New age January 12, 2009

England step into Pakistan's shoes, as Pakistan step back

20

This week's England controversy was an amusing one for Pakistan fans. I'm unconvinced by the argument that Kevin Pietersen had to go because his views were leaked by the media, especially as he does seem to have had the support of much of the England team. Imagine Pakistan players being sacked, forced to resign, or disciplined each time their views were leaked to the media? There wouldn't be a player left to select.

Nonetheless, the ECB managed to perform a decent impression of the PCB by turning a containable scandal into a gargantuan crisis, unsettling the team, and losing a promising captain.

Meanwhile the new PCB has made an effort to bring back the old days, good and bad. The bad is reverting to some really old timers, like Intikhab Alam and Yawar Saeed. Indeed, the nonsensical media ban--a virtual impossibility in our media-driven age--has all the hallmarks of a Yawar Saeed strategy. Furthermore, how Intikhab negotiates the fierce opinions of Javed Miandad, Abdul Qadir, and Aamir Sohail must be a wonder to behold.

The good is that the selectors are backing pace again. Pakistan cricket's success in the 1980s and 1990s was based on the abilities of its fast bowlers, ably supported by an attacking spinner. The batting has ever been unreliable, but the bowlers were capable of making most totals competitive. Pace bowlers also force a captain to attack, which is the preferable mode for the Pakistan team.

Umar Amin's selection is another throwback. One of the thrills of Pakistan cricket was that a talented rookie would be selected from obscurity. Let's hope Amin can revive a tradition that has been lost in this decade. He may be at the beginning of an uncertain journey, but unknown players bring a special fascination.

If nothing else, Pakistan's adminstrators, cricketers, and fans will have been relieved that another cricket nation has played out a pointless drama of Pakistani proportions. For one week, at least, England are the new Pakistan.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Botha Doro on October 14, 2009, 7:23 GMT

    I just read that Younus Khan has tendered his resignation as Pakistan captain despite having bee cleared of charges of match-fixingby a sports committee. At www.cricinfo.ws he said he is disgusted by match-fixing allegations made against him and the team.

  • Terrence on February 4, 2009, 9:33 GMT

    Agree with waterbuffalo, Pakistan needs to be imaginative not emotional to come out of this stronger. Pulling out of Australia will not do any good at all. Keep that in the chiller for the time when Pakistan team becomes number 1 or 2 in the world. Until then, just think of playing cricket, wherever. Remove the ban on your good players who have commited no offence other than playing for a league that the BCCI doesn't like. Lobby the other countries to do the same. Someone suggested to invest heavily in domestic cricket. I like the idea. Play as much as you can against SL, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe or even lesser teams. Some of these teams will defintely improve and go up the ladder and they will be grateful later on. Which reminds me, Pakistan should be grateful to SL and be prepared to back them up when they need it. It is clear you cannot rely on India, so bootlicking the BCCI must stop.

  • Out of Breath on January 21, 2009, 3:05 GMT

    I choked on my biryani reading WS Rehman's comments, drank some water, settled down and choked again after reading Nadeem's posting. No more Comedy Channel for me from now on; neither am I going to venture putting a morsel in my mouth whilst reading a few of my countrymen comments

  • Prabhakaran on January 21, 2009, 1:01 GMT

    WS Rehman! God save you and your country.

  • waterbuffalo on January 18, 2009, 2:50 GMT

    What's all this, don't play, Aus/SA/Eng..pull out here, pull out there...we haven't played a test since 2007, and you would rather Pakistan rots in Limbo than have a chance to prove themselves? Be grateful that Sri Lanka stepped into the breach, and stop being angry at the world. The Pakistani players are cricketers, and cricketers need to play, your wounded feelings and those of politicians do not come into it. Personally I hope the ICL players will be unbanned because they have a lot to give to their country, especially Mohd.Yousuf. Shane Bond, a great bowler cannot play for NZ just because India says so, I feel it is time Pakistan stands up to India and lets the ICL players play international cricket, after all, we are playing Sri Lanka, not India, and if Sri Lanka also wants their ICL players to play, why shouldn't we? and as of pulling out of the tour to Australia, I have never heard such an idiotic statement, we cannot hit them financially, they are already very very rich.

  • khalil on January 17, 2009, 17:11 GMT

    KP tried to give an impression of an all powerful captain,who can impose his opinion around.But it was too early .Being a powerful batsman is something else but a powerful captain ? No one like it.

  • Nadeem Ul-Haq on January 16, 2009, 10:16 GMT

    I am a Pakistan Supporter and i think in the world of Cricket their is one rule for one and a one rule of anouther. I personnally think Pakistan should pull out of the tour to Australia and the ICC Twenty20 world cup. We can then use the excuse that the western countrys used against us. We will see how they like it, When it hits them Financially.

  • Hussain on January 16, 2009, 6:18 GMT

    i am going stop writing any more to your blog...... it seems no one ever wants to print what i say ?

  • SAZ on January 14, 2009, 12:59 GMT

    I think KP got too ahead of himself.It is understandble given the dearth of talent in English Cricket and English media's fascination with likes of Flintoff and Kevin Peiterson. Since Nov 1 when they embarked on a journey to grab one million dollars only to forget there is a match to be won before there is nothing but disaster for KP. After trounced 5-0 in onedayers and losing after a remarkable run cahse when every English commentator (led by NASSER HUSSEIN) was putting their money one an English win, KP had a reality check and in stock market terms it is called correction.

  • Saud Sami on January 14, 2009, 11:13 GMT

    Kamran, While I see your point regarding the inclusion of Umar Ameen, I feel it is much more important to reward players who have performed well in the domestic circuit. In particular I refer to Saeed Bin Nasir. He is the top scorer in the pentangular cup and has been a consistant performer. He is 29 years old with more than 6300 runs in first class at an average of 43.5 and and average of over 50 in List A. Where is the justification in leaving him out in the cold year after year? I bet he will be another Misbah-ul-Haq whenever he is included. He will make everybody why were his prime years wasted. If the top run getter does not deserve a C category contract, then who does?

  • Botha Doro on October 14, 2009, 7:23 GMT

    I just read that Younus Khan has tendered his resignation as Pakistan captain despite having bee cleared of charges of match-fixingby a sports committee. At www.cricinfo.ws he said he is disgusted by match-fixing allegations made against him and the team.

  • Terrence on February 4, 2009, 9:33 GMT

    Agree with waterbuffalo, Pakistan needs to be imaginative not emotional to come out of this stronger. Pulling out of Australia will not do any good at all. Keep that in the chiller for the time when Pakistan team becomes number 1 or 2 in the world. Until then, just think of playing cricket, wherever. Remove the ban on your good players who have commited no offence other than playing for a league that the BCCI doesn't like. Lobby the other countries to do the same. Someone suggested to invest heavily in domestic cricket. I like the idea. Play as much as you can against SL, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe or even lesser teams. Some of these teams will defintely improve and go up the ladder and they will be grateful later on. Which reminds me, Pakistan should be grateful to SL and be prepared to back them up when they need it. It is clear you cannot rely on India, so bootlicking the BCCI must stop.

  • Out of Breath on January 21, 2009, 3:05 GMT

    I choked on my biryani reading WS Rehman's comments, drank some water, settled down and choked again after reading Nadeem's posting. No more Comedy Channel for me from now on; neither am I going to venture putting a morsel in my mouth whilst reading a few of my countrymen comments

  • Prabhakaran on January 21, 2009, 1:01 GMT

    WS Rehman! God save you and your country.

  • waterbuffalo on January 18, 2009, 2:50 GMT

    What's all this, don't play, Aus/SA/Eng..pull out here, pull out there...we haven't played a test since 2007, and you would rather Pakistan rots in Limbo than have a chance to prove themselves? Be grateful that Sri Lanka stepped into the breach, and stop being angry at the world. The Pakistani players are cricketers, and cricketers need to play, your wounded feelings and those of politicians do not come into it. Personally I hope the ICL players will be unbanned because they have a lot to give to their country, especially Mohd.Yousuf. Shane Bond, a great bowler cannot play for NZ just because India says so, I feel it is time Pakistan stands up to India and lets the ICL players play international cricket, after all, we are playing Sri Lanka, not India, and if Sri Lanka also wants their ICL players to play, why shouldn't we? and as of pulling out of the tour to Australia, I have never heard such an idiotic statement, we cannot hit them financially, they are already very very rich.

  • khalil on January 17, 2009, 17:11 GMT

    KP tried to give an impression of an all powerful captain,who can impose his opinion around.But it was too early .Being a powerful batsman is something else but a powerful captain ? No one like it.

  • Nadeem Ul-Haq on January 16, 2009, 10:16 GMT

    I am a Pakistan Supporter and i think in the world of Cricket their is one rule for one and a one rule of anouther. I personnally think Pakistan should pull out of the tour to Australia and the ICC Twenty20 world cup. We can then use the excuse that the western countrys used against us. We will see how they like it, When it hits them Financially.

  • Hussain on January 16, 2009, 6:18 GMT

    i am going stop writing any more to your blog...... it seems no one ever wants to print what i say ?

  • SAZ on January 14, 2009, 12:59 GMT

    I think KP got too ahead of himself.It is understandble given the dearth of talent in English Cricket and English media's fascination with likes of Flintoff and Kevin Peiterson. Since Nov 1 when they embarked on a journey to grab one million dollars only to forget there is a match to be won before there is nothing but disaster for KP. After trounced 5-0 in onedayers and losing after a remarkable run cahse when every English commentator (led by NASSER HUSSEIN) was putting their money one an English win, KP had a reality check and in stock market terms it is called correction.

  • Saud Sami on January 14, 2009, 11:13 GMT

    Kamran, While I see your point regarding the inclusion of Umar Ameen, I feel it is much more important to reward players who have performed well in the domestic circuit. In particular I refer to Saeed Bin Nasir. He is the top scorer in the pentangular cup and has been a consistant performer. He is 29 years old with more than 6300 runs in first class at an average of 43.5 and and average of over 50 in List A. Where is the justification in leaving him out in the cold year after year? I bet he will be another Misbah-ul-Haq whenever he is included. He will make everybody why were his prime years wasted. If the top run getter does not deserve a C category contract, then who does?

  • Kaushik Lakshman on January 14, 2009, 10:51 GMT

    It is a mistake to sack KP as skipper. Strauss nw has a tough job in his hand leading a disgruntled set of senior players. Anyway ECB seem to be in the news for all the wrong reasons.

  • Paul G on January 14, 2009, 5:00 GMT

    Obviously satire is not common in Pakistan and surrounds. I thought it was funny WS Rehman and can't believe some folks took it seriously.

  • Shehzad Hussain on January 14, 2009, 0:40 GMT

    I am a bit surprised about the handling of the Pieteron saga by ECB and internal strife in the England camp. I thought Pakistan had patented this kind of behaviour. The reactive hiring and firing of people is nothing new in Pakistan. As if there werent enough problems out of Pakistan's control in terms of teams refusing to tour, we go ahead and create more due to our renowned management and player stupidity. And, WS Rehman... do grow up please. I am a Pakistan supporter... but dotn turn everything into a conspiracy and say stupid things like we are the best in the world. Maybe you should get a job at the board as well.

  • Nabeel Adeel on January 13, 2009, 20:34 GMT

    Well if bringing back the old personnel means the comeback of the golden days of late 1980s and early 1990s then i am sure all of us will welcome this change. The ban on ICL players needs to be lifted as soon as possible for us to develop a stronger team. If yousuf, imran nazir and razzaq come back i believe we can quickly come back into top three, atleast in ODI cricket.The ban is hurting Pakistan cricket the most and unless it is lifted Pakistan team will remain a mediocre team as it is right now.

  • Raza-e-Mustafa on January 13, 2009, 20:24 GMT

    I fail to comprehend the logic that only good cricketers make good administrators. Whereas, the professional managers are goofs who can not run anything on the Earth. We need to have professionals for extremely professional job of handling a cricket boards which corresponds with all the other boards of the world. Instead we have all the politically appointed ex-cricketers who are trying to get their share of the most lucrative organisation in Pakistan. The chairman barked against and ultimately sacked a coach who had done nothing wrong the moment he assumed charge of the PCB. People like Javed Miandad and Amir Sohail had always opposed foreign coaches because they themselves eyed the post and are now comfortably perched on different posts. This is sick, honestly.

  • Abdul on January 13, 2009, 17:39 GMT

    I find it rather unbelieavble that Mansoor Amjad was left out of the squad. I feel he should be given more opportunities and could become the premier spinner of Pakistan in ODI cricket. Also we must admitt that the squad announced wasn't the best available re garding quality due to the absences of formidable talnet such as Nazir,Yousuf and Rana but we'll have to accept their absence until futher date. But never the less Pakistan should win the series with the bowling attack holding the key. As reagrds to the batting we will be relying on Younis Khan and the way we appraoch the Srilanakan spinners in particluar Mendis will be vital as he's the ultimate threat against Pakistan.

    An interesting series to play for and my overall preidction is 2-1 Pakistan!

  • Amjad on January 13, 2009, 15:10 GMT

    Perhaps, PCB has employed a crickter too many just to satisfy the opinion of those people who say that the crickters should run the cricket borad. Now waht is happening that everybody is trying to run it by its own way as every player has his own style of play. No doubt every person is trying to do good, but I think too many crickters in the baord are not healty either. But anyway let them orgnise some cricket in pakistan or out, then only we can judge their abilities as board members. As for as England is concerned, not one is perfect. They also can manke mistakes, but they(mistakes) are there to be learned from them no to repeat.

  • For Heaven sake on January 13, 2009, 9:24 GMT

    Well said WS Rehman :) I don't want to hurt your feelings but I am extremely sorry to say that most of things you said were not correct. But I became your instant fan regarding your skills of fantasizing. Plus this article was not about India Pakistan tour. It was about ECB handling the English Captain and Coach issue and it was about PCB's new set-up and steps they are taking. But don't get dis-heart there are few News channels both in India and Pakistan that will be willing to buy your story ;)

  • ad on January 13, 2009, 6:23 GMT

    WS Rehman, i just spilled my morning coffee all over my keyboard after reading your the insane drivel you've posted. Mumbai attack the work of the BCCI? Pakistan the best team in the world? Sure.

  • WS Rehman on January 13, 2009, 5:06 GMT

    ICC had send security consultants to Pakistan and found that non state actors pose a threat to their team. That time each of England players had voiced their displeasure that time also not wanting to tour Pakistan . No one banned them that time. This is not fair. I think this is a double standard of ECB who visited India just after the Mumbai attack that too within 2 weeks. Infact many English players said that the Indian tour must go on ,so as terroists are not ensured moral victory. KP should have been banned that time only. This is world conspiracy becasue world knows Pakistan is best team in world right now. They purposely made ICL so our players could play and be banned and our team will become weak. Somehow I also feel Mumbai attack was staged by BCCI ,so they could refuse to tour Pakistan becasue this Pakistan team is so strong. Ausytralia and SA conspired to cancel Chamions trophy so we could not win it as we had just won a final recently. We should boycott Eng/Aus/SA/Ind now.

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  • WS Rehman on January 13, 2009, 5:06 GMT

    ICC had send security consultants to Pakistan and found that non state actors pose a threat to their team. That time each of England players had voiced their displeasure that time also not wanting to tour Pakistan . No one banned them that time. This is not fair. I think this is a double standard of ECB who visited India just after the Mumbai attack that too within 2 weeks. Infact many English players said that the Indian tour must go on ,so as terroists are not ensured moral victory. KP should have been banned that time only. This is world conspiracy becasue world knows Pakistan is best team in world right now. They purposely made ICL so our players could play and be banned and our team will become weak. Somehow I also feel Mumbai attack was staged by BCCI ,so they could refuse to tour Pakistan becasue this Pakistan team is so strong. Ausytralia and SA conspired to cancel Chamions trophy so we could not win it as we had just won a final recently. We should boycott Eng/Aus/SA/Ind now.

  • ad on January 13, 2009, 6:23 GMT

    WS Rehman, i just spilled my morning coffee all over my keyboard after reading your the insane drivel you've posted. Mumbai attack the work of the BCCI? Pakistan the best team in the world? Sure.

  • For Heaven sake on January 13, 2009, 9:24 GMT

    Well said WS Rehman :) I don't want to hurt your feelings but I am extremely sorry to say that most of things you said were not correct. But I became your instant fan regarding your skills of fantasizing. Plus this article was not about India Pakistan tour. It was about ECB handling the English Captain and Coach issue and it was about PCB's new set-up and steps they are taking. But don't get dis-heart there are few News channels both in India and Pakistan that will be willing to buy your story ;)

  • Amjad on January 13, 2009, 15:10 GMT

    Perhaps, PCB has employed a crickter too many just to satisfy the opinion of those people who say that the crickters should run the cricket borad. Now waht is happening that everybody is trying to run it by its own way as every player has his own style of play. No doubt every person is trying to do good, but I think too many crickters in the baord are not healty either. But anyway let them orgnise some cricket in pakistan or out, then only we can judge their abilities as board members. As for as England is concerned, not one is perfect. They also can manke mistakes, but they(mistakes) are there to be learned from them no to repeat.

  • Abdul on January 13, 2009, 17:39 GMT

    I find it rather unbelieavble that Mansoor Amjad was left out of the squad. I feel he should be given more opportunities and could become the premier spinner of Pakistan in ODI cricket. Also we must admitt that the squad announced wasn't the best available re garding quality due to the absences of formidable talnet such as Nazir,Yousuf and Rana but we'll have to accept their absence until futher date. But never the less Pakistan should win the series with the bowling attack holding the key. As reagrds to the batting we will be relying on Younis Khan and the way we appraoch the Srilanakan spinners in particluar Mendis will be vital as he's the ultimate threat against Pakistan.

    An interesting series to play for and my overall preidction is 2-1 Pakistan!

  • Raza-e-Mustafa on January 13, 2009, 20:24 GMT

    I fail to comprehend the logic that only good cricketers make good administrators. Whereas, the professional managers are goofs who can not run anything on the Earth. We need to have professionals for extremely professional job of handling a cricket boards which corresponds with all the other boards of the world. Instead we have all the politically appointed ex-cricketers who are trying to get their share of the most lucrative organisation in Pakistan. The chairman barked against and ultimately sacked a coach who had done nothing wrong the moment he assumed charge of the PCB. People like Javed Miandad and Amir Sohail had always opposed foreign coaches because they themselves eyed the post and are now comfortably perched on different posts. This is sick, honestly.

  • Nabeel Adeel on January 13, 2009, 20:34 GMT

    Well if bringing back the old personnel means the comeback of the golden days of late 1980s and early 1990s then i am sure all of us will welcome this change. The ban on ICL players needs to be lifted as soon as possible for us to develop a stronger team. If yousuf, imran nazir and razzaq come back i believe we can quickly come back into top three, atleast in ODI cricket.The ban is hurting Pakistan cricket the most and unless it is lifted Pakistan team will remain a mediocre team as it is right now.

  • Shehzad Hussain on January 14, 2009, 0:40 GMT

    I am a bit surprised about the handling of the Pieteron saga by ECB and internal strife in the England camp. I thought Pakistan had patented this kind of behaviour. The reactive hiring and firing of people is nothing new in Pakistan. As if there werent enough problems out of Pakistan's control in terms of teams refusing to tour, we go ahead and create more due to our renowned management and player stupidity. And, WS Rehman... do grow up please. I am a Pakistan supporter... but dotn turn everything into a conspiracy and say stupid things like we are the best in the world. Maybe you should get a job at the board as well.

  • Paul G on January 14, 2009, 5:00 GMT

    Obviously satire is not common in Pakistan and surrounds. I thought it was funny WS Rehman and can't believe some folks took it seriously.

  • Kaushik Lakshman on January 14, 2009, 10:51 GMT

    It is a mistake to sack KP as skipper. Strauss nw has a tough job in his hand leading a disgruntled set of senior players. Anyway ECB seem to be in the news for all the wrong reasons.