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November 12, 2008

New age

Pakistan's rusty millionaires

Kamran Abbasi

It's been a barren few months. While India has stormed to the top of world cricket, Pakistan has almost been blasted out of it. In the course of those mad months, Pakistan has not only lost any hope of hosting regular international cricket, but it has also lost two of its most precious stars, Mohammads Yousuf and Asif.

These are deep, perhaps irreperable wounds, made more painful by a self-destructing start from Pakistan's new cricket administration. Ejaz Butt and Intikhab Alam might excite the sweet sellers of Pakistan but they do little to sweeten the vast majority of Pakistan cricket fans.

Yet, where there is life there is hope. And Pakistan meander back onto the international stage today, forced to relaunch their international programme on neutral territory. I don't care. It's great to see Pakistan's team back in proper international competition. They will thrill and disappoint in equal measure. They will lose as much as they will win. But we can gladly return to some cricketing drama because we've had our fill of the political and administrative catastrophe.

Pakistan's cricketers often play like millionaires, rash strokes and wild deliveries produced with such regularity that they might have been practising them. In this tournament they will be rusty, and the verdict may depend on the hunger of the newly-made millionaires in the West Indian team.

For once, though, the result matters less than the symbolism. Welcome back boys.

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

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Posted by Aamer Iqbal on (January 20, 2009, 23:02 GMT)

Why do we persist with Sohail Tanvir? He is very expensive and his first class statistics are very bad. Other players like Anwar Ali, Sohail Khan would be much better. And they need to give Samiullah Khan a decent run in the team. Imagine if Wasim Akram or Waqar ahd been dropped after 2 average games.

Posted by shahzad rana on (November 16, 2008, 22:04 GMT)

It is good to see pakistan cricket playing again and as for Asif he derserves what is hapenning to him and as for Yousuf he is simply greedy

Posted by Amer Ahmed on (November 16, 2008, 21:31 GMT)

Mr. Abbasi, Pakistan won the series in convincing manner, 3 - 0. Congratulations to all Pakistani fans. Pakistani players played their hearts out and won the series for their country. It was good to see Shoaib Malik's rare smiles in the field and good co-ordination with the players. I was pretty disappointed in the selection of Man of the Match and Man of the Series awards. In my humble opinion Rao Iftikhar should have shared the award for Man of the Match with the great Younis Khan. I do not have any opinion in who should have been Man of the Tournament but I strongly feel Chris Gayle didn't deserve it due to his lack of sportsmanship on many occasions today. I hope your NEXT blog concentrates on that particular topic, one should know if the sportsman spirit is or should be considered in nomination for such awards. Good Luck!

Posted by Asif Sarfraz on (November 16, 2008, 21:00 GMT)

Pakistan won the series 3-0! I am proud of our boys! For the first game and second game I was at work! Constantly hitting the refresh button on my browser! In the first game all though we had a lot to do I remembered kamran akmals batting in the ipl and still had hope! What people have to remember is that Pakistan have not had a lot of cricket this year! And too fight back in two games,all be it in the third as well because we had to get the magnificent chris gayle out! We have shown great strength and mental ability to have a clean sweep! Also had another eye on the icl match and we have to recall some of our boys back! Imran nazir, rana, and razzaq are quality players that we are missing out on! What I have noticed about our people is that we always think, of what other people would say! We have to think about ourselves and not what other people! I can't believe the moderaters that control this site let j d make comments like that! If u want to talk politics go 2 another site!

Posted by Faridoon on (November 15, 2008, 6:09 GMT)

Pak has won the series against WI!! And I was there to see it! Knowing how rare international cricket has become for Pak, I made the effort to go see the boys in Abu Dhabi (from Dubai) for the second ODI. I was expecting to see the half-hearted complacent effort that is the norm after they have won one game. My expectations were fully met by the batting performance (232 runs). However, I was pleasantly surprised. You can always tell what mood the team is in when they take the field. They were lively and enthusiastic and very positive.

It is definitely great to see the boys back. It was also refreshing to see the bowlers winning a game for us after so long. Gul, Rao and Tanvir were all pumped up and really steaming in every time they bowled. Yes, there were dropped catches and an occasional overthrow, they are still Pak players of course! But overall I am delighted to see the boys back.

Posted by Ali Dada on (November 15, 2008, 2:13 GMT)

I am surprised how so many people, including the author of this article continue to under-estimate Pakistan and continue to listen to other's advices.

Pakistan is a strong team. We are as strong as South Africa and certainly better than India and no doubt, much much better than England.

What I see happening to Pakistan is a deliberate attempt by the international community to marginalise Pakistan in all aspects - politics, economy, sports, etc.

Mark my words, India will create a HUGE fuss about touring Pakistan and I am optimistic that India won't tour Pakistan.

Pakistan should ban both ICL and IPL. Those players who are playing can play for their beloved Indian leagues but at the end, these leagues have humiliated Pakistan Cricket Board.

All the bombs,etc are happening in NWFP - place where there are no cricket matches anyways. North East of India and Indian occupied Kashmir are also unsafe - but hypocrites like Australians and British have no problems touring India.

Posted by Iram on (November 14, 2008, 20:30 GMT)

Johnny Dangerously - U spoke to soon.

Again Pakistan bewilders to confound!!

Series over - all we have to do is relicate this against Eng, SA, Aus & INDIA!!

Posted by Umar on (November 14, 2008, 15:22 GMT)

Something that has struck me in recent times is the sheer hubris and arrogance some Indians have started to cultivate. Yes, their economy is booming, yes they are orbiting the stars as someone here said, and yes, they now have the better cricket team, but I see so many Indian colleagues here at work walking around with chips on their shoulders. A lot of them also appear to take perverse pleasure in Pakistan's misfortunes.

While it is true that the shenanigans of Pakistani governments are a cross that all of us have to bear to an extent, I would have thought that my Indian friends would show a little more grace, be more graceful winners and not judge individuals based on either the stereotype of the chauvinistic Pakistani or the acts of Pakistani governments.

I am realistic and bracing myself for the hiding coming our way in January, but the naked antagonism that some Indians are flaunting hurts.

Posted by Irfan on (November 14, 2008, 15:01 GMT)

I honestly don't understand this infatuation with Shoaib Akhtar. The guy is nothing more then a shell of what he used to be five years ago. Heck he can’t even cut it into a side game let alone in an international game. Are all these board officials deaf and dumb? Have they not followed his past few years progress? To our board and public past performances are the vehicles that this so-called hero is riding to waste time and money of all those who are involved. Please understand that there is nothing wrong in not having a world-class bowler in your line up. If you don't have it you don't have it simple as that! As a matter of fact, knowing that this mantle sits unadorned, may inspire some other talent to try and attain it and thus would start a healthy competition. Please do not make that an excuse to suppress other talent and waste money on this chala hua kartoos.

Posted by hpraj on (November 14, 2008, 11:53 GMT)

Let PCB lift the ban on cricketers who have joined ICL and allow them to play for national side depending on their individual merit. Why PCB should oblige BCCI? Terming players who joined ICL as money minded is also not justified since all IPL players are even ready to forego national duties for playing in IPL. BCCI will neither help PCB or its players in any way. Let wisdom prevail on PCB and they can even allow ICL matches in Pakistan when many other teams are not touring now.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kamran Abbasi
Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Asian columnist for Wisden Cricket Monthly and wisden.com. Kamran is the editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. @KamranAbbasi

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