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November 23, 2008

New age

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

Kamran Abbasi





Miandad brings an attitude that will put Pakistan cricket on the offensive © AFP
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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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Posted by Ash Zed - Saudi Arabia on (November 25, 2008, 16:16 GMT)

No matter whoever gets various positions within PCB, nothing will change. It is the mindset that needs to be changed and mindset is not changed by getting ex cricketers. It is the general atmosphere, political and economic situation that bring positive changes.

Look at India, they are flourishing from economic point of view, sending mission on moon, having offices of almost all majors organization in their backyard and that state of mind is reflecting in their game. They just defeated Aus 2-0. Even a mediocre bowler like Ishant Sharma is able to get wickets on regular basis.

Hence Pakistan need positive changed from economic and political front before one can see any positive changes in Cricket.

Posted by Irfan on (November 24, 2008, 14:46 GMT)

I will side with caution in expressing my reservations about at least two of these posts. The appointment of Miandad is a tricky one. If he mismanages he shouldn't be held responsible. He is not a professional manager and there is a good likelihood of him mismanaging, albeit, I absolutely do not question his integrity. Aamir is a hothead and shouldn't be put in charge of this important institution. As chief selector he has shown biases in the past that he shouldn't have. He had been charged with conflict of interest and nepotism and I believe we should have stayed away from him. Qadir's selection is laudable as he struck me as a very nationalist, non-materialistic individual when he turned down lucrative contracts from English counties back when he was on the top of his game. All that was done to keep this art a secret and serving his nation only. For that I saluted him that day and do the same to this day.

Posted by shmoun maqsood on (November 24, 2008, 13:31 GMT)

I do agree with the appointments but only if they implement other ex-cricketers into the regime in some capacity. Wasim Akram, Mushtaq Ahmed and Waqar Younis are three who instantly come to mind. These are three great cricketers with vast knowledge and playing experience and the younger generations who are coming through have the upmst respect for them.

Posted by Syed Zia Hussain on (November 24, 2008, 8:52 GMT)

As far as my opinion is concerned, I was not a great fan of Miandad when he was a coach which will likely remain the same after he has taken over the current position. I totally agree that he was a talented cricketer but his attitude in the dressing room and attitude as captain of Pakistan Cricket Team has never been praised. One thing that I can say for sure is that Abdul Qadir being appointed as the chairman of selectors is one of the best things that has happened to Pakistan Cricket. I know Abdul Qadir pretty well and I totally agree with Kamran Abassi in saying, "he is a man of integrity and independent minded.".... Which is why I think he is the best man for the job. I am not sure about Aamir Sohail's choice as the head of the national academy as well, I think that Aaqib Javed was the better person for the job but obviously he is the Assistant Coach presently but someone like a Waqar Younus or Wasim Akram should have been appointed instead of Aamir Sohail.

Posted by Benam on (November 24, 2008, 6:27 GMT)

First of all the most important think is that board should assign them specific targets.They must left their own differences behind and co-ordinate with eachother without indulging anyone's authority.Only think about the prospect of Pakistan cricket.

Posted by Zeeshan on (November 24, 2008, 6:25 GMT)

Good observation Kamran. We all wish cricket team to be a functional part of ICC events. playing no test in 2008 is a huge dissapointment. abdul qadir and amir sohail are decent choices, but Miandad is a tricky one.... Time will tell

Posted by Anwaar ul haq on (November 24, 2008, 6:10 GMT)

Mr. Abbasi, the first thing came to my mind after the hiring of these former cricketers was the last thing which you wrote in your article. Yes, there is every possibilty that these poeple might end up in fighting each other. we might see early resignations as early as six months from now. The problem is they are emotional people and sorry to say but not so educated people who can think from mind. I do not doubt their passion towards cricket, yet I can doubt their new roles.

Posted by Zubair Shahab on (November 24, 2008, 6:04 GMT)

You've already lost faith in Malik? We just came off a 3-0 victory, most Pakistani's with you included usually wait until a loss before they blame the captain. At least give him a chance man.

Posted by Usman Khan on (November 24, 2008, 6:03 GMT)

I don't think anything will change in Pakistan cricket so long as PCB is link to political setup of the country. It all comes down to what ails pakistan at macro level, Judiciary is not independent, there is no continuity, no accountability. In 2 Years Mr. 10 % will be out and we will have a new setup either under the generals or Mr. Shariff and we will be back to square one. PCB needs to be run as a corporate body, with public accountability, Australian board is run by administrators not cricketers, having passion is one thing, having the ability to manage the body on corporate lines is another. Cricketers only have place in Selection committee.

As long as we remain personality oriented i don't see many changes happening in PCB.

Posted by cric_fanatic on (November 24, 2008, 5:53 GMT)

I think the appointment of these ex-cricketers is wrong. None of them has what it takes to be a good administrater. the ideal candidates would be Asif Iqbal, Zaheer Abbas and Imran Khan.

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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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