New age November 23, 2008

Miandad, Qadir, and Sohail: Can they do it?

While you might question the CVs of Javed Miandad, Abdul Qadir, and Aamer Sohail for their respective roles, you cannot doubt their passion for the success of Pakistan cricket





Miandad brings an attitude that will put Pakistan cricket on the offensive © AFP

If you believe Pakistan cricket has recently failed to stand up for itself, expect all that to change. While you might question the CVs of Javed Miandad, Abdul Qadir, and Aamer Sohail for their respective roles, you cannot doubt their passion for the success of Pakistan cricket. In these troubled times, a little passion might go a long way towards breathing some fire into the bellies of Pakistan's cricketers.

Miandad's selection as Director-General is an unexpected one. Apart from some uncertainty about the role itself, Miandad could never be classified as an administrator. Yet he brings an attitude that will put Pakistan cricket on the offensive. He has already suggested that the ban on ICL players is unacceptable--a typical Miandad skirmish. Expect more.

Now that Pakistan cricket has a viable neutral venue to host international cricket--and the possibility of adding England to its list of hosts--the PCB can afford to be more bullish in negotiations with other cricket boards, the ICC, and broadcasters.

This means that the new chairman of selectors will have sufficient international fixtures to implement his strategy. Abdul Qadir is a fascinating choice for this position. I have no doubt that it is a role that he has wished for. Qadir has strong opinions and a fiery temperament but he is a man of integrity and independent minded.

I expect a turn for the better in Pakistan's selection policy. Call it misplaced optimisim but Qadir will only do what he believes to be right for Pakistan cricket, and if he makes mistakes they will be honest ones.

Aamer Sohail, as head of the National Academy, completes a trio of belligerent stalwarts. Sohail made some mistakes in his stint as chairman of selectors, most notably continuing his commentating job and selecting the son of the cricket board chairman. But he will have learned from those errors of judgement and he deserves another opportunity to demonstrate his genuine commitment to Pakistan cricket.

Putting Sohail in charge of the National Academy may turn out to be an inspired move, as he can begin to shape Pakistan's emerging and future international cricketers, and instil a sense of pride and familiarity with discipline.

It is easy to be optimistic in the beginning but successful change will take months, if not years. Yet I prefer three fighters to further the cause of Pakistan cricket than of some of the insipid characters we have had to endure in the recent past. The two biggest challenges they will face, however, are finding a captain who will match their combativeness, and making sure that they don't end up fighting each other.

Can they do it?

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

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