceful country in the world, as long as boozing and clubbing is not allowed in the country (or where international players can't party freely), there will be objections to touring the country. Simple. India on the other hand controls the money in cricket. So, no one, I repeat, no one, whether Aus/SA/England will dare cross India. So, let's not compare Pak's security issue with bombs in India. Bombs or no bombs, money talks. Simple as that. As far as the state of cricket in pak is concerned...well, in the last 15 years, I havent' seen a single thing change. So, I am ready for surprises. Same goes for India in terms of board administration, but at least they got the money AND control it.

  • disgruntled pakistani cricket fan on September 16, 2008, 18:35 GMT

    Posted by: Jay at September 15, 2008 6:46 AM

    People have lost faith in Pakistan; a failed state despite billions of dollars pumped into it by west, which has been diverted into the personal fiefdoms of the fat-cats including Zardari. It does not have a vision for itself except to exist in opposition to others and complain – about each other and the rest of the world. The desire for immediate gratification of desires, lack of infrastructure, factionalism , democratic institutions and processes have sabotaged the government, PCB and most things else here. Everyone could see this coming for years. Don’t look to others to save you if you cant save yourself. Pakistan as a society has to introspect and sort itself out.

    Collapse of society? failed state? Dude... go easy on what you pick up from mainstream media. Keep in mind that they are backed by the same interest groups behind this war. Do some research, itl blow your mind.It did mine, im still picking up gray matter out of my carpet...

  • DP on September 16, 2008, 18:32 GMT

    People have lost faith in Pakistan; a failed state despite billions of dollars pumped into it by west, which has been diverted into the personal fiefdoms of the fat-cats including Zardari. It does not have a vision for itself except to exist in opposition to others and complain – about each other and the rest of the world. The desire for immediate gratification of desires, lack of infrastructure, factionalism , democratic institutions and processes have sabotaged the government, PCB and most things else here. Everyone could see this coming for years. Don’t look to others to save you if you cant save yourself. Pakistan as a society has to introspect and sort itself out. Jay

    Wow... talk about condescending.. All i will say to you my brother is that you shouldn't believe everything in the media, else we will all become the lambs for the lions.Especially when the mainstream media is backed by special interest groups. Call me conspiracy theorist and i will call you a lost cause.

  • DIng on September 16, 2008, 16:27 GMT

    A nation is responsible for its people, and attitude of people reflects the temperament of the leader. Hope you guys agree with it.Talents are everywhere, and there are equal number of talents in Australia and Pakistan. However the difference is the focus of the administration. PCB is governed by your government, whose primary goal, instead of self improvement, is to trouble India. If you think rationally, and ask yourself, who in last 5000 years has succeeded in the long run, by troubling others, and not improving themselves? I can tell you that in next 10 years you can see a demise of pakistani cricket, and the standard would be 25% better than Bangladesh. The national mentality has to change for the greater good of the game.

  • Ajit on September 16, 2008, 16:17 GMT

    I understand the frustration of the Pakistani cricket fans. However those comments comparing the situation in India and Pakistan, and blaming Australia for having double standards are disingenuous at best.

    Any bomb blasts that occur in India have been instigated by our friends across the border.

    Pakistan cricket is just paying the price for its decades long policy of fomenting terrorism and strife in the subcontinent. As such it is hard to feel sorry for Pakistan now.

    Cheers.

  • G Guevara on September 16, 2008, 14:34 GMT

    The best way for Pakistan to redeem itself is to start something on the lines of IPL or ICL. They have a captive audience, a decent media and good sponsors. Once they put in all of these they can start a PPL ...not PPP :)

  • Farrukh Momin on September 16, 2008, 14:22 GMT

    what would i say, i stopped watching cricket b/c no cricket going around even if its around my answer to the match reason is "Pakistan will lose", even i have a doubt when they are play to Bangladesh. I love to watch younis and yousuf test match long innings but its all gone, the career of yousuf is about to finish, i want more run and records from him but with only 6 test matches in 2 years will give nothing to Yousuf and Pakistan. You all people know there will be no actions active by ICC or PCB, it will remain the problem for coming years.

  • sajid on September 16, 2008, 14:12 GMT

    I think looking at the conditions in our country, one should be more concern about the country rather than the cricket. If your country is ok then we can thin of these luxries, i.e. cricket. People are dying of hunger and other things. We first have to be concern about the top priorities.

  • J on September 16, 2008, 14:08 GMT

    I am a South African,I play cricket,watch cricket and I probably,just like you guys,live cricket.After reading all your very valid comments the bottom line still doesn't change - Pakistan cricket is not where its suppose to be.Last year we toured Pakistan and whilst it was satisfying to see us win the series,it was just as much disappointing watching the opposite of what we as South Africans have come to expect from Pakistan over the years.I grew up watching (and imitating) guys like Waqar, Wasim, Aamir Sohail etc. They were my childhood heroes.Pakistan has always produced special players that made the game into something better.World cricket is just not the same without a solid Pakistan outfit.In the same breath I disagree with T Allie.For us as cricket fans in SA, no 4 year period is the same without making a trip to the Caribean and Pakistan.So,I am hoping that they can resolve this cloud hanging over Pakistan cricket and get on with it.

  • Normal Human on September 16, 2008, 13:37 GMT

    I reckon we should take a lesson from the Aussies with respect to the fighting spirit they show on the field to fight till the last moment of the game. As a matter of fact it “was” Pakistan who was more famous for this spirit in the past rather then any other team even Australia. But, we have now lost faith in ourselves more then anything else. We fight & disintegrate in the dressing room, in the board meetings, and where not! All this said, we are still alive, we just need a “vision with committed team players”. That’s it! We still have talent, temperament and technique. Team is not accepting our invitation, then try a neutral venue or go down their homeland and beat them their to show ur mettle. Can v not do this? Of course we can! Try and resolve guyz and stop brooding. No pain no gain! We should believe in ChAnGe!

  • Fahad Khan on September 16, 2008, 13:32 GMT

    To Jay and others of his ilk, you are trying to promote your agenda with half truths and outright lies. Pakistan is not having problems in spite of US support, it is having problems because of US support. The US has had sanctions on Pakistan until a few years ago for their nuclear work so they have not been pumping any money into it. The current Afghan crisis was their own making and everyone can blame the "ISI" for everything in the world but there is also news footage of the US sec. of state in Afghanistan during the Soviet war telling the "Taliban" that they were righteous and fighting for God. Also, Zardari is a crook but his money and Nawaz money were stolen from Pakistanis and not the US (which had sanctions on PK at the time) The money stolen was from arms contracts, gold traders and industry in Pakistan. Pakistan is not a failed state but it is unfortunate to be around countries who never accepted it as a nation and "allies" who are worse than friends.

  • Farhan (California) on September 16, 2008, 10:11 GMT

    Sheryar Khan is to blame for an extremely loopy schedule that was agrred upon duruing his term. Ashraf and the current administrator inherited that crap and not much can be done about it. When the time comes to approve the new schedule, Pakistan's management should employ a data analyst to ensure that we get as many, if not more tests than Australia and England. These two nations have the most tests in this current schedule.

  • Chandio baba on September 16, 2008, 10:05 GMT

    Salaam to all, There is a huge concern in pakistan not for average Pakistanis but for foreign people who decide to visit Pakistan, there are not many, if you look at India they have millions of tourists every year who want to travel to India, why do we not get any in Pakistan, I mention this becuase this culminates to to the whole thing about Pakistan as a fragile country which people believe breeds terrorism with the assination of Benazir to the presidency of Zardari who is a former convict who has served time for corruption, I mean what are people to think this is why pakistan is being alienated in cricket and around the world, people do not have good thoughts of Pakistan, the PCB is a prime exapmle of how badly organisations work in Pakistan and how they alienate people who have previously served them well. Pakistan as a country needs to CHANGE before we can think of anything changing with cricket and also the ICC, cricket will be a distant memory in Pakistan if things dont change

  • Rauf on September 16, 2008, 9:57 GMT

    All those (including Pakistanis) saying Pak is like Iraq/Afghan that no one likes to visit and PCB are incompetent morons, you are partly right. PCB are incompetent morons but Pak is NOT like Iraq/Afghan. Don't live in a media created wonderland.

    Damage done to Pak cricket by refusing to tour countries is far more then what PCB could have dreamt in their wildest dreams. We can only accuse PCB of what they have control over. We cannot accuse PCB when Aussies blatantly show double standard in deciding to tour Pak and India. When others don't tour then fans loose interest and that is more damaging then anything else.

    THIS IS ALL ABOUT MONEY. Bombs or no bombs, Aussies will tour where they smell cash and PCB has no cash to offer. It's as simple as that. ICC themselves is just a silent spectator in all this. Cricket boards have formed alliances purely based on where allmighty $$$ can be made and they have private security firms and players unions to back them up. Get used to it.

  • sam on September 16, 2008, 9:51 GMT

    i would like to add here that, as an Indian, I'm deeply disappointed with the state of affairs. Imagine, for us Ind-Pak match doesn't have the same charm as an Ind-Aus match. The day is not far when Ind-Pak matches won't have full houses anymore.

  • harsha on September 16, 2008, 9:23 GMT

    Nice article. Fahad khan, not only pakistanis but we Indians too worry abt the current affairs. It saddens me when i hear such stuff. This situation may arise in India too. Recent bomb blasts in Delhi has caused panic . If i may ask, is pakistan doing everything it can to curb terrorists? I'm sure if you give a strong message against terrorism, countries will visit you. I feel it's more about player safety rather than other factors that is affecting your cricket. And as Wasim akram ridicules pcb for having no discipline against law breakers, one might notice the boards inabilty to handle things. Why are India n pakistan spending billions of dollars on mass weapon collection, i don't know. I think it's high time to consider what is good for people.

  • bhushan on September 16, 2008, 8:56 GMT

    Pak cricket is suffering from the disease of cricticism, everyone blames each other.The only way to justify yourself is to criticise the existing system,if these people have so much of insight for the pak cricket then y shudn't they come up.Even when the hosting of ct was at stake,instead of supporting ,they criticises PCB.ya everyone knows tht there r flaws in the working of Pcb,but cricticism is not the solution to the problem.Come up,become a part of the governing body,let ur actions speaks. some of the following points which PCB has to work on: 1y the captain feels his future is insecure after his abdication ,although he performs well.this means after abdication captain suffers the most,tht's y he is reluctant to leave & continue to lead poorly. 2.induct the yong ones @ right time ,not too early & of course,not too late. 3.adopt good selection methods 4.ask for help frm oz to build the good domestic infrastructure.Try to give it a corporate look.

  • Usmanzone on September 16, 2008, 8:39 GMT

    WE dont need the help of any foreign powers to revamp Pakistan cricket. WE have the capacity to manage and produce talented cricketers like we've done in the past. Sure thing, we need better administration but the last thing i could ever imagine as a Pakistani fan is to plead and seek help from any other cricketing nation. WE have left enough marks on International cricket to remind everybody what we can produce. Can anybody rival the 92 World cup comeback. Few teams have had lethal fast bowling pairs like the two W's. and the story goes on and on. So point is, While we need to put our house in order for sure. WE dont need to ask this from people who inspite of billions of dollars being pumped in and several fast bowling academies being set up still cant sort out whether eating meat would finally produce fast bowlers.

    Keep up the trust Pakistani fans, we will make a comeback. WE never produced talented players coz we had great admministration, Its within us. Pakistan ROCKs !!

  • I Ahmed from SA on September 16, 2008, 8:21 GMT

    To save Pakistan cricket one have to separate sports from politics ASAP. How PCB does plan their lives? PCB is same as Pak government it takes instructions from USA and UK if PCB start taking decisions on they own I guess things may come right, Australian, South Africa and England has started to treat Pakistan same as they have been treating Zimbabwe and Kenya, and they have been backed by the ICC therefore PCB has to be very careful Being out of the country and still support Pakistani cricket team it has been a great challenge mostly when PKI not doing well, ALLAH helps this country and the people to think right and to do the right things

  • bhushan on September 16, 2008, 8:18 GMT

    At the moment if the pak dont have any good assignments , then a good domestic tournament can be organised,which can include all the international players as well.Start preparing for the future tournaments.It is ironical that they dont have any good competition ,but on the other hand it might prove out to be a blessing if these people work hard in these vacant 3-4 months.This is the time if PCB realizes, can organise a domestic season including all the international & domestic players .Give domestic season a corporate look.Try to mimic the oz domestic cricket,build infrastructure,lay good wickets; make wicket of karachi as similar to tht of asia,lahore as similar to tht of oz,nz,saf &peshawar as similar to tht of wi.So, in future if the team have to visit abroad ,then they can do practice in these grounds. let the PCB to handle the ftp issue ,but the players can utilize this time in working hard & in analyzing the last year unsuccessful run.

  • Kris on September 16, 2008, 8:07 GMT

    I read in the above posts that countries (read Aus) are touring India inspite of bomb blasts there and not pakistan. Well look at the internal situation in Pakistan where its army and intelligence agancies are supporting terrorism and the govt itself is fuelling Al-Qaida in its north western province. How can a country or its representatives be sure that the security is in fact valid and not compromised when everyone of your law enforcement agencies are compromised? Look at your army which cover fires to facilitate infiltration into India? How many such instances are there over the past year? ever heard any country's army supporting militants? Till the pakistani internal matters mend and they learn to co-exist with the world on safe terms this will go on! and no matches for the pakistan cricket team is just the starting to tell pakistan that they are not acceptable they way they are! For aussies touring India they atleast know that the people who are giving security are not compromised

  • Harish on September 16, 2008, 7:04 GMT

    I have read some messages stressing South Asians playing amongst themselves. True, the recently concluded India - SL series was awesome. But that the right caharacters - Sehwag, Mendis, Murali etc and spinning tracks. However, Indo - Pak matches are a dead bore. Where are the characters - Miandad, Inzy etc. Even a Afridi has become a predictable bore. Where are the true pitches. Shoaib and Mohd Asif could have been the real things...but, but, but...I really don't look forward to the Indo-Pak series, because I know all it will do is make some mediocre Indian / Pak players look good.

  • Hammad Qadir on September 16, 2008, 6:56 GMT

    My contention is with the recent fast paced decline in Pakistani cricket. I do not believe it can be attributed to a lack of talent, but to a lack of will to inject young talent into main stream cricket. Putting young players in matches against zimbabwe and bangladesh only does not do any good.

    I do not agree with the new policy of giving players time in the domestic circuit before injecting them into international cricket. I believe too much exposure to the domestic cricket of pakistan, which obviously lacks quality, makes players accustomed to that low quality cricket and makes it impossible for them to adjust to international cricket. Its not surprising then, that the best players we have produced were injected at a very young age (with all due respect to the immense talent they prossesed).

    Moreover, the recent dependence on batting rather than good attacking bowling further highlights the defensive mentality of our cricket now. Hence, a pathetic paki test side

  • ahmad on September 16, 2008, 6:51 GMT

    yes pak cricketer how to cahnge bad bhae lot of pepul like them but pak criter alywes show bad

  • dm on September 16, 2008, 6:32 GMT

    its a gr8 pity pakistan cricket has been reduced to this..after india, the team i support the most is pakistan..such brilliant players and all down the drain..all senior players in the team are hankering over the captaincy like a bunch of silly girls while shoib akhtar keeps flexing his biceps for the indian media..pakistan cricket is down the drain and its going to take sum really bold and strong individual to take it back to heights it was..its a gr8 pity to c a team having such talent being wasted on such petty issues.. as for right now pakistan cricket is DEAD..long live pakistan cricket.

  • Mahjabeen on September 16, 2008, 5:16 GMT

    Reading the comments, the following come to mind: a. It is PCB's Fault b. Pakistanis are whiners / cry babies c. ICC is powerless d. Other Boards / Players have double standards (personally I found Mr. Marsh's Comments offensive) e. Pakistan doesn't deserve playing status f. Our higher ups are Ostriches (I especially mean our respected Captain) g. There is no magic wand h. Infrastructure needs development etc etc etc Kamran Sb, congrats. At least some players read the blog, even if he is an Ostrich I agree with Fahad Sb, WE are ALL powerless in this case and should accept the reality. The slow poison has worked its magic, no amount of CPR etc is going to be useful and death by a thousand cuts is imminent. So lets just bid Cricket in Pakistan a fond adieu, with thanks for all the good memories. But all good things come to an end and so it is time for Cricket also.

  • Farhan on September 16, 2008, 3:37 GMT

    After reading so many comments and the e-mail, i have only few things to say You need a confident chairman who can fight for pakistan w/o it everything is worthless i'm a 22 year old student i know even i can bring pakistan to the top level be confident and believe

  • redneck on September 16, 2008, 2:34 GMT

    its does seem obsured that with the FTP planned so far in advance that pakistan can have these massive holes in their calender??? i know australia and the champions trophy didnt help! maybe aus should have offered pakistan the 3 ODI played in darwin recently instead of a incredibly weak bangladesh as a concelation of them constently refusing to tour there? however it seems possible that the west indies may tour before years end, i mean they only pulled out of the champions trophy because everyone else had already. and with the india tour next year (why isnt that a five test series??? could be a asian ashes if organised right) hopefuly this will get pakistan cricket back on track! also younis khan is coming to aus to play shield cricket for a month or so, if he has his ambassadors hat on he can maybe put to rest some of the australians fears towards touring pakistan and they may just proceed with their 5 ODI obligation in pakistan before their ashes campain next year.

  • B9337 on September 16, 2008, 2:00 GMT

    I sympathize with the lack of cricket being played in Pakistan.

    Parts of Pakistan's security service are widely believed to support, maybe even aid, the efforts of some of those who may be responsible for bombings in Pakistan.

    The truth of this may be debated. The actual level of unrest in the country is beyond debate. Consequently, many governments, of cricketing and other countries, advise their citizens in no uncertain terms to avoid non-essential travel to Pakistan. We may love cricket, but in this context, it is surely non-essential.

    The Champions Trophy teams were offered "presidential security". If this is what Benazir Bhutto had, it was evidently inadequate.

    I certainly hope that the government and people of Pakistan can restore safety in the country. But until the security situation actually improves in the main centres, it is difficult to see many countries wishing to tour there.

  • Nathan on September 16, 2008, 1:26 GMT

    Comments by PakistanLover and others, such as 'This is the result of the white nations wanting to control everything. They hate that BCCI makes more money than them. They hate having non whites play their game' etc are a very scary insight into the mentality of some Pakistani cricket fans.

  • Ali Dada on September 16, 2008, 0:57 GMT

    Pakistan should quit ICC. Instead, they should start their own cricket body and sign up countries to play against them and to be members of this body.

    Sign up enough countries and promote it properly and slowly...kill off ICC and punish the arrogant ICC members by banning them permanently.

  • Mohamed Admani on September 16, 2008, 0:17 GMT

    Having been an avid follower of test cricket and proud supporter of the nation of Pakistan the same questions have been lingering in my head.

    The test side has been mediocre of late and the ODI side doesnt seem like an outfit that can beat anyone else higher in the ICC rankings. Suffice to say this can all be blamed on PCB as their county circuit is absolutely terrible constantly being lamented by Imran Khan.

    Why does australia produce excellent cricketers? Their county circuit is so predominant that good players struggle to play for state sides because of the competition. Granted comparing australia is out of the question. What about India? the closest rivals to pakistan see how well their cricket is developing in both forms and believe me they would do even better by dropping certain players who are past their retirement (not to mention any names).

    Alas we cricket lovers can do nothing but suffer the consequences of beaurocratic order and the shambles of Pakistan.

  • Nabil in AUS on September 16, 2008, 0:14 GMT

    Pakistan cricket has not been destroyed by ICC or other cricketing nations. It has been destroyed internally due to Pakistani's being racists and just incompetent. In the '80s when Imran 'Punjabi' Khan was ruling the cricket board, he made every effort to stop talent coming through from Karachi. Till today the bias against cricketers and people from Karachi is evident. This needs to stop, we should not be discriminating against each other. The other issue is that the PCB is and has been run by 'MONKEYS' who are there just to serve their own agendas. Aamir Sohail, Ramiz Raja, Nasim Ashraf, the list goes on and on. No one has ever done anything from 'Grass Roots' cricket. There is no proper comptetions such as: Under 12's Under 16's Under 19's Under 21's There is no high level competetion at the junior level, just street after street of Tape Ball cricket. To all the Pakistani's - please stop dreaming of a better tomorrow for cricket, as it will never come.

  • Sorcerer on September 15, 2008, 23:56 GMT

    Well, Botham said he would rather send his mother-in-law to Pak, but ended upcoming here himself to cover international cricket as a commentator. That is just one facet of the money-chasing preferences of international cricketers these days. I bet if Pak were to pump three times into our domestic 20/20 what IPL has into 20/20 competition and reward foreign players with mega sums, they would be trampling over each other to play in Pak "to show solidarity with a state that is a front-line one on the war on terror". After all, it won't be an anomaly to see comments from those players like " we need to play our part in fighting terror and won't bow down to such threats of violence and let the terrorists win this game." It won't be very hard for those commercial international cricketers to justify to themselves and to their families exactly why they think it's morally correct to go and play in Pak, and surely money won't be one of the announced factors. Welcome to present-day cricket.

  • Aftab Amin on September 15, 2008, 23:53 GMT

    I have said this before PCB should step aside from the international scene as it is obvious that it is being subjected to double standards by western cricketing nations. It should concentrate on Domestic cricket and form an internal circuit which can help reduce the lack of international cricket this year. LET the ICC deal with SEVEN cricketing nations. ICC has no power or say, No wonder games like FOOTBALL are becoming more famous than cricket. Perhaps in the near future we can say WOW Pakistan USED to play international cricket.

    Thank You

  • amdtelrunya on September 15, 2008, 22:56 GMT

    Its not just Pakistan suffering from a lack of test matches. Only SA, Australia, England and India play four or five test series anymore, and play amongst themselves as often as they can rather than playing anybody else. NZ hasn't played a four test series since 1999 I think, and even that was a rarity. This year NZ will play half the number of tests as the above four countries. Pakistan especially, NZ and West Indies will continue to suffer.

  • jaffar on September 15, 2008, 22:48 GMT

    Sports doesnt make a country great or underdevleoped, however it reflects the general state of affairs. The one example is China, its achievements in the olympics reflectes the new heights in progress its making politically and thus every sphere of life. So the state of Pakistan cricket (the only sport involving the masses and gaining the interest of almost every person in Pakistan) reflects the turmoil the country is in. Politically and economically it is almost bankrupt, with no sign of improvement rather seems to be heading to even greater depths every day. The chaos we see in cricket is merely the trickling of real situation from the society in general. Hopefully not only for patriotic Pakistanis but for the sake of cricket lovers things will turn around soon before its too late.

  • Mohamed Hanif on September 15, 2008, 22:35 GMT

    The damage has been well and truly done. What to do now ? If i were an international cricketer would i want to tour Pakistan , the answer would be NO. Play in near empty stadiums against a very mediocre side. I honestly feel that the board and the former PM have knocked the stuffing out of the international side. The pride and passion that once was so evident is now a distant memory. A lot of hard work and soul searching to be done if any of the past glories are to be repeated. if only they could produce another Imran, someone who commanded the respect of all. Lead by example and formulate and stabalise the state we are in at the present. A long way to go. Maybe they should take a lead from their arch rivals in how to promote the game and achieve the best from the players. India is the new kid on the block and rightly so. pakistan take note or you will blown away into obsecurity with the likes of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

  • lateef mahar on September 15, 2008, 22:16 GMT

    there use to be days when i waked up at 5 o clock in morning and stay till 4 o clock to watch pakistan cricket team play nowdays i dont even know when will pakistan play and against whom. we have already seen what happened to hockey. i must say the players have lost all there respect.

  • Another Worried Fan on September 15, 2008, 21:55 GMT

    I believe we fans do care about cricket more than the people running it in our country and in ICC.But I see this as part of a bigger problem which is affecting our society, not just cricket.We excelled in hockey and squash too in the past and they are in a worse shape.

    But again sports is just one aspect, look at our economy, politics etc. and you will know that its the same story everywhere.Administrators in all areas need to come up with a long term planning, and bring a change at the grassroot level. In cricket, that would be as same as what Imran Khan had been "screaming" about - make sporting wickets, make domestic cricket competitive and hold administrators accountable.I feel once you have the stability and accountability in cricket administration, you will eventually end up with a competitive team, which will be more marketable than our current team.Also PCB did a lousy job in convincing teams.How come no govt. level talks when teams were seeking advice from their govts.

  • dashy114 on September 15, 2008, 21:23 GMT

    This is getting ridiculous....It will soon be a year since we watched pakistan play test cricket...it is all the fault of shehryar khan during whose tenure the Future Tours Program was made for the next ten years...

  • Faisal Akhtar on September 15, 2008, 21:16 GMT

    The murder of Pakistan cricket started a long time ago but accelerated with the Oval Test Fiasco and the stance PCB took against Darrel Hair. I believe that the white cricketing nations were not happy with the whole scenario and now they are getting even. It is a point to note that all this security bashing was started by Australia.

  • Syed- USA on September 15, 2008, 20:48 GMT

    Hello all. Not many viable suggestions yet regarding future of Pak cricket. I think we need to look at the future and hopefully plan accordingly. No short cuts or quick fixes. Long term goals, To start off,PCB should send cricket Australia a clear message in no uncertain terms.PCB need to give CA a deadline to either confirm or cancel their next visit, with only required security visit, no more pleading and begging, build ur self respect, and be more affirmative and strong. Also have back up plans ready if possible for alternate fixtures, should CA refuses to come which is highly likely, wake up and smell the coffee Pakistan, quit living in a fool's paradise. They should also carefully decided about their future tour of Australia,only in reciprocity. Start working on maybe arranging some more short foreign tours with other countries NOW....

    Thank You,

    Syed .............USA

  • Ahsan on September 15, 2008, 19:32 GMT

    Hmmm. Our board are same as our politicians. They just dont seem to care about Pakistan Cricket but their own images and for the sake of self-egoistic castles built in the air! We need people like Miandad to come and take helm of the cricket administration in our country. People who has passion for cricket and for the country. Dr Naseem Ashraf - what an inept chairman. We need a character who can hold Pakistan Cricket together, who cammands his respect, who actually governs as soon as he becomes Chairman/President. The whole infrastructure needs re-thinking and re-planning. Policies of current boars just hasn't worked. A successful board should, just like the team on the pitch, gel together so that system has some fluidity. Right now, it seems, a problem as small as mopping the corridor has hurdles from each and every single member! Unless there are passionate personalities inside, there are hardly any chances of improving.

  • Zarrar K Niazi on September 15, 2008, 19:27 GMT

    Forget the last time we played a 5- match series i was only 6 then,( sad part is i remember it but most people in their 20's at the time dont)when was the last time we even played a 3 match series against a country other than India. When we went to Australia in 1999 for the test tour(a series billed as one b/w 2 best sides of the time) i remember thinking to my self, this should be either the begining of something beautiful or at the same time end of what seemed so beautiful - a benign, childish thought, who can blame me i was only 13- sadly the latter happened. Not only something beautiful ended when Darylly Harper's finger continually stayed down during the 2nd test at hobart, it marked the begining of something very ugly. It may sound only naive to blame harper's immobile finger for todays gloom, but what can i do, my heart is broken. For challenging the aussies is a thlought one cant even entertain these days in this country....

  • asad rana on September 15, 2008, 19:19 GMT

    Dear friends in my humble opinion i find PCB to blame than any country not coming to Pakistan they should have planned away tours and ICC must have helped them but i guess 750 people PCB was unable to do that because they were more concern about hiring consultants and firing cricketers. Last time i went to a cricket match was Pakistan's 1987 semi final defeat in Lahore the only other time i went to a Pakistan match was in 1996/97 triangular series in Sydney Australia i find myself more comfortable watching cricket at the tele weather it is in Pakistan or abroad so my request to PCB please plan more overseas tours as the Dubai matches and the Toronto 20-20 and the spirit should be lets play not lets grief. Another important thing in my humble opinion is the safety issue in Pakistan if teams keep on boycotting for only their over cautious approach then the concerned board must compensate Pakistan financially and while they do it or if they agree to do that then we should keep playing cricket

  • Mor on September 15, 2008, 19:08 GMT

    There seems to be an obsession with assuming that test cricket is the only true form of cricket. Its time to recognise the dinosaur for what it is and let it go extinct as it should. It had its heyday and has long outlived its usefulness. Pakistani one day cricket has risen and it should be the focus. In the future, I am confident fewer teams will play test cricket and it will finally die a natural death. Fans from the 60s and 70s need to realise that test cricket are an anachronism in the modern era and should no longer burden the poor public with it anymore. Pakistani administrator seem to be ahead of their counterparts in helping eliminate this colossal waste of time and should be given kudos for their farsightedness.

  • T Allie on September 15, 2008, 18:58 GMT

    Take heart. I am a West Indian and I am hoping that the WICB will accept the invitation of the PCB to play two tests.We are in the same boat as you. No one wants to play us because of our strength or lackthereof. There was a time when WI used to play several 5 test series Now if we get 3 we are lucky. That is what happens when teams like ours are down on their luck. If Pakistan was a powerhouse like the WI of the 80's and 90's teams like Australia and South Africa would jump at the chance to play them, notwithstanding the security issues.Nowadays the big "four" is AUSTRALIA, SOUTH AFRICA, ENGLAND and INDIA. Just notice how much cricket is played among these four. Although security issues may have something to do with teams refusing to tour Pakistan, This is used more as the excuse rather than "you guys are not competitve enough".

  • Ray on September 15, 2008, 18:26 GMT

    To Sorcerer, the post says that Pakistan didn't play a 5 test series since 1992--how did you bring Musharraf into this?? Remember many teams refused to tour Pakistan before Musharraf took over. So what did the democratically elected governments do? Its about time Pakistan got out of these silly issues and start focusing on the big picture. To be honest, I don't know what that would be. Maybe re-structure of the PCB and keep the President etc. out of it. Again not sure if such a thing works in Pakistan.

    Disappointing though, hopefully things will get better.

  • Basit on September 15, 2008, 17:40 GMT

    Fahad, you are absolutrly right. Its really a shame how Pak cricket is declining fast. I would blame both ICC & PCB in the same way for all the mess Pak cricket finds itself now. ICC has a duty to grow the cricket globally and provide equal opportunities to all test playing nations. But at the same time its responsibility of all cricket boards to look after their interests. While other boards are doing, its our INCAPABLE PCB who has never done good for Pak cricket. They shamelessly accept what they are given, have disgraced Pak name and this is going on..... Its our religion which forbids ourselves not to lose hope otherwise PCB is on the mission to force us think that way. Only a miracle can change the fate of Pak cricket, and we believe on miracles...

  • Arvind on September 15, 2008, 16:52 GMT

    The flavor that Pakistan added to cricket cannot be forgotten. I am sure that cricket itself will find a way to remedy the situation. I sympathize with Pak cricket fans and long for those thrilling Ind-Pak matches which seem to be a thing of the past.

  • Sting on September 15, 2008, 16:42 GMT

    Play only 10 ODIs / year... Cancel all 20Twenty games.... Someone from PCB should tell ICC that Pakistan will only compete in Test matches for the next 3 years.... Darn it! Why cant people realize that "Test" cricket IS "Real" cricket! Every other form is just fluff!

  • Aamu on September 15, 2008, 16:38 GMT

    I was a die hard fan of Pakistan Cricket for the last 24 years... but ever since the Oval fiasco I knew something was dying. As of 2008, I have stopped watching Cricket. I can't take the madness, the chaos, the injustice and the lack of performances. Cricket is dying, and there is nothing that anyone can do about it.

    Too bad Zardari is a Polo-fan. I'm sure Pakistan's Polo team will soon rise to many achievements...

    This is our country.

  • amirali on September 15, 2008, 16:36 GMT

    While one can understand foreign teams being reluctant to tour here, the writer raises an excellent point that our team does not even play test cricket abroad. Why have we not gotten a tour of any other country this year? Is it indifference of PCB or bad schedule drawn up by ICC? It's bad enough what's happening at home, but there's no excuse for Pakistan not playing more matches abroad.

  • Rahat on September 15, 2008, 16:19 GMT

    I agree with Fahad's sentiments. But I think the situation is worse than that. While it's certainly bad that Pakistan has not played in a 5 tests series, I do not think that's a major problem. I am not a big fan of 5 tests series. But what bothers me more is, Pakistan has sometimes played 2 tests series against the top teams, while continuing to play 3 tests series against the weaker sides such as Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Why is this? Pakistan must have played the most tests matches against Bangladesh and the only team to play more than one 3 tests series. The same might be true about Zimbabwe as well, but I'm unsure. I think along with the departure of Imran Khan, Pakistan cricket went on a free-fall, and that was that. How much further can it fall before they crash down to reality? Look at Bangladesh. How long will Pak cricketers stay happy with complete lack of international matches (so no match-fees)? ICC on one hand is not supporting ICL, but they are also letting it thrive.

  • Maqbool on September 15, 2008, 15:57 GMT

    What fans? Hardly anyone watches test cricket in Pakistan. So why can't it played at neutral venues? We can just organize one day series in Pakistan only, which will get international teams in and out of there. Maybe they can stay in New Dehli and just fly in the morning to play a one day in Lahore? Give some money to Indians for arranging for security. Likewise stay in Bombay and fly to Karachi in morning to play a day and night match. Drastic situations require drastic soloutions.

  • Jibran on September 15, 2008, 15:37 GMT

    It is not just the lack of test or competitive cricket, it is everything that is going wrong. One can feel Pakistan cricket dying from far off. Lack management, lack of captaincy, lack of team spirit. Disheartened players (everyday you'll here some player lash out). Administration need to be changed, otherwise all of our cricketers will start picking ICL and IPL contracts and rightly so.

  • sanjeev s on September 15, 2008, 15:34 GMT

    What Pakistan needs to do is go for the tours and make the countries foot the entire bill if they refuse to tour Pakistan. It is shameful that Australia does not tour there whenever there is an incident in Pakistan but chooses to tour (India) or remain in a country (England 2005). I feel for the Pakistani cricket fans and their team. It is my sincere hope that Pakistan resumes its cricket battles with all countries on their home turf. As things stand now, it is indeed a slow poisoning of cricket in Pakistan and it needs to stop. Kamran (and the fan from Oklahoma), please continue with your excellent postings. Pakistan and world cricket needs people like you.

  • Amer Hussain on September 15, 2008, 15:24 GMT

    A few bombs in Delhi haven't put Australia off touring there - the perception that a bomb might go off in Pakistan is good enough to call off a whole tournament. Double standards, racism and greed are the only things that pop into my mind.

  • Chandio baba on September 15, 2008, 15:20 GMT

    Salaam to all.The real truth is that in pakistan the threat to foreigners is immense and the political situation is awful with people dieing and bombs going off, American drones killing women and children in waristan. Compared to last year pakistan played 6 tests in 2007 and none in 2008, well 6 tests matches in 1 year is not great anyway, and if the ICC arranges test matches 10 years in advance then what on earth where they thinking.Thats ok we will let Pakistan play 6 tests 3 against Zimbabwe and then 3 against Kenya the only teams who even dream of touring Pakistan, because the situation in thier own countries is worse. If this carries on pakistan will be a meaningless cricket team, as of now our presidents and prime ministers face a daily threat of assinastion who would come to Pakistan?,NOONE EVER risk thier lives for playing cricket, there are far more fundemental issues that are surronding Pakistan at present than cricket in pakistan, I am a big fan but I hope someone can saveus

  • PakistanLover on September 15, 2008, 15:14 GMT

    This is the result of the white nations wanting to control everything. They hate that BCCI makes more money than them. They hate having non whites play their game and mostly the hate losing to non-whites. Its time for India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and others to break away from the ICC and start their own. Let the white nations who refuse to play anywhere rot.

    There is more money made and teams like UAE, Canada, Kenya, Bangladesh and others would get a better chance of improving than with the current ICC.

  • Ali Akbar on September 15, 2008, 14:57 GMT

    your concern is valid and I agree, it is indeed a sad state of affairs. However, have you recently looked at the NEWS from Pakistan? We'll be lucky to have Pakistan in its current form in coming years, forget Pakistan Cricket.

  • Adnan Gul from Portugal on September 15, 2008, 14:28 GMT

    I fully agreed with Fahad, that what the hell is PCB and more ICC doing? for some years we all know that ICC has been hijacked by Asian block including Pakistan due to high revenue generated by Asian countires. But it does not meen ICC will knee down, they should reach equally to justify with all the countires. I just want to ask ICC and other countires why Australia after a suicide bombing in Delhi is going ahead with their tour? its just shamfull for Australia and for ICC. I request PCB if any country refuse to tour Pakistan after comiting the tour, we also should reply with force by not touring them. Other will respect you if you respect yourself. Adnan

  • jilani on September 15, 2008, 13:57 GMT

    I think that problem is of our own undoing. How come even Bangladesh played more tests than Pakistan?

    I think if Pakistan is percieved as a dangerous place then perhaps Pakistan team should tour more than play domestic cricket. ICC should have a a penalty imposed for cancelling tours on the teams that back out e.g. points off international ranking or compensation to the host side. Why should Pakistan and ICC suffer from the whims of the people who decide to back out without cause?

    India had four bombings this week. Let us see if Aussies pull out or not.

  • Malik Saeed on September 15, 2008, 13:02 GMT

    The Administration of Cricket in Pakistan has left the Sport in ruins. Why a callous Imran khan or a "very" retired Nur Khan is witnessing a calamitous demise of a sport in which Pakistan became World Champions through their epoch-making efforts and contributions. Pakistn will continue to produce cricketers of immense talent as the sport is too strong at the grass roots level. We need a hero who will take the sport by the scruff of its neck and restore it to its rightfull place amidst the gloom of shambolic political posturing of the pliticians totally oblivious to the well-being of the Country and the sport. In the meantime the three leading countries in cricket are doing their best to deprive Pak of competitive cricket with a view to preserving their supremacy. Malik Saeed Toronto Canada

  • Bashir on September 15, 2008, 13:01 GMT

    Eventhough i feel sorry for pakistani cricket they were shortchanged by english and australian cricket board. At the end of the day, pakistan has to blame itself for perpetuating and encouraging terrorism in his own country and its neighbours. As long as Pakistan Political and military establishment foster terrorism in the name of religion and to stay in power pakistan cricket will remain in a persistent state of decay

  • Amanzeb Khan on September 15, 2008, 12:40 GMT

    I have always been terribly frustrated by this. I am glad it has been brought up. All top teams play 5 test series except Pakistan. We have also managed to introduce a new phenomenon; the two test series which is quite shameful. Over the years we have had a side that merits more. Just because the Board makes more money out of ODIs, test cricket has been completely ignored. Is it not part of the boards responsibility to promote the purest form of the game? I also firmly believe that lack of test cricket eventually proves detrimental to your ODI team as well. At the end of the day you do need a sound technique to perform consistently well particularly as a batsman. The best ODI batsmen today are also terrific test players. Tests not only develop technique but also the temperament of players too areas where our players lack. Somebody needs to change this and not rob us and the players of the most beautiful game there is; Test match cricket.

  • John Davids on September 15, 2008, 12:35 GMT

    Given the security situation in Pakistan, non south asian teams are reluctant to tour there. To keep pakistan cricket alive and at the top, Pakistan should consider playing in neutral venues for a little while (e.g., Sharjah). The Pakistan fan may not like this, but this could be a good interim solution while the security situation resolves itself.

  • Ifzal Hussain on September 15, 2008, 12:25 GMT

    This is what Pakistan cricket deserves, they cheat, take banned drugs & are let off the hook, do not finish off matches because they have a bad umpiring decision against them, scoff the pitches & behave like little children during matches. The whole administration is & has always been corrupt & incompetent, they are the only nation who have generals & politicians in charge of cricket board & only let their favourite players play, & everyone is asking why nobody comes to play in Pakistan. All the other countries think we are soft on terrorism & remember that pakistan set up Taliban in first place. Thats why they will link terrorism to cricket & find a way out. I say let us get our house in order first & then people will come & play here. When a foreign cricket player visits pakistan he must feel safe & want to come back, not like Botham who wouldnt send his step mom here.

  • s1 on September 15, 2008, 12:22 GMT

    having read this blog for sometime and the comments that go with it, I find it amusing that everybody rants and raves about how bad the PCB is yet never offers any decent suggestions or an idea on what can feasibly be done to improve Pakistani cricket. While I do agree that the current administration has been poor in the interest of fairness it should be pointed out that they've done what they can with the tools infront of them. The PCB needs money so Pakistan play ODIs to get TV revenue, until the Pakistani mentallity switches to viewing test cricket as the best and most watchable form of cricket, Pakistan will continue playing ODIs to get money. As a side rant, does anybody else find it highly amusing that Australia think its fine to play in India despite the bombs this week but Pakistan far too risky because of Benazir's assasination a few months back. Maybe somebody should let them know that Ghandi got assasinated in India and they wont tour.

  • Captain Swing on September 15, 2008, 11:46 GMT

    Thank heavens for Fahad Khan and the contributors to this blog. The success of India's IPL has blunted the perception of Test cricket as the bedrock of the game and the showcase of true cricketing skill. Mr Khan has expressed the fears of all in the family of Test nations (I'm English) that Pakistan could slip into second class status. The fall in West Indies' ranking is bad enough, and Pakistan must not be allowed to go the same way. Many, including David 'Bumble' Lloyd and Michael Atherton have expressed disquiet that teams will not tour Pakistan, but Hussain Khan has the answer - neutral venues. Indeed, if we could string a couple of dry days together in England's miserable climate, you might have some 'home advantage' here with 1 million Britons of Pakistani origin. Anyway, let us all add our voices to a demand for some five match series for the Pakistan team. Its the only solution.

  • suchi on September 15, 2008, 11:40 GMT

    If Pak state is not concentrating on their own development, instead acting as a hub to all terrorist activities, including al-quida.. how it is possible for you guys?... Concentrate on your own development, stabilize the government then everything will fall in place. You do not have any wealth, oil resources but acting like a arabian country... think how many of you moved out of your country and settled in other countries because of communal violence means, subset violence... you are not improving your state and affecting other neighboring states as well... think.. what is needed to stabilize your political situation first then sports comes second..

  • Raja on September 15, 2008, 10:55 GMT

    “...I know all this information is nothing new for you but the most surprising part is no one seems to care about it. The PCB is trying to do something, which obviously is not working, but what's wrong with other countries and the ICC?.."

    The intial part of the paragraph is fine but the latter part "what's wrong with other countries" is pathetic. So here again the fan blames rest of the world. You can't keep going on blaming rest of the world for whatever ills Pakistan is currently facing. Pakistan needs to help themselves first and then Rest of the World will stand behind. Need to take responsibility for self before blaming others.

  • T Ali on September 15, 2008, 10:51 GMT

    First of all, why are we inviting the West Indies for a test series? Do we really expect a positive answer from the WI? They said no to Champion's Trophy, and the PCB thinks they'll visit for a Test series? We even talked about inviting Australia after the postponement of the Champions Trophy. What is going on?!?

    Secondly, don't ask SA to host a tri-series after they refused to visit for the Champions Trophy. After all, you have your pride to consider.

    I guess, we'll have to wait till India visits us in January, bar the T20 series in Toronto. I don't expect us to win or anything, but it'll be good to see us facing a quality opposition after such a long break.

  • Saieen on September 15, 2008, 10:27 GMT

    nothing will happen and nothing will change. simple as that. no one in PCB cares about the direction cricket in pakistan is going in. its unfortunate that the least interested people are the ones who are at the highest level of administration ruining the future of cricket in pakistan. ofcourse political situation is no doing anything to help. but then who cares. our players will find other means and ways to make money and if everything failed then there is always ICL to join and make more money. i for one don't see things getting better for cricket and pakistan anytime soon. as long as political environment and safety situation in pakistan is bad...things won't change.

  • Shoaib Malik on September 15, 2008, 10:03 GMT

    Dear Sir, As captain of Pakistan Cricket team I feel gutted. But maybe its for the best. The less we play, the less we will be exposed. We are still a mid table team in world cricket and soon might play W Indies. I think that might thrust us back to top 3. Under me, our team has made right progress and although certain players have got carried away with the captaincy issue, they shall soon whither away as they themselves dont deserve a place in the national side. And those who do, are potential suicide bombers anyway. Also I would like to bring out the issue that its just not cricket we are being isolated in. Thanks to our political ambitions we are losing our place in mainstream world. Maybe one day we will rise and conquer everyone, but till then we, Pakistanis need to show respect (or fake it) so that we keep getting more to play and make more money. Sincerely yours, Shoaib Malik

  • ahmed rana on September 15, 2008, 9:55 GMT

    There are 2 problems here. The first is perception. Rightly or wrongly (in my opinion) Pakistan is viewed as an unsafe country to visit. According to Owais Shah, he believes Pakistan is a dangerous country on the basis of having being born there. That is wrong, but as long as the PCB and Pakistan authorities do nothing to address this mis-perception, it will remian and most countries will refuse to tour Pakistan.

    The second problem is the PCB itself. The ICC publishes it's FTP (future tours programme) up to 6 years in advance and sends a copy to each Test-playing nation. These FTPS can be seen on the ICC website. Each ICC member can agree or reject them. It was the PCB that agreed to the FTP for Pakistan. They agreed that while England and Australia and India would be playing about 15 Tests per year, Pakistan woudl end up with, at best about 8-10 Tests per year, and a large number of meaningless ODIs against weak opposition. it is PCB that has left Pakistan cricket in this position

  • Swami on September 15, 2008, 9:25 GMT

    I think if the Pakistanis reflect on why the perception of Pakistan in the world is so poor, and if they are interested in improving it, there can be a beginning. However, it doesnt look like things will improve in the near future with more bombings and bickering. To most teams it just doesnt seem to be worth it to play in Pakistan. They would rather be doing some thing else.

  • Suraj on September 15, 2008, 8:36 GMT

    There are more pressing concerns in Pakistan than cricket. The failure of the cricket establishment is just one of the many symptoms of the failure of the Pakistani state. Many troubles plague the country: rife corruption, no control over the military or espionage agencies, the consequences of breeding religious fundamentalism: one could go on.

    No amount of begging and pleading players of certain countries (or appealing to their courage and sense of duty) will make them want to go to Pakistan. They DON’T have a duty to entertain the Pakistani public, but they DO have on obligation to their family and friends to stay alive. To them, cricket is just a game, and frankly, they have their priorities right.

    No one (even Kamran) is going to come with a magic wand and suddenly set things right. Change must come from within Pakistan, and involve a slow and painful transition of society: to change the mindsets of people and drag them kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

  • Kamran on September 15, 2008, 8:25 GMT

    Please dont blame it on other teams for not touring Pak, just imagine suppose if there is a bomb explosion in your nearby neighbourhood would your family will let to visit that place the answer is a big NO!!!!! You are a local and still your family has apprehensions in letting you visit this place, then how can you expect a foreign team to tour your country... Let the situation normalize then cricket will happen. Another reason for teams avoiding visiting Pak is before Pak were strong team at home and any team would like to visit and try winning the series but now Pak is very weak and if some team is claiming its supremacy then he is not even bothered that they have defeated Pak or no.

  • Shergeel khan on September 15, 2008, 8:19 GMT

    It is crucial to realize that cricket is just a game and not worth putting someone's life on the line. Our country has been marred by suicide bombings and has been in political turmoil for quite some time. The issue here goes beyond the game of cricket and the incompetency of the PCB and its failures to bring other nations to Pakistan. I am a Pakistani but I support other nations in not risking their security by sending teams to a country where safety is an issue. As far as safety measures and precautions go, do you really think you can provide security at a cricket stadium when there have been bombings at army bases? Imagine a team brave enough to tour and then one of the members dies as a result of a bomb blast. That would certainly mark the death of Pakistan cricket. Last time New Zealand toured Pakistan, the bomb exploded right next to their hotel, something to think about. I support postponing matches till we reach an environment that is safe and conducive for cricket in Pakistan!

  • Rashid Khan on September 15, 2008, 7:44 GMT

    PCB is like an Ostrich who buries its head in the sand when there is storm thinking it will go away. It needs to come to terms with reality and understand that the major test playing nations are not going to visit Pakistan in near future - the sooner they realise this the better it will be for Pakistan cricket and for once, for the sake of Pakistan cricket they need to do this. Will Pakistani team go and play matches in Iraq or Afghanistan? PCB should have allowed Champions trophy to continue in Sri Lanka which would have meant some cricket for the players and the audience and also some financial reward. Now they have none of that and nothing in future. PCB should stop inviting these countries for domestic series and save themselves some embarassment - they should arrange for overseas series only for the next few years which might actually help our cricketers improve their technique and become better players.

  • Jawwad Riaz on September 15, 2008, 7:23 GMT

    This is something I have been suggesting to everyone I have met.

    1. Pakistan need to re-vamp their image. Songs like "Yeh hum naheen" aren't going to cut it. A full blown International Media campaign needs to be launched. Our advertisers have budgets averaging from Rs. 2 Crore - Rs. 10 Billion of which if they even spend 2 - 3 percent advertising our Social, Moral and Ethnic development on international channels they might make a difference.

    2. Pakistan needs to set up a Sporting Village in each city (KHI Ph VIII is an ideal such location) which would be a designated safe area complete with lodging and recreational facilities (Bars, Night clubs) so that the goras can be enticed to visit. That way they can live isolated from the locals (which they want anyways) and our streets remain safe from the threat of attacks on these goras. I say we keep them separated even when they do tour here - that's reall what they want. Something to kill the boredom of touring PK with.

  • Kartik on September 15, 2008, 7:19 GMT

    Its high time that Pakistan stopped blaming the rest of the cricketing world for all its problems and starts to mend its cricketing structure. Players of the calibre of Abdul Razzak and Azhar Mahmood find it better off playing county cricket in England rather than be treated as pariahs by the PCB. Yasir Arafat, Rana Naved, Saqlain Mushtaq are some other such players. Plus, the first thing the PCB does in order to fill up an empty calender is turn to the BCCI or Cricket SriLanka. Am sure am not the only one to say this, but am just tired of the mind-numbingly numerous India-Pakistan matches. India were Pakistan's opponents in their last test and will again be their opponents in their next test, which are 14 months apart. Plus there is the PCB's inept handling of Shoaib and Asif. Vent your frustration, I sympathise with that as fellow cricket fan; but stop conjuring conspiracy theories on Asif's doping misadventure being an "Indian secret service plot to malign Pakistani fast bowlers".

  • Tazman on September 15, 2008, 7:03 GMT

    The writer of the email could not have said it better. Yes, I agree that most people percieve Pakistan to be a unsafe place, and a lot of those fears are not without reason.

    However, facts are facts, and its undeniable that Pakistan has received the short end of the stick for many years. We were once in teh top 3 test sides, and yet we played fewer test than all major playing nations. Australians are a bunch of money grabbing lil £%&$*$ . They have agreed to tour India without so much as a second thought after the recent bomb blasts. They are truly showing their colors, and I as a pakistani pray that India kicks the sorry, pathtic butts. I used to admire Australian cricket, but now they have lost all respect in my eyes. I am sure genuine cricket fans would not want Pak cricket to die. WE all weer in awe of the palyers Pakistan has produced, and its a shame on us and the poweres that be to have let this happen to probably the only source of relief the people of our country had

  • Raza on September 15, 2008, 7:02 GMT

    “Does the ICC realise that this situation can kill Pakistan cricket?" lol. It already killed it. Being a Pakistani I was a very big fan of Pak cricket but not anymore. So thats one less Pak Cricket fan. I don't know how many others are out there who have given up getting excited about Pak cricket.

  • Jay on September 15, 2008, 6:46 GMT

    People have lost faith in Pakistan; a failed state despite billions of dollars pumped into it by west, which has been diverted into the personal fiefdoms of the fat-cats including Zardari. It does not have a vision for itself except to exist in opposition to others and complain – about each other and the rest of the world. The desire for immediate gratification of desires, lack of infrastructure, factionalism , democratic institutions and processes have sabotaged the government, PCB and most things else here. Everyone could see this coming for years. Don’t look to others to save you if you cant save yourself. Pakistan as a society has to introspect and sort itself out.

  • Khurram Alvi on September 15, 2008, 6:32 GMT

    It is simply double standards of ICC that they could not force the four countries to tour Pakistan. What ever be the political situation in Pakistan, it is true that they always welcome countries with open arms to play cricket in Pakistan. Pakistan should also boycott the tours to these contries which are reluctant to come to Pakistan. like this when their Cricket Boards loose out on the revenue then they would realise the situation. Infact, ICC should be renamed as ICCA or ICCSA, (International Cricket Council only for Australia and South Africa)

  • Shahid on September 15, 2008, 6:32 GMT

    I can relate to Fahad Khan's frustrations. He is not alone of course in feeling that way. I do believe however that as and when we sort out the political mess in our country, everything else should start to fall back in place. One should never lose hope for we have seen better days in our cricketing history, and there is no reason why the future has to be bleak. I know it is easier said than done but we need accountability at every level in our society and sports is no exception. For those who end up hopefully reforming the system one day should know why and how the rot occurred in the first place and make a sincere attempt in fixing the problems.

  • Anjo on September 15, 2008, 6:30 GMT

    I don't understand, what do you want or expect the ICC to do? What did they do to stem the rot in Zimbabwe and the decline of the Windies? At the most they can financially reimburse Pakistan for canceled tours and trophies. If this money is carefully invested in improving the first-class structure and development of cricketers the standard of play can only improve. The biggest problem at the moment seems to be indiscipline, a direct result of inept management. Its time to stop blaming everyone and reflect on reality; the decline in the standard of play is coming from within. Captains don't know laws of the game, players drift in and out of drug scandals, players are involved in petty but ridiculously costly (in every sense of the word) lawsuits with the board etc; no matter which way you look at it the focus just isn't there. We love the talent and spirit of Pakistan cricket, but its clear the development and training has to be revamped. I agree with Hussain Khan on Tests abroad.

  • Raj Balakrishnan on September 15, 2008, 6:19 GMT

    I think test cricket is losing its importance, atleast in the sub-continent. India has played just two five-tests series since 1991-92, the last one in 2002. The national boards have to take a decision to cut down the number of ODIs and increase the number of tests. The India-Pakistan series should be a five-tests one and should be played once in four years.

  • Venkat on September 15, 2008, 6:12 GMT

    Pakistan needs structure in its domestic cricket!! Institutional teams are a vestige of the sterile socialism practiced in the sub continent in the post colonial era. It requires probably 8 state sides and just the very best playing it. Have really good wickets and matches that are competitve can solve issues largely. The world is trying to go the australian way. Importing, coaches , techniques etc. But we dont realize that the secret to Australian success is Shield cricket and copying is the way to go. We need a STRONG Pakistan.

  • Asim on September 15, 2008, 5:00 GMT

    All the core teams like Australia, India, South Africa, England and Sri Lanka, barring Newzealand play 14 to 18 tests a year on avarage. Pakistan on the other hand play 6 to 8 test on average. Lat year they played a meagre 6 tests and this year none to date. Even if we glance at the number of tests Pakistan playes in the last 5-6 years it would not be more than 8 tests a year. While we thrive at playing a high number of meaninless ODI's. This is not a new phenomenon for Pakistan cricket. I am surprised that finally some one has paid attention to it. At the given rate of cricket, particularly, test cricket, Pakistan will soon find itself back in the era of 50's and 60's with hardly any cricket. ICC plans the series 10 years in advance and forwards the plan to each cricketing nation. I wonder if anyone sitting in the PCB ever dare to see it or debate it. At this point of time, I see the same future of Pakistan cricket as the future of the country..

  • Hussain Khan on September 15, 2008, 4:36 GMT

    When will PCB or Pakistanis for that matter understand what perception means. If people (or countries)outside of Pakistan perceive Pakistan to to unsafe, then nobody will come to our country even if you provide presidential type security. Once this is understood, Pakistan team can play a lot of cricket in a neutral venue. I know this does not go down very well with PCB or the fans but what choice do you have. If you what your team to play more and with strong oppositions then swallow you pride and prove to the rest of the world that your team can beat quality oppositions when playing abroad. This will help build a quality team.

  • saurabh on September 15, 2008, 4:32 GMT

    What can we do to save Pakistan Cricket? Can we all sign a petition or endorse one and send it to ICC? Pakistan is a great cricketing nation but currently no one seems to care about Pakistani cricket. All the talks about Pakistan not being a safe country is are just "talks". Reality is that the world goes on even after a blast. We do pause and mourn and strive to help others, but we should not give in to the antagonists. Life moves on and there is no better way to show solidarity with Pakistan than by playing cricket.

    Dr.Abbasi, do something we all are with you.

  • Muhammad Shoaib on September 15, 2008, 4:29 GMT

    Fahad is absolutely correct..that is something i hv noticed as well but the problem is who cares?niether ICC nor PCB!!it is purely the lack of administration that has taken pakistan cricket to such a low...Never in my life i have been that desparate to see some action from pakistani players on the field as I am feeling now.I cant understand why bureaucrats like Sheheryar Khan and Naseem Ashraf are made PCB basses?are they good administrators?wat do they know about the cricket?wat they hav given to our cricket...nothing apart from the controversies.Pakistan cricket has sufferd the greatest during their eras.

    One thing I would like to ask is that why the hell president has to choose the new PCB boss??why cant we hav a system that board members elect the president by voting or something like that..Anyhow i hope the WICB agrees to play a series in Pakistan so that v can see some real cricket action.

  • Sorcerer on September 15, 2008, 0:03 GMT

    In all fairness, I can't think of what else can Kamran do to alleviate the ills inflicting Pak cricket at the moment. There have been apt articles exposing the double standards used by certian countries in their decision-making on whether or not to tour Pak even when guaranteed presedential-level security. But then when you have meek and self-serving administrators who bend backwards attempting to ask for foreign tours in replacement to the cancelled tours from the very countries who are at the forefront of this indifference game, there is not much anyone can do about it. Musharraf has left his indelible pernicious and lasting legacy on this facet of national pride too the way he muscled in with his cronies onto the hapless Pak cricket administration. This is the price we collectively deserve to pay for sustaining and enduring a dictator and infrastructure which reeks of corruption and intolerance.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Sorcerer on September 15, 2008, 0:03 GMT

    In all fairness, I can't think of what else can Kamran do to alleviate the ills inflicting Pak cricket at the moment. There have been apt articles exposing the double standards used by certian countries in their decision-making on whether or not to tour Pak even when guaranteed presedential-level security. But then when you have meek and self-serving administrators who bend backwards attempting to ask for foreign tours in replacement to the cancelled tours from the very countries who are at the forefront of this indifference game, there is not much anyone can do about it. Musharraf has left his indelible pernicious and lasting legacy on this facet of national pride too the way he muscled in with his cronies onto the hapless Pak cricket administration. This is the price we collectively deserve to pay for sustaining and enduring a dictator and infrastructure which reeks of corruption and intolerance.

  • Muhammad Shoaib on September 15, 2008, 4:29 GMT

    Fahad is absolutely correct..that is something i hv noticed as well but the problem is who cares?niether ICC nor PCB!!it is purely the lack of administration that has taken pakistan cricket to such a low...Never in my life i have been that desparate to see some action from pakistani players on the field as I am feeling now.I cant understand why bureaucrats like Sheheryar Khan and Naseem Ashraf are made PCB basses?are they good administrators?wat do they know about the cricket?wat they hav given to our cricket...nothing apart from the controversies.Pakistan cricket has sufferd the greatest during their eras.

    One thing I would like to ask is that why the hell president has to choose the new PCB boss??why cant we hav a system that board members elect the president by voting or something like that..Anyhow i hope the WICB agrees to play a series in Pakistan so that v can see some real cricket action.

  • saurabh on September 15, 2008, 4:32 GMT

    What can we do to save Pakistan Cricket? Can we all sign a petition or endorse one and send it to ICC? Pakistan is a great cricketing nation but currently no one seems to care about Pakistani cricket. All the talks about Pakistan not being a safe country is are just "talks". Reality is that the world goes on even after a blast. We do pause and mourn and strive to help others, but we should not give in to the antagonists. Life moves on and there is no better way to show solidarity with Pakistan than by playing cricket.

    Dr.Abbasi, do something we all are with you.

  • Hussain Khan on September 15, 2008, 4:36 GMT

    When will PCB or Pakistanis for that matter understand what perception means. If people (or countries)outside of Pakistan perceive Pakistan to to unsafe, then nobody will come to our country even if you provide presidential type security. Once this is understood, Pakistan team can play a lot of cricket in a neutral venue. I know this does not go down very well with PCB or the fans but what choice do you have. If you what your team to play more and with strong oppositions then swallow you pride and prove to the rest of the world that your team can beat quality oppositions when playing abroad. This will help build a quality team.

  • Asim on September 15, 2008, 5:00 GMT

    All the core teams like Australia, India, South Africa, England and Sri Lanka, barring Newzealand play 14 to 18 tests a year on avarage. Pakistan on the other hand play 6 to 8 test on average. Lat year they played a meagre 6 tests and this year none to date. Even if we glance at the number of tests Pakistan playes in the last 5-6 years it would not be more than 8 tests a year. While we thrive at playing a high number of meaninless ODI's. This is not a new phenomenon for Pakistan cricket. I am surprised that finally some one has paid attention to it. At the given rate of cricket, particularly, test cricket, Pakistan will soon find itself back in the era of 50's and 60's with hardly any cricket. ICC plans the series 10 years in advance and forwards the plan to each cricketing nation. I wonder if anyone sitting in the PCB ever dare to see it or debate it. At this point of time, I see the same future of Pakistan cricket as the future of the country..

  • Venkat on September 15, 2008, 6:12 GMT

    Pakistan needs structure in its domestic cricket!! Institutional teams are a vestige of the sterile socialism practiced in the sub continent in the post colonial era. It requires probably 8 state sides and just the very best playing it. Have really good wickets and matches that are competitve can solve issues largely. The world is trying to go the australian way. Importing, coaches , techniques etc. But we dont realize that the secret to Australian success is Shield cricket and copying is the way to go. We need a STRONG Pakistan.

  • Raj Balakrishnan on September 15, 2008, 6:19 GMT

    I think test cricket is losing its importance, atleast in the sub-continent. India has played just two five-tests series since 1991-92, the last one in 2002. The national boards have to take a decision to cut down the number of ODIs and increase the number of tests. The India-Pakistan series should be a five-tests one and should be played once in four years.

  • Anjo on September 15, 2008, 6:30 GMT

    I don't understand, what do you want or expect the ICC to do? What did they do to stem the rot in Zimbabwe and the decline of the Windies? At the most they can financially reimburse Pakistan for canceled tours and trophies. If this money is carefully invested in improving the first-class structure and development of cricketers the standard of play can only improve. The biggest problem at the moment seems to be indiscipline, a direct result of inept management. Its time to stop blaming everyone and reflect on reality; the decline in the standard of play is coming from within. Captains don't know laws of the game, players drift in and out of drug scandals, players are involved in petty but ridiculously costly (in every sense of the word) lawsuits with the board etc; no matter which way you look at it the focus just isn't there. We love the talent and spirit of Pakistan cricket, but its clear the development and training has to be revamped. I agree with Hussain Khan on Tests abroad.

  • Shahid on September 15, 2008, 6:32 GMT

    I can relate to Fahad Khan's frustrations. He is not alone of course in feeling that way. I do believe however that as and when we sort out the political mess in our country, everything else should start to fall back in place. One should never lose hope for we have seen better days in our cricketing history, and there is no reason why the future has to be bleak. I know it is easier said than done but we need accountability at every level in our society and sports is no exception. For those who end up hopefully reforming the system one day should know why and how the rot occurred in the first place and make a sincere attempt in fixing the problems.

  • Khurram Alvi on September 15, 2008, 6:32 GMT

    It is simply double standards of ICC that they could not force the four countries to tour Pakistan. What ever be the political situation in Pakistan, it is true that they always welcome countries with open arms to play cricket in Pakistan. Pakistan should also boycott the tours to these contries which are reluctant to come to Pakistan. like this when their Cricket Boards loose out on the revenue then they would realise the situation. Infact, ICC should be renamed as ICCA or ICCSA, (International Cricket Council only for Australia and South Africa)