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
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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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Vishy on November 24, 2008, 5:23 GMT

    Nice article Kamran bhai. Miandad is one of my favourite players who I really admired in his playing days (though I am Indian and he used to make runs against India in crucial matches, including the famous last ball six - we used to hate him for that). We always admired his fighting spirit when fighting nearly lost causes on the field and turn them into winning ones and sometimes giving it back to the opposition players. It is nice that he is back in an important position in the PCB, and his initial salvo against the BCCI, on removing the ban on ICL players, is impressive. Looking forward to seeing Miandad in action, and watching Pakistani cricket go back to its glory days. It will be exciting to have Mohammed Yousuf and Imran Nazir back in the Pakistani team.

  • Pakindafg on November 24, 2008, 4:59 GMT

    One hopes Miandad and Aamir Sohail learn from their past mistakes and think only about Pakistan cricket. Aamir Sohial was an utter disappointment; when commentating against Bangladesh, he would profusely praise the incompetent son of PCB chief. That was most shameful. At present Pakistan cricket needs "cricket"! But don't expect overnight changes. Rather good to have Yousaf back. The fight between two Indian businessmen is harming the world of cricket.

  • atifashfaq on November 24, 2008, 4:59 GMT

    It is very important for cricket in Pakistan that fair chances are given to emerging players and proper selection methodology is placed for future. No player is given a chance to play just because he is considered bigger than the game. When the right blend of emerging players along with right selection policy is in place, the job for Miandad will be easier to position Pakistan better in both Test & ODI ranking. Also, there is still huge potential in Abdul Razzak & other ICL players, which means PCB needs to reconsider its stance on ICL players. PCB should redo all the efforts to bring Yousuf back, by all means.

  • Sarem on November 24, 2008, 4:38 GMT

    I have my reservations regarding Javed Miandad's director-general position. Like you said Kamran, one would never expect Miandad to be in administration, and rightly so. There needs to be someone who is a bit more diplomatic than him. While I agree with his views on ICL, Miandad need not make such statements until atleast the Indian tour would be done.

  • Tauseef Waraich on November 24, 2008, 4:22 GMT

    Javed Miandad, Qadir and Aamir Sohail are three most talented individuals. They all have proven their love of cricket and passion for their country over and over again. Even though all three are extraordinary cricketers, could they be extraordinary administrators? This is a huge question and a question bigger than that is if these three personalities could work as a team. All three are unique and very different personalities and if their talent and wisdom is used in a positive manner, they all are capable of reviving the historical cricket team. At this point and moment, we don't need to reinvent the wheel but we need not to repeat our past mistakes and take lessons from India and Australia. I wish a great luck to these three gentlemen for their future endeavors.

  • waterbuffalo on November 24, 2008, 0:05 GMT

    I just hope they can recall players from the ICL. Then we'll know wheteher they can do it. Until then it's all talk. We need Yousuf back and Asim Kamal and maybe Abdul Razzaq. We need to stand up to the Indians. The BCCI cannot pick the Pakistan team, like they have picked the New Zealand team for the series against Australia. If the Indians refuse to let these ICL players play, we should call off the Test Series. let them play with Bangladesh.

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  • waterbuffalo on November 24, 2008, 0:05 GMT

    I just hope they can recall players from the ICL. Then we'll know wheteher they can do it. Until then it's all talk. We need Yousuf back and Asim Kamal and maybe Abdul Razzaq. We need to stand up to the Indians. The BCCI cannot pick the Pakistan team, like they have picked the New Zealand team for the series against Australia. If the Indians refuse to let these ICL players play, we should call off the Test Series. let them play with Bangladesh.

  • Tauseef Waraich on November 24, 2008, 4:22 GMT

    Javed Miandad, Qadir and Aamir Sohail are three most talented individuals. They all have proven their love of cricket and passion for their country over and over again. Even though all three are extraordinary cricketers, could they be extraordinary administrators? This is a huge question and a question bigger than that is if these three personalities could work as a team. All three are unique and very different personalities and if their talent and wisdom is used in a positive manner, they all are capable of reviving the historical cricket team. At this point and moment, we don't need to reinvent the wheel but we need not to repeat our past mistakes and take lessons from India and Australia. I wish a great luck to these three gentlemen for their future endeavors.

  • Sarem on November 24, 2008, 4:38 GMT

    I have my reservations regarding Javed Miandad's director-general position. Like you said Kamran, one would never expect Miandad to be in administration, and rightly so. There needs to be someone who is a bit more diplomatic than him. While I agree with his views on ICL, Miandad need not make such statements until atleast the Indian tour would be done.

  • atifashfaq on November 24, 2008, 4:59 GMT

    It is very important for cricket in Pakistan that fair chances are given to emerging players and proper selection methodology is placed for future. No player is given a chance to play just because he is considered bigger than the game. When the right blend of emerging players along with right selection policy is in place, the job for Miandad will be easier to position Pakistan better in both Test & ODI ranking. Also, there is still huge potential in Abdul Razzak & other ICL players, which means PCB needs to reconsider its stance on ICL players. PCB should redo all the efforts to bring Yousuf back, by all means.

  • Pakindafg on November 24, 2008, 4:59 GMT

    One hopes Miandad and Aamir Sohail learn from their past mistakes and think only about Pakistan cricket. Aamir Sohial was an utter disappointment; when commentating against Bangladesh, he would profusely praise the incompetent son of PCB chief. That was most shameful. At present Pakistan cricket needs "cricket"! But don't expect overnight changes. Rather good to have Yousaf back. The fight between two Indian businessmen is harming the world of cricket.

  • Vishy on November 24, 2008, 5:23 GMT

    Nice article Kamran bhai. Miandad is one of my favourite players who I really admired in his playing days (though I am Indian and he used to make runs against India in crucial matches, including the famous last ball six - we used to hate him for that). We always admired his fighting spirit when fighting nearly lost causes on the field and turn them into winning ones and sometimes giving it back to the opposition players. It is nice that he is back in an important position in the PCB, and his initial salvo against the BCCI, on removing the ban on ICL players, is impressive. Looking forward to seeing Miandad in action, and watching Pakistani cricket go back to its glory days. It will be exciting to have Mohammed Yousuf and Imran Nazir back in the Pakistani team.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.