New age October 5, 2008

Debate for the future 1: Big Brother lend a dime

India is Pakistan's lifeline to regaining a full international itinerary
41

Pak Spin has been quiet. I make no apology for the present melancholy that I feel for Pakistan cricket. Yes, there are bigger issues gripping Pakistan but our brief here is to discuss and debate cricket. There has never been a more threatening time for the game in Pakistan, and the Marriott bombing has changed the whole complexion of the crisis.

Over the next few weeks, I propose to cover the main issues that Pakistan cricket must grapple with, allowing Pakistan cricket lovers to suggest their solutions to the critical problems that Pakistan's politicians, administrators, and cricketers are facing. We may not win the hearts and minds of suicide bombers or international cricketers. We may not change the future of Pakistan cricket. But we will be heard, as Cricinfo offers the most visible forum in the world of cricket.

The first issue will perturb some Pakistan fans but it is inescapable: The future of Pakistan cricket lies in the hands of India.

A couple of weeks ago, shortly after the Marriott bombing, the PCB announced that India would be touring Pakistan. There was no need for this announcement and it was a needless public relations exercise. But it built upon the support that India has extended to Pakistan in recent times.

Clearly, power politics are at play. India may be the dominant financial force in international cricket but it still requires the support of its friends in ICC meetings.

Nonetheless, India has helped Pakistan through various crises since the Darrell Hair incident, with the most recent being its resistance to the Champions Trophy being moved from Pakistan. This was shortly after India helped ensure that the Asia Cup was held in Pakistan.

The rest of the cricketing world dances to India's tune. Everything involving India has become bigger, better, and more important than anything that preceded it. All Pakistan can do is hang on to its neighbour's kurta, as India's tours to Pakistan will be by far the biggest spectacle that Pakistan cricket can expect to host for some time to come.

India, then, is Pakistan's lifeline to regaining a full international itinerary. But it is important for India to nurture Pakistan too. The thrill of India, Australia, England, Sri Lanka, and South Africa playing each other will eventually be diminished by familiarity. The irony of cricket's attempt at globalisation is that the cricket world has shrunk. West Indies, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, and Kenya have taken huge strides backwards. It is an indictment of an international sport if the major nations can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

Hence, the pull of India's rivalry with Pakistan may have weakened but it will become compelling again, provided that Pakistan cricket can find a method of regrouping and reviving its strength in these days of darkness.

More of that in the coming weeks, but for now Pakistan cricket is lucky to have India on its side.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shahid on October 26, 2008, 6:50 GMT

    We all know the problem. The solution however is that we take the biggest broom we can find, and sweep all these incompetent idiots out of position of authority. Then we go on a search for a few good people (those whose egos do not run their lives), and entrust them with a responsibility to produce results and make them accountable. Truly educated, and I don't mean just academically either are the key to making a lasting change, be it cricket or politics or anywhere else for that matter. I say this because today I see rampant incompetence everywhere.

    We must address the root cause of our problems. All these other things are just band-aid solutions.

  • syed haider on October 16, 2008, 20:02 GMT

    come on give us all a break u r saying we must arrange a neutral vennue for our team to play test matches because we cannot lure non asian teams to play over here in pakistan because they think Pakistan is not safe .my argument is if we can play in england even when there were blasts going on in london and aussies can play in india despite blasts in delhi so obviously there is something wrong with our administration that they cannot lure big banners to our country to play cricket.And even i doubt how they are going to hold ppl because i dont think that under the so called dynamic leadership of ijaz butt and zardari sahib we can do any thing in our country for the next 5 years

  • Amjad Ali Afridi on October 15, 2008, 10:19 GMT

    i cannot see my country being drag to a position where we r considered orphans or call em bullies. ahh isn't it sad to read from top officials of PCB that they were unable to get visa for MOHAMMAD YOUSAF (player of his calibr not touring and the lame excuse of not getting visa.give me a break)...why the hell r they still the officials then? why r still they part of the administration if they cannot get it right for us? do we need to have them ? and for what?

    second - i have tried to post it somewhere else as well : why dont we, the die hard pakistani, go all out against the PCB and drag them to courts? i dont think we r doing justice just by posting comments here and letting other read 'em just for what?

    i demand that we go all-out against the PCB or stop talking for nothing , because it really really hurts to read every now and then about my country and not a single person trying to get it right.

    stop it for heaven's sake. you guys r spoiling my country's image even more

  • Faridoon on October 15, 2008, 7:03 GMT

    For all the people who commented on comparing Paksitan to Kenya and West Indies, I don't think Kamran meant to compare the cricketing talent. The point was that all the countries mentioned including Pakistan are troubled due to political and adminsitrative inabilities.

    @ Royy, you're right, the caption under the picture above is clear as mud!

  • SR on October 15, 2008, 3:56 GMT

    cont'd- should be possible without much difficulty. Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh would have to form administrations similar to the ICL. The ACL should be structured in conjunctions of the respective boards (in case of Sri Lanka and Pakistan) or by forming independent privately owned organisations for cricket boards which are unwilling. The ACL would be the conglomerate of these smaller cricketing structures, and would take care of the cohesiveness and the expansion of the organisation to other countries such as Malaysia, U.A.E and Afghanistan. Understanding, that a unified subcontinent is the key to the future of the game. Cricketing board need to realize the colour, passion and brilliance of the people of the subcontinent and start focusing on the bigger picture.

    ***ALSO SENT TO 'CRICINFO INBOX'. PLEASE POST IF NOT POSTED BY INBOX. USE AS NECESSARY.

  • SR on October 15, 2008, 3:51 GMT

    Go ACL!

    It is clear that T20 is the future of cricket, with packed events even in far-off cricket starved cities like Toronto. The time has come for the organisation of an Asian Cricket League. The best way to guide this not-so-respected short form of the game into the future will be with the acceptance and agreement of all shareholding parties. A successful league would require various entities involved in the decision making, culture infusion and commercial sharing aspects of the organisation. The setup of the ACL should be taken up by the four major powerhouses (P4) of cricket in terms of commercial strength i.e. India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. In order for the P4 to successfully launch a business venture, a few basic requirements must be met. The major considerations would be cricketing talent, infrastructure (stadiums) and a source of income. Since the major requirements for such a league exist in the subcontinent a reasonably expedited start-up - cont'd

  • john on October 12, 2008, 5:27 GMT

    "The future of Pakistan cricket lies in the hands of India". This shows utter bankruptcy of Pakistan cricket. The future of Pakistan depends no one else other Pakistan. Full Stop. I notice you screen some of the comments which are not of your liing or disagree with you. you have lost credibility among fans other than Pakistan.

  • Wally on October 11, 2008, 22:50 GMT

    I dont get this article Kamran bhai. As anyone reading through this page will note that this topic is only generating silly little politcally charged comments. a few indian gentlemen were even kind enough to offer their advice on offering alcohol and women as an incentive for the international teams. if that truely is one of the reasons behind australian refusal to tour, then i will be the first one to say i am damn proud to be part of a nation that does not resort to such cheap tricks to attract players. I do not believe that Pakistan cricket needs some sort of a mentor in BCCI. Where we have managed for 60 odd years on paltry means, we are well and capable of doing so at this juncture as well. I am sorry to say Kamran bhai, but I was well and disappointed with this article.

  • waterbuffalo on October 10, 2008, 5:50 GMT

    What no one has mentioned is that Australia and England are and have been allies of the US in the war in Iraq. The same cannot be said of the Windies, S. Africa and India and even New Zealand. The Global war on terror is the reason these countries are afraid to tour Pakistan, and for very good reason. If Barack Obama becomes President of the US, I believe the Muslim world will no longer look upon the US as an enemy, If McCain is elected, well, things will probably get worse , with a war in Iran, too. Stop blaming Pakistan for being an unsafe place and country, this is because the USA has made the world a more unsafe place, and the proof is there are no threats against the Windies or India or South Africa, because they did not send soldiers into Iraq. And because they are not allies of a belligerent and arrogant nation that believes in pre-emptive War, and makes up reasons to go to War. Any ally of the US will be seen as a collaborator, and that is a fact.

  • Ali Dada on October 9, 2008, 13:53 GMT

    Pakistan should withdraw from ICC and create its own cricket league with friendly and equal nations.

    Giving India or any other country the upper hand will lead to huge problems soon.

  • Shahid on October 26, 2008, 6:50 GMT

    We all know the problem. The solution however is that we take the biggest broom we can find, and sweep all these incompetent idiots out of position of authority. Then we go on a search for a few good people (those whose egos do not run their lives), and entrust them with a responsibility to produce results and make them accountable. Truly educated, and I don't mean just academically either are the key to making a lasting change, be it cricket or politics or anywhere else for that matter. I say this because today I see rampant incompetence everywhere.

    We must address the root cause of our problems. All these other things are just band-aid solutions.

  • syed haider on October 16, 2008, 20:02 GMT

    come on give us all a break u r saying we must arrange a neutral vennue for our team to play test matches because we cannot lure non asian teams to play over here in pakistan because they think Pakistan is not safe .my argument is if we can play in england even when there were blasts going on in london and aussies can play in india despite blasts in delhi so obviously there is something wrong with our administration that they cannot lure big banners to our country to play cricket.And even i doubt how they are going to hold ppl because i dont think that under the so called dynamic leadership of ijaz butt and zardari sahib we can do any thing in our country for the next 5 years

  • Amjad Ali Afridi on October 15, 2008, 10:19 GMT

    i cannot see my country being drag to a position where we r considered orphans or call em bullies. ahh isn't it sad to read from top officials of PCB that they were unable to get visa for MOHAMMAD YOUSAF (player of his calibr not touring and the lame excuse of not getting visa.give me a break)...why the hell r they still the officials then? why r still they part of the administration if they cannot get it right for us? do we need to have them ? and for what?

    second - i have tried to post it somewhere else as well : why dont we, the die hard pakistani, go all out against the PCB and drag them to courts? i dont think we r doing justice just by posting comments here and letting other read 'em just for what?

    i demand that we go all-out against the PCB or stop talking for nothing , because it really really hurts to read every now and then about my country and not a single person trying to get it right.

    stop it for heaven's sake. you guys r spoiling my country's image even more

  • Faridoon on October 15, 2008, 7:03 GMT

    For all the people who commented on comparing Paksitan to Kenya and West Indies, I don't think Kamran meant to compare the cricketing talent. The point was that all the countries mentioned including Pakistan are troubled due to political and adminsitrative inabilities.

    @ Royy, you're right, the caption under the picture above is clear as mud!

  • SR on October 15, 2008, 3:56 GMT

    cont'd- should be possible without much difficulty. Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh would have to form administrations similar to the ICL. The ACL should be structured in conjunctions of the respective boards (in case of Sri Lanka and Pakistan) or by forming independent privately owned organisations for cricket boards which are unwilling. The ACL would be the conglomerate of these smaller cricketing structures, and would take care of the cohesiveness and the expansion of the organisation to other countries such as Malaysia, U.A.E and Afghanistan. Understanding, that a unified subcontinent is the key to the future of the game. Cricketing board need to realize the colour, passion and brilliance of the people of the subcontinent and start focusing on the bigger picture.

    ***ALSO SENT TO 'CRICINFO INBOX'. PLEASE POST IF NOT POSTED BY INBOX. USE AS NECESSARY.

  • SR on October 15, 2008, 3:51 GMT

    Go ACL!

    It is clear that T20 is the future of cricket, with packed events even in far-off cricket starved cities like Toronto. The time has come for the organisation of an Asian Cricket League. The best way to guide this not-so-respected short form of the game into the future will be with the acceptance and agreement of all shareholding parties. A successful league would require various entities involved in the decision making, culture infusion and commercial sharing aspects of the organisation. The setup of the ACL should be taken up by the four major powerhouses (P4) of cricket in terms of commercial strength i.e. India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. In order for the P4 to successfully launch a business venture, a few basic requirements must be met. The major considerations would be cricketing talent, infrastructure (stadiums) and a source of income. Since the major requirements for such a league exist in the subcontinent a reasonably expedited start-up - cont'd

  • john on October 12, 2008, 5:27 GMT

    "The future of Pakistan cricket lies in the hands of India". This shows utter bankruptcy of Pakistan cricket. The future of Pakistan depends no one else other Pakistan. Full Stop. I notice you screen some of the comments which are not of your liing or disagree with you. you have lost credibility among fans other than Pakistan.

  • Wally on October 11, 2008, 22:50 GMT

    I dont get this article Kamran bhai. As anyone reading through this page will note that this topic is only generating silly little politcally charged comments. a few indian gentlemen were even kind enough to offer their advice on offering alcohol and women as an incentive for the international teams. if that truely is one of the reasons behind australian refusal to tour, then i will be the first one to say i am damn proud to be part of a nation that does not resort to such cheap tricks to attract players. I do not believe that Pakistan cricket needs some sort of a mentor in BCCI. Where we have managed for 60 odd years on paltry means, we are well and capable of doing so at this juncture as well. I am sorry to say Kamran bhai, but I was well and disappointed with this article.

  • waterbuffalo on October 10, 2008, 5:50 GMT

    What no one has mentioned is that Australia and England are and have been allies of the US in the war in Iraq. The same cannot be said of the Windies, S. Africa and India and even New Zealand. The Global war on terror is the reason these countries are afraid to tour Pakistan, and for very good reason. If Barack Obama becomes President of the US, I believe the Muslim world will no longer look upon the US as an enemy, If McCain is elected, well, things will probably get worse , with a war in Iran, too. Stop blaming Pakistan for being an unsafe place and country, this is because the USA has made the world a more unsafe place, and the proof is there are no threats against the Windies or India or South Africa, because they did not send soldiers into Iraq. And because they are not allies of a belligerent and arrogant nation that believes in pre-emptive War, and makes up reasons to go to War. Any ally of the US will be seen as a collaborator, and that is a fact.

  • Ali Dada on October 9, 2008, 13:53 GMT

    Pakistan should withdraw from ICC and create its own cricket league with friendly and equal nations.

    Giving India or any other country the upper hand will lead to huge problems soon.

  • Sachin Fan, usa on October 9, 2008, 5:33 GMT

    Here are some suggestions.

    1)More Foreign tours (australia, SA,England)

    2)Revamp PCB ( Bring more of ex-cricketers and seasoned administrators)

    3)Fire Coach and Captain

    4)Usher-in new faces/new talent

    5)Stop begging to BCCI. BCCI is now multimillion dollar corporate body that is more concerned about ad-revenues, self interest and new found global cricket domination than brotherhood with Pak. In short they don't give a **** about PCB as long as they are benefiting out of it.

    6) Be optimistic about your pak cricket. Stay with ICC. International isolation is not a good idea. ICC is been there forever and they have long arms when it comes to organizing tournaments or negotiating ad revenue deals or even dealing with geopolitics.

  • Hassan Abbas on October 9, 2008, 3:51 GMT

    I am one of those supporters of Pakistan cricket who don't switch off the TV even when Pakistan seems to have lost the match. I am extremely optimistic about Pakistan cricket. But numbers and statistics don't lie. Since 2000, we have won just one ODI series in Aus+Eng+NZ+SA and that was the 2-1 victory over Aus in Aus. We have only won ODI series in the subcontinent, Caribbean and Zimbabwe. We have failed to make it past the first round of the last two WCs. We have never reached the finals of the Champions Trophy (CT), though we did reach semis in 2000 and 2004, missing out on the semis in 1998, 2002 and 2006). In the last 10 years, Pakistan is one of only two big8 teams that hasn't won any major tournament. NZ won the 2000 CT, WI won the 2004 CT, Aus have won 1999 WC, 2003 WC, 2007 WC and 2006 CT, India won 2002 CT and 2007 T20 WC, SL won 1996 WC and 2002 CT, SA won 1998 CT. The other team is England who have not won a major tournament ever. We need to win our second major tournament.

  • MNet on October 8, 2008, 15:03 GMT

    Once again Kamran there is a sense of desparation in what you write. Again you have analysed things wrongly,and not for the first time. Pakistan is not a second rate cricket nation, so stop writing as if they are. Secondly the Indians look out for their ineterests, and not Pakistans. Even your title for this particular blog is cringing and simply stinks of defeatism and negativity regarding Pakistan cricket.....so stop it! I am looking at the current crop of young fast bowlers and batsmen which will be playing in the twenty twenty tounament in Canada. I have to say things are looking very promising,we have always had talent, which is the most important thing. If you have talent you will win matches, and Pakistan has a good record against all teams with the exception of Australia, and even then our home record is good against them. I don't know what the fuss is about to be quite honest, we have won one day tournaments, were runners up in the twenty20 world championship. It will be ok.

  • Rauf on October 8, 2008, 15:01 GMT

    I have said it before and say it again... Pak should withdraw from ICC for now. Why be a member of an org and be treated like an outcast by other members. Simple logic.

    BCCI has it's own "ICC vote" interests in supporting PCB. I will be convinced of BCCI support if they refused to host/tour any country that refuses to tour Pak but that will never happen. BCCI will go as far in supporting PCB as long as it does not hurt them in any way. They need non-Asian boards to generate $$$$ but they will keep PCB afloat for a vote. How do you explain blind BCCI support for Zimbabwe? CT was a dead dog on arrival so no harm done to BCCI with it's strong vocal support of PCB. They knew no one will tour anyways.

    I say withdraw from ICC. Promote domestic cricket via ICL. ICL is willing to invest in domestic Pak cricket because it's a win/win situation for both. PCB should grow a backbone for once and make a bold decision rather then ride shamelessly on BCCI's court tails.

  • jilani on October 8, 2008, 14:03 GMT

    Pakistan cricket is not dying or dead.

    a) PCB should negotiate foriegn tours over the next 2 years

    b) Replace Shoiab Malik as captain w Misbah or someone to make it a fighting unit

    c) Renegotiate players lost ICL. Imran, Raza, Razzaq are just too valuable. Imagine the batting order-Imran Nazir, A. Razzaq, Afridi, Younis (cap or vc), Yousuf, Mishbah (c or vc), Shoaib, Kamran, Tanvir, Asif, Gul, Shoaib

    d) Arrange a contracts with compensation for cancelled tours in future

    e) Engage with CA and county cricket for player exposure

    f) Focus on basic game restructure at the domestic level e.g. re-introduce matted practices, re-build faster pitches, hire domestice level coaches etc.

    g) Replace lawson with a specialized coaching staff-batting, spin, fast, fielding

    e) Introduce a strong team manager with selection influence shared with the captain

    We should never forget "cricket" and as such the activities need to be fundamental in nature, not revolutionary -Jilani

  • EAMiran on October 8, 2008, 2:55 GMT

    Although Pakistan is not as strong a team as it used to be in the not too distant past, it is certainly not of minnow standards YET. To avoid this ignominy, we have to ensure that cricket is played, if not at home, than overseas. If that means short term revenue loss, sharing revenues with the host nation, or requesting the ICC to compensate for the lack of home matches so be it. We must play the highest form of cricket,ie., test cricket,and play against the top teams of the day. This to ensure a steady stream of high quality cricketers are realised. Playing games against minnows in order to fill our coffers will not help develop our cricketers . We must also stop relying on the Asian (India) block, and fight our own battles. The Us vs Them posturing has to stop. This is about cricket not sleazy politics. The focus should be on PLAYING aggressive test cricket, DEVELOPING intelligent cricketers, and RETHINKING flawed and fatal strategies,such as encouraging bits-and-pieces cricketers.

  • Omer Admani on October 8, 2008, 0:48 GMT

    Pakistan shouldn't necessaraily take this approach of making friends with either one or the other. For instance, Pakistan shouldn't ban the ICL players. Why should they be banned? Pakistan definitely needs to work on the quality of the cricket team or else the interest will fade anyway. Nasim Ashraf's mistakes need to be reversed, the board needs to realize we need more Moh Yousof's and less Malik's. If Pakistan focuses on test cricket, the one-day team will automatically get better. Unfortunately there are too many players in the team who are bits and pieces. Even if Pak cricket has to tour away now, the priority should be to raise the quality of the team, and as Aamir Sohail pointed, thus make the team more marketable.

  • Irfan on October 7, 2008, 16:21 GMT

    It is hard, very hard at this time in our history to separate cricket and politics because they are often one and the same. Be that as it may and you wrote compellingly but Kamran, I still don't agree with your point of view. I am often very critical of Pak cricket and have agreed from the onset that Pak is not safe for foreign teams visit and still hold that point of view. But, Pak cricket still is a bird with some wings left. What we should have decided quickly that if they don’t come here we could go to them. The only way the world knows us and remembers us is through our cricketers and the typical brand of cricket they bring with them; which unfortunately is fading due to lack of appearance. Also, this is the time to regroup and rejuvenate, infuse new blood into the system, break out of the shackles of star system. Jettison the Shoaibs, the Kamrans, the Salmans and the Maliks. There is a time to talk and then there is time to play, today we need to do both and vehemently.

  • Anshuman on October 7, 2008, 5:59 GMT

    This is not just a cricketing issue. It a deeper political one, that has now spread its tentacles and is affecting Pakistani cricket. The problem is that the perception of Pakistan in the West is that of a Jehadist, violent country, because its name gets conflated too often with such news events. Also, there is a perception that White people are targeted by fundamentalists. India being an immediate neighbor, and sharing the same culture and language, is much more comfortable (sounds ironic, but its true) with touring Pakistan. The whole problem lies in the idea of Pakistan itself. Dividing up what is essentially *one* people into two countries based on religion was a bad, bad idea. And we are paying for that mistake.

  • Royy on October 6, 2008, 18:50 GMT

    Couldn't help commenting on the caption under the above image, which hardly makes any sense. Despite the best efforts of the columnist or whoever concerned to spew an apparently logical sentence, it sounds very much like "heads I win, tails you lose" type of scenario.

  • PakistanLover on October 6, 2008, 14:58 GMT

    The solution to Pakistan is simple. Withdraw from the ICC. The board is filled with White Nations who want to break and dismantel Pakistani cricket. Then create our own league with other countries from the "B" side like Afghanistan and other countries. Invest in them so that they are strong. That is how Pakistan will succeed.

    Secondly, why should we lose our culture and values to open bars, expose our women to the hand of disgusting men? If they do not like the way we have, then by all means don't come. If playign any teams makes us lose our morals, then no way will we ever play that team.

  • Anjo on October 6, 2008, 11:48 GMT

    It is important not to lose perspective here. The ICC controls world cricket and India monopolizes this market. India is adamant that they shall not surrender any of this market to competitors (the ICL). The main objective of the ICL will be to force the BCCI to agree to some sort of compromise, and their tactics have so far relied on targeting weakened boards. The one thing the BCCI cannot afford is for an offical board to recognize or endorse the ICL, at which point other boards shall reconsider their stands on the ICL. Note how quickly the BCCI which had never hosted a bilateral series with Bangladesh jumped to help them after the recent exodus of the team's core. So the PCB does not have to worry about losing India's support anytime soon. But proactive support from India to stem Pakistan's rot will only take place to mitigate the threat of a change in the PCB's stance on the ICL, otherwise they couldn't care less if Pakistan became another Zimbabwe.

  • R.Rajesh on October 6, 2008, 10:27 GMT

    Hmmm...as an avide Indian cricket supporter, and more importantly, as a cricket lover, I think a strong Pakistan team is in everybody's interests, and will be integral to the health of world cricket. Kamran, I don't think its a doomsday scenario yet, coz Pakistan can still travel to other venues. Maybe its a good thing that you cant host matches in the short term, so it allows national administrators to set their homes in order and resurrect the nation and the governance therof. Also this doesnt give a cricketing smokescreen to cloud the more real, immediate issues confronting the populace. Cricket is a game at the end of the day, and the playground can be anywhere. Right now, Pakistan, as a country needs to find its feet and reformulate a national identity. And create a viable bank of players. The talent is there, only the confidence is missing, and naysayers from within dont help any. Dont obsess about being good hosts. Just be the best you can be and the rest will follow:-)

  • Mythsmoke on October 6, 2008, 9:50 GMT

    Notwithstanding the "time for introspection" rubbish that is being spewed here, I agree with the most of what the author says and with the comments. I disagree on quality of cricket though - pakistan is far superior to the other teams it is compared with. And in twenty20 if there were a ranking (very mysterious) we would be top of the tree or below india. Its important to remember that despite all the hype on twenty20, - the white nations Australia (lost to Zim, Pak, Ind) England, New Zealand, SAF are abysmal at it. I think its rather silly calling Pakistan a poor team, the (test) results have only been bad last year. India has been thrashed by Sri Lanka and South Africa..but that doesnt make them a bad team. We just need to make sure that when India come to town we revive the rivalry onfield - fast pitches, bouncers, batsmen getting hit - thats what a real rivlary is - not kissig ass in player columns and player ratings.

  • Suhaib Jalis Ahmed on October 6, 2008, 9:14 GMT

    Although I agree that Pakistan is fortunate to have an ally in cricket like India in these difficult times... but I refuse to belive that Pakistan is still anywhere as helpless as the Windies... Pakistan is still rich with talent which our board has failed to identify. The PCB is the sole cause of all issues. They have mismanaged every single thing from the doping scandals to the captaincy. Even now they are tryin to get Shoaib back into the team. When will they learn?

  • KJ on October 6, 2008, 7:14 GMT

    All that you say is true and yet the ultimate saviour of Pakistan will be the quality of cricket they have to offer. If pakistan had the team of the nineties, strong, exciting and capable of beating other teams, they would once again be a major force in the World. Some teams would still be rightly frightened to tour Pakistan but they would be sought after in the home countries. Nobody seems to watch Test cricket in Pakistan anymore so it probably doesn't matter if teams do not visit Pakistan for a few years.

  • mactazz on October 6, 2008, 6:49 GMT

    You seem to be right that we need support now & at this time are lucky to be supported by India at least for the time being. But everyone has his own interests. We at this time should work harder to discover more talent as this is one of the reasons Pakistan has lost her following in the eyes of cricketing audience. Talent is hard to find now & the ones lucky enough to be found are foolish enough to throw away their careers like Asif and Shaoib. Isn't it depressing to note that the last real batting talent had been Yousuf? And the picture isn't rosy either when it comes to bowlers. So where has all the talent gone? Even if we didn't have the security situation now, this situation is bad enough to make Pakistan an unattractive team on any itenary or tour.

  • Ali Rathore on October 6, 2008, 6:39 GMT

    I think priorities are a little mixed up here, are we to look out for our bureaucratic voting rights in ICC meets, worry about international perceptions of the country or more simply just make sure that we have one hell of a playing 11?

    The point is that no effort is worth bringing Pakistan cricket to the fore given the form and work ethic of our players. While the fans (and writers I also assume!) suffocate slowly there is hardly any coordinated action from our players - repeated joint press conferences and consistently strong domestic performances. The latter is perhaps most important because I feel the people of this nation are no longer bothered if they are the best or not - rather more concerned with just participating: an ethos that would be laudable were we the Afghani Cricket Team trying to break into the international fold.

    Concluding, as something to ponder on: would any team be still denying to tour Pakistan if we were topping outrightly both test & odi rankings?

  • Lion-King on October 6, 2008, 6:37 GMT

    Good to see both countries co-operating with each other for cricketing matters. Hope politicians can also take a page from this as to how 1.5 billion people are directly benefited when these two great nations join hands.

    Coming to what PCB can do at this gloomy hour. I suggest following:

    1) They should not miss out on cricket (before lack of highest level cricket takes its toll on Paki players) and should organize home series on neutral venues. This shud go for atleast 1 yr till things start to settle down politically.

    2) Domestic cricket should be focused now more than ever before. It should be made more competitive and lucrative. International players should be invited to play for local sides here. (If good buck is offered, they will surely come). PCB can take some notes from cricket South Africa in 70s and 80s when no team was touring there but still they managed to come up with a world class team from the day they got it the int'l arena. Hope this will do some good 4 Pak crckt

  • Adeel Azhar on October 6, 2008, 6:34 GMT

    I believe Mr Abbasi is being way to pessimistic about the current situation of Pakistan cricket as he has placed pakistan in the line of Bangladesh and Kenya. I strongly feel our team is still as good as any other team in the world, the only problem being that we are not getting enough matches to play. Be positive Mr. Abbasi , a lot of people read your blog!

  • CricObserver on October 6, 2008, 6:07 GMT

    Mr Abbassi you must have seen my video on Youtube. I said this in my video a week ago. Check it out, look for the CricObserver- International Cricket Reviewer.

    You will see that i did mention that Pakistan needs to be intergrated within the International framework. Otherwise Cricketing fans will be bored by watching SA, IND, ENG AND AUS playing the same series over and over again...

    P.S i'm glad you are a fan, to all the readers out there please check out my video and add to the debate!

  • KumarN on October 6, 2008, 6:04 GMT

    Kamran, I am sure Indian Cricket (not just BCCI) will be more than willing to do its bit for Pakistani cricket.Pakistani players are hugely talented and it is unfortunate that some of them are not getting to play enough top quality cricket in their prime. However, this is not just about Cricket. It is very important for Pakistani public to support the democratic process, and ensure an END to the cross-border terrorism and export of fundamentalist ideology.Else, very soon, even India may get engulfed completely and money not withstanding, no sane International cricket teams would want to visit India either. P.S.: The ICL match between Lahore Badshahs and Hyderabad Sultans is on Oct 10 at Hyderabad.I root for the Sultans but want a few memorable performances from the Badshahs.And I am sure they will do just that!

  • Asim on October 6, 2008, 5:54 GMT

    I dont understand your point that Pakistan's cricket can be compared to Westindies or Bangladesh, a similar comment was passed by Aamer Sohail earlier as well ..... if we look at the results of the recent past Pakistan was the runner up in Twenty20 World Cup, then won the Kitply cup which included Power house Indian team as well and then defeated India again in the Semifinals of the Asia Cup. Before that South Africa toured Pakistan and pakistan did lost against them but it was 1-0 in tests and 3-2 in onedayers and it wasnt a clean sweep .... so just dont write pakistan cricket off and compare it with the likes of Westindies or Bangladesh who usually lose the series 3-0 or 5-0

  • Eashwar,Chennai on October 6, 2008, 5:44 GMT

    Its disappointing that you think India's support to Pakistan in recent times is only for votes at ICC meetings!We have hell of a lot of money now and the Cricket watching market.We do not even need the ICC.The BCCI and Indian Fans know the importance of Pakistan cricket's well being.By December we would have toured Pakistan 3 times in 4 years.I hope Pakistanis realize that India has never been a threat to them like the Americans inspite of differences.

  • Supratik on October 6, 2008, 5:44 GMT

    Mr.Abbasi

    As an Indian cricket fan who hated India losing to Pakistan in the 80s and 90s, I feel sad for the state of Pakistan cricket today. All this talk of India-Australia rivalry would pale into oblivion considering the rivalry that existed from the 70s when I started following cricket. The hype, the intensity and the intrigue that was there when India toured Pakistan in '78 and then when Pakistan returned in '79 was unbelievable. This continued right till the 2004 series when Ganguly's India beat Pakistan in Pakistan for the 1st time ever. Unfortunately, so many things have happened since then. Though as an outsider one would like to believe that it is the political shennanigans that PCB is going through may be the reason, but one feels it is the issue of lack of quality/iconic players from Pakistan which is the main issue. Ah if we only had someone like a Imran Khan,a Javed Miandad or a Wasim Akram coming in today it would change the course of things for the better, surely!

  • Sam on October 6, 2008, 4:41 GMT

    Hey Kamran, I quite concur with your views on the topic. But you havent mentioned that how India can help Pakistan cricket grow to its deserved level.

    Pakistan in healthy cricket state is essential for the world cricket - much for its maverick batsmen like Miandad and Inzy and for bowlers like 2 W's and a disciplined Shoaib (which I doubt might never materialize) who excite the cricket fans like never before.

    The intensity of the Pak cricket has fizzed out with players either mellowing down owing to various factors or being mishandled by the incompetent PCB...

    For a start it would be good if we could see the reignited fireworks on field between India and Pakistan with a co-operation amidst the 2 boards off the field

  • Sachin Fan, usa on October 6, 2008, 4:30 GMT

    Lets not make a big deal about this. Pakistan can still tour other foreign countries like England, Australia and S.Africa. Pakistan cricket is not dead yet. Just forget about hosting any major tournament for a while. Indian support itself is not enough when nobody is willing to tour pakistan and you can't blame them either. Besides who wants to tour a dry country ? No clubs, no women and no fun. Its important for modern day cricketer to relax in evening ,go out and mix with locals while discovering their culture instead of being a prisoner in hotel coz of security reasons. For pakistan supporters its time to introspect and bring a radical change to their nation. Otherwise bleak future with international isolation awaits you and I am only talking about cricket. Peace out . Go Sachin !!

  • SR on October 6, 2008, 4:20 GMT

    3-Official Pakistani involvement with the ICL By focusing its attention on the ICL Pakistan will be able to secure financial support to maintain its own domestic circuit. In turn PCB should allow the ICL to hold matches in Pakistan. Find support and involve other Asian teams to participate from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, United Arab Emirates and other countries/players willing to tour Pakistan. This will allow survival of grass roots cricket in Pakistan as well as mutually benefit ICL to become a more legitimate organisation. 4-Organize a formal board structure and protocols for a 6 year period of exile from official international cricket till the ICC is able to support the PCB and protect its rights A list of protocols of engagement should be compiled in order to ensure the survival of cricketing culture in Pakistan. This should ensure a clear set of guidelines for the players to allow freedom to earn a livelihood and to protect Pakistani cricket. Logistical overhaul.

  • SR on October 6, 2008, 4:15 GMT

    In my opinion Pakistan should adopt the following policies: 1- Retract ICC membership If the ICC is no longer able to support the Pakistan Cricket Board in its schedule coordination and in turn secure PCB’s financial future. Pakistan has no advantage to be a member. The ICC becomes a constraint rather than a facilitator of cricketing future in the country. 2- Allow international-domestic exposure The ICC should focus its attention to procure positions for its ‘sellable’ cricketers in international domestic circuits such as county cricket as well as domestic cricket in South Africa and Australia. This will allow players who depend on cricket as a livelihood to secure a pay check.

  • india zindabad on October 6, 2008, 4:10 GMT

    Isn't it a shame that Pakistan Cricket should depend on India when they have a lot of talent ? Paki cricket needs more able administrators. They should consider scrapping their domestic cricket and sending a team to play in India's Ranji League. At least India's Ranji cricketers are better paid. That could attract some crowds and some revenue if some Ranji matches are played in Pakistan. -- India Zindabad.

  • Thair on October 6, 2008, 4:09 GMT

    It is nice of India to show support for Pakistan in their time of need. Pakistan cricket is in desperate need of some playing time. It is sad that a country is facing daily onslaught by the terrorist so everyone else in world be safer including Australia, England, New Zealand and South Africa. And yet India is the only one who understands that this is the time to show support for their fellow Cricketers, because India also faces same threat. Thanks India for showing us your support.

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  • Thair on October 6, 2008, 4:09 GMT

    It is nice of India to show support for Pakistan in their time of need. Pakistan cricket is in desperate need of some playing time. It is sad that a country is facing daily onslaught by the terrorist so everyone else in world be safer including Australia, England, New Zealand and South Africa. And yet India is the only one who understands that this is the time to show support for their fellow Cricketers, because India also faces same threat. Thanks India for showing us your support.

  • india zindabad on October 6, 2008, 4:10 GMT

    Isn't it a shame that Pakistan Cricket should depend on India when they have a lot of talent ? Paki cricket needs more able administrators. They should consider scrapping their domestic cricket and sending a team to play in India's Ranji League. At least India's Ranji cricketers are better paid. That could attract some crowds and some revenue if some Ranji matches are played in Pakistan. -- India Zindabad.

  • SR on October 6, 2008, 4:15 GMT

    In my opinion Pakistan should adopt the following policies: 1- Retract ICC membership If the ICC is no longer able to support the Pakistan Cricket Board in its schedule coordination and in turn secure PCB’s financial future. Pakistan has no advantage to be a member. The ICC becomes a constraint rather than a facilitator of cricketing future in the country. 2- Allow international-domestic exposure The ICC should focus its attention to procure positions for its ‘sellable’ cricketers in international domestic circuits such as county cricket as well as domestic cricket in South Africa and Australia. This will allow players who depend on cricket as a livelihood to secure a pay check.

  • SR on October 6, 2008, 4:20 GMT

    3-Official Pakistani involvement with the ICL By focusing its attention on the ICL Pakistan will be able to secure financial support to maintain its own domestic circuit. In turn PCB should allow the ICL to hold matches in Pakistan. Find support and involve other Asian teams to participate from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, United Arab Emirates and other countries/players willing to tour Pakistan. This will allow survival of grass roots cricket in Pakistan as well as mutually benefit ICL to become a more legitimate organisation. 4-Organize a formal board structure and protocols for a 6 year period of exile from official international cricket till the ICC is able to support the PCB and protect its rights A list of protocols of engagement should be compiled in order to ensure the survival of cricketing culture in Pakistan. This should ensure a clear set of guidelines for the players to allow freedom to earn a livelihood and to protect Pakistani cricket. Logistical overhaul.

  • Sachin Fan, usa on October 6, 2008, 4:30 GMT

    Lets not make a big deal about this. Pakistan can still tour other foreign countries like England, Australia and S.Africa. Pakistan cricket is not dead yet. Just forget about hosting any major tournament for a while. Indian support itself is not enough when nobody is willing to tour pakistan and you can't blame them either. Besides who wants to tour a dry country ? No clubs, no women and no fun. Its important for modern day cricketer to relax in evening ,go out and mix with locals while discovering their culture instead of being a prisoner in hotel coz of security reasons. For pakistan supporters its time to introspect and bring a radical change to their nation. Otherwise bleak future with international isolation awaits you and I am only talking about cricket. Peace out . Go Sachin !!

  • Sam on October 6, 2008, 4:41 GMT

    Hey Kamran, I quite concur with your views on the topic. But you havent mentioned that how India can help Pakistan cricket grow to its deserved level.

    Pakistan in healthy cricket state is essential for the world cricket - much for its maverick batsmen like Miandad and Inzy and for bowlers like 2 W's and a disciplined Shoaib (which I doubt might never materialize) who excite the cricket fans like never before.

    The intensity of the Pak cricket has fizzed out with players either mellowing down owing to various factors or being mishandled by the incompetent PCB...

    For a start it would be good if we could see the reignited fireworks on field between India and Pakistan with a co-operation amidst the 2 boards off the field

  • Supratik on October 6, 2008, 5:44 GMT

    Mr.Abbasi

    As an Indian cricket fan who hated India losing to Pakistan in the 80s and 90s, I feel sad for the state of Pakistan cricket today. All this talk of India-Australia rivalry would pale into oblivion considering the rivalry that existed from the 70s when I started following cricket. The hype, the intensity and the intrigue that was there when India toured Pakistan in '78 and then when Pakistan returned in '79 was unbelievable. This continued right till the 2004 series when Ganguly's India beat Pakistan in Pakistan for the 1st time ever. Unfortunately, so many things have happened since then. Though as an outsider one would like to believe that it is the political shennanigans that PCB is going through may be the reason, but one feels it is the issue of lack of quality/iconic players from Pakistan which is the main issue. Ah if we only had someone like a Imran Khan,a Javed Miandad or a Wasim Akram coming in today it would change the course of things for the better, surely!

  • Eashwar,Chennai on October 6, 2008, 5:44 GMT

    Its disappointing that you think India's support to Pakistan in recent times is only for votes at ICC meetings!We have hell of a lot of money now and the Cricket watching market.We do not even need the ICC.The BCCI and Indian Fans know the importance of Pakistan cricket's well being.By December we would have toured Pakistan 3 times in 4 years.I hope Pakistanis realize that India has never been a threat to them like the Americans inspite of differences.

  • Asim on October 6, 2008, 5:54 GMT

    I dont understand your point that Pakistan's cricket can be compared to Westindies or Bangladesh, a similar comment was passed by Aamer Sohail earlier as well ..... if we look at the results of the recent past Pakistan was the runner up in Twenty20 World Cup, then won the Kitply cup which included Power house Indian team as well and then defeated India again in the Semifinals of the Asia Cup. Before that South Africa toured Pakistan and pakistan did lost against them but it was 1-0 in tests and 3-2 in onedayers and it wasnt a clean sweep .... so just dont write pakistan cricket off and compare it with the likes of Westindies or Bangladesh who usually lose the series 3-0 or 5-0

  • KumarN on October 6, 2008, 6:04 GMT

    Kamran, I am sure Indian Cricket (not just BCCI) will be more than willing to do its bit for Pakistani cricket.Pakistani players are hugely talented and it is unfortunate that some of them are not getting to play enough top quality cricket in their prime. However, this is not just about Cricket. It is very important for Pakistani public to support the democratic process, and ensure an END to the cross-border terrorism and export of fundamentalist ideology.Else, very soon, even India may get engulfed completely and money not withstanding, no sane International cricket teams would want to visit India either. P.S.: The ICL match between Lahore Badshahs and Hyderabad Sultans is on Oct 10 at Hyderabad.I root for the Sultans but want a few memorable performances from the Badshahs.And I am sure they will do just that!