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November 17, 2008

New age

Two Pakistans, one result

Kamran Abbasi





The thrill of Imran Nazir's century for the Lahore Badshahs in the third final of the ICL was hard to match © ICL
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Two small ripples in world cricket were earth shaking in this solemn year for Pakistan cricket. The prospect of seeing one Pakistan team in action has been unlikely enough but like Lahore rickshaws on Mall Road, two came along at once.

In the end, it was tough to decide which victory was more satisfying? A three-nil sweep of West Indies signalled that the official Pakistan team might have some fight in it yet, even if that fight is on foreign shores. Meanwhile, Pakistan's administrative exiles, the Lahore Badshahs, reminded us why Pakistan cricket had become known for its random brilliance.

For me, the thrill of Imran Nazir's century was hard to match, and the joy on his face tipped the balance in favour of the Badshahs. Nazir was once predicted a bright future by Viv Richards. That future never materialised but his record-breaking innings reminded us why King Viv was fooled like the rest of us.

Indeed, Nazir looked a different player, determined to make the most of his opportunity. An observation that mirrored the mood of his former teammates in Abu Dhabi. All of this, led me to two conclusions. First, that the exclusion of the ICL from offiicial cricket and the punishment of cricketers is an international disgrace and evidence of moral bankruptcy in cricket administration. But that's always been my view on the ICL. Second, that Pakistan's poverty of cricket in 2008 might have reminded its cricketers to make the most of every opportunity. Now, that was unexpected.

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

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Posted by Johnny Dangerously on (November 23, 2008, 19:44 GMT)

It never ceases to amaze me, the psyche of the Pakistani fan. The same Asghars, Shafiqs and so on just recently stated the only hope for Pakistan was to stop playing cricket as a protest, if not that they categorically hammered the team for reasonable perfomances, this same team. Secondly, its a free market, at least India is, so if these Pakistani players earn their rotis in India why blame the company that employs them? Statements like Yousuf is greedy , Razzaq should have stayed patriotic and stuck through thick and thin for Pakistan are silly. Dont they have a brain? They made a choice, they are being paid top dollar for that. Dollars which are not in the offing in Pakistan. The BCCI is just as much morally bankrupt as the PCB. The PCB is notorious for treating Cricket as a political chalice so lets not even go there. As for the article, nothing new, just emotional jingoism on display.Lastly Pak defeating a rattle tattle WI doesnt mean they have 'returned', dont fool yourselves.

Posted by Nomaan Baig on (November 23, 2008, 19:05 GMT)

IMRAN NAZIR's knock was a cameo. If he could only tame himself and be more dilligent in his batting, he can prove to be like Sehwag is for India.

Posted by Rehan Sheikh on (November 21, 2008, 1:02 GMT)

IMRAN NAZIR is a flawed genius and should have been protected and guarded like a rare gem. He opened with Saeed Anwar in Australia and showed wonderful temperament. Those who think he is a oneinnings wonder should listen to all the International Pundits raving about him. When he demolished Indians when they last toured Pakistan in a side match he wasnt even given a chance in the starting eleven. We have mismanaged many a promising talent. From ICL alone atleast 5-6 players can make the National team. Rana Naved, Nazir, Razzak,Saqlain and perhaps Farhat or even Azhar. It would be great to have a bigger pool of players to choose from. As for Nazir, for someone who played only 8 tests he has two test hundereds and not at all bad average of almost 33. Perhaps we should learn to persevere with our talents.

Posted by DesiHungama on (November 18, 2008, 18:35 GMT)

Who the hell is BCCI to ban anyone from playing say in India, Pak or elsewhere for that matter. This knock from Imran Nazir was a one time thing. He is tested and tried. He still needs a better footwork. But man can we bring Razzaq back somehow. What a moronic stand by PCB, unbelieveable!

Posted by abs on (November 18, 2008, 7:33 GMT)

Pakistani cricketers are the most inventive in the world. If only they could come together and click together it would be cricket at its magical best.

Posted by Amer Ahmed on (November 18, 2008, 4:46 GMT)

We surely have a few talented boys playing ICL & they should be able to play wherever they like without being barred to play for Pakistan. We are definitely wasting some talent but that talent does not include Imran Nazir, who is another hit or miss player like Afridi. We need consistency and Nazir cannot provide that in any format of the game. I’m not denying the talent that Nazir possess, he is one of my favorite players to watch just as Afridi who is even more dynamic and always delight to watch. But how often do they make us proud, the answer is simple, “rarely”. The boys we definitely miss are Yousaf, Razzaq, Farhat and Saqi, it is a disgrace for PCB to waste such a talent and yet another country recognizes their ability and gives us a chance to watch our heroes in action for some more time. No one person or team is ever bigger than the Country itself, hence the boys who are representing Pakistan at the moment deserves the applause. Job well done boys, you made Pakistan PROUD.

Posted by Mahadevan on (November 18, 2008, 4:07 GMT)

What happened shows Pakistan is really overflowing with talents. Now the onus is on PCB to utilize the talent to produce a team which wins regularly in international cricket. What Akthar or Asif did aren't going to help the team. Also PCB should see why matchwinners like Saqlain, Azhar Mehmood, Mushtaq Ahmed, Yousuf etc. are lost. Also Pakistan is not using the services of stalwarts like Akram, Waqar etc. Again for sometime Pakistan should accept to play in neutral venues like SL did. SL later came out stronger.

Posted by Saptarshi on (November 18, 2008, 3:02 GMT)

If a player like Nazir can score so much just goes on to show the standard of ICL. Truly a circus league. If that bloke plays in IPL he will never get past single digit scores.

Posted by Gugu on (November 18, 2008, 1:42 GMT)

1. When Lawson defended his record, the criticism was that his team won against weak teams. So, without being critical, WI is not a strong team if not as weak as Zim or BD. In essence, Shoaib Malik still needs to prove he is worth captaincy and so does coach. 2. If ICC has not approved ICL, it hasn't banned either as M. Yusuf has correctly stated. 3. The BCCI's behaviour, their misuse of power and boards of rest of countries to grovel to BCCI pressure re: ICL stance is all appalling and pathetic to say the least.

Posted by Jilani on (November 18, 2008, 1:08 GMT)

Kamran, the Pakistan based blog readers need to take some foot action and organize demonstrations in front of PCB office.

On sunday, I was just flabbergasted, embarresed, ashamed, absolutely toungue tied that such an explosive team and talent was banned on a stupid technicality. That is just &*^%&* bull&^%$#.

PCB needs to get show some gonads.

A player should ONLY be banned by either ICC's guidance or WADA's regulations - NOT BCCI's.

Again that is just that is just &*^%&* bull&^%$#.

Pakistan can simply re-instate and put this team in the World T20 Cup next year. These guys will win that one as well just as easily.

This battlehardened bunch needs to be Pakistan's special T20 team for the world cup. Perhaps that is Inzi's and Moin's destiny for the next 2 to 4 years. WHAT A WASTE. WHAT A WASTE. WHAT A WASTE.

Malik et all can focus on one-day and test.

Let the green caps roll once again.

-Jilani

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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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