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June 8, 2009

Twenty20 World Cup 2009

I'm missing the Badshahs and the Badmashes

Kamran Abbasi
Imran Nazir clears the boundary with ease, Hyderabad Heroes v Lahore Badshahs, 3rd final, ICL, Ahmedabad, November 16, 2008
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Pakistan face a desperate, nerve-tingling struggle to beat Netherlands, a team of part-time cricketers, and progress in this World Cup. But victory will not be enough unless it is by a sufficient margin to ensure that Pakistan’s net run-rate is superior to Netherlands.

A washout—and rain is threatened at Lord’s—will mean that Pakistan will be eliminated.

Pakistan might point to the Dutch team’s freak victory against England as a stroke of misfortune but, ultimately, they only have themselves to blame. Pakistan’s preparations have looked lazy and their match performances have lacked sharpness.

Off the field, the Pakistan camp has been prone to public gaffes. First, Intikhab Alam raised eyebrows when he stated he was “unconcerned” about defeat to India.

This was followed by Younis Khan’s silly claim after the England match that he only thought of World Cup Twenty20 cricket as “fun” even if it was international cricket.

Such errors of judgement are no surprise as Pakistan have once again turned up for a major tour without a media manager. The modern media world is complex and sophisticated, and to leave this important area in the hands of a coach and a team manager who are both past retirement age is sheer folly.

In Younis’ defence he was visibly shaken by defeat, and in between his smiles and his easy-going attitude, he was clearly disappointed by the performance of his senior colleagues, namely Shahid Afridi, Salman Butt, and Kamran Akmal.

He has promised that there will be changes for today’s match and that the senior players will be asked to take greater responsibility, which includes a move up the batting order.

Indeed, one of the perplexing decisions at The Oval was the sight of Misbah-ul Haq, Pakistan’s Twenty20 miracle worker, striding to the crease once the game was all but lost. Pakistan must have experience at the top of the order.

On the bowling front, Shahid Afridi’s consistency has vanished, a handicap to Pakistan in the middle overs. In addition, Yasir Arafat looks a poor choice to open the bowling, often pitching too full and allowing the batsman to clear the infield.

Pakistan’s traditional strength has been its bowling, a necessity because of batting and fielding frailties, but the current bowling line-up has struggled to exert any control over any opposition.

Netherlands are inexperienced but confident enough to take on the bigger teams, as they showed against England. Pakistan should, however, have more than enough firepower to defeat them by the required margin to ensure qualification.

Unfortunately, Pakistan’s performances up to now have made their supporters concerned about the team’s attitude, and a tournament that could have been fun has begun miserably.

The question now is whether or not the Pakistan captain and management can motivate the players to qualify for the easier half of the Super Eights draw?

Certainly, Pakistan can do it. But the disorganisation and disruption in Pakistan cricket over the last few years is now beginning to take a severe toll.

Whatever the result today, a drastic overhaul is required. If Pakistan cricket were run properly, would the Twenty20 team be without Imran Nazir, Abdul Razzaq, and even possibly Shoaib Akhtar, warts and all? The Badshahs and Badmashes have been sorely missed.

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

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Posted by Mohd Mustafa on (July 15, 2009, 14:08 GMT)

Cricket in pakistan finish, as pak can never produce players like Imran,wasim Akram,Waqar Younis javed miandad.Success in past because of these players.None of the new comming players like saed anwar, Inzamam, Mohd Yousuf. No depth seen in bowling . Pak has destructive batting line. Disarray in batting line, worst than bangladesh. Pak has no other option as wicketkeeper. Why pak unable to produce wicketkeeper like moin khan.

Posted by F Rahman on (June 20, 2009, 12:31 GMT)

I'd personally like to see Imran Nazir in T20 squad. He could be the perfect opener for Pakistan in this sort of game. He should have been given a chance atleast where some others are failing consistently.

Posted by Amer Ahmed on (June 18, 2009, 3:44 GMT)

Kamran, I know I'm late in this Blog but I can't believe some of the comments made here. Fans can be disappointed but they shouldn't say things that would hurt Pakistan's image abroad, it seems like more Indians are writing comments with Muslim names - no disrespect to Indian friends as this clash of the titans is so obvious all over the internet with Pakistanis and Indians alike. I have also seen Indians react the same way to their Heroes but they are not as grueling to their players as Pakistani fans are, they seem to have more stable head on their shoulders. Younus needs help!!! Not only from PCB but also from the Public. Poor Guy! Public is too impatient. Younus didn't say anything wrong about T20 being a Tamasha cricket, of course it is there for the entertainment of the public only. These records don't mean anything, you can't produce quality players with this format. T20 has come into being and popularized only due to the demand of busy lives today, all around the world.

Posted by Suhail Mohammed on (June 15, 2009, 12:39 GMT)

I have read the comments of all of our freinds. The easiest thing to do is critisism and you ppl did the same. I have great faith in Pakistani team. Alll the players are very talented and they are going to make it into the finals.that is for sure. God Bless Our Team. InshAllah. Please you people cannot appreciate yoiur team then you ppl don't have right to critise them. Pakistan Zindabad.

Posted by Ghulam Haider Vajid on (June 15, 2009, 11:57 GMT)

Although we have won against New Zealand, my suggestions are Salman Butt should be immediately removed, he is not fit for this format, secondly Intikhab Alam should be relieved from his job, even if we won the T20 World Cup. Imran Nazir, Rana Naveed and Abdul Razzak should be brought into Playing Eleven (Abdul Razzak is already in)a coach like Jhonty Rhodes should be hired as fielding coach for our poor fielders, in every match a new talent should be introduced like Ahmed Shazaib, Yunus Khan needs some crash courses how to reply in interviews, Players should be informed not to laugh while demonstrating poor fielding.

Posted by Umer on (June 15, 2009, 8:23 GMT)

I m umer nd i predict nw tht ma team wil win da cup....im v.tense wid our team performence bt i know dey wil win!! s0 paki fans never loose ur hopes how ever dey r u jst ve 2 trust our team nd u wil c pakistan wins try it tc luv u awl!!

Posted by Shahzad Iqbal on (June 10, 2009, 11:13 GMT)

but much better than his co-players. he seems to be the one who can hold innings together, guys like shoaib n misbah can blast big shots (which they r not doing right now). misbah cant be blame coz he is nto getting enuf time but shoaib malik is not playing up to his potential which is of utmost importance for our chances in this tournament. v all r missing imran n razzaq in this team but v could not include them in the team coz of logistic reasons. already teh ICC and indian boards r after us (as no player from pakistan was in IPL and now no team from pakistan will b representing in champions league) so v have to play our cards carefully. now since these both players and yousuf have been released from ICL the board must make sure that these players r avaialble for next assignement of pakistan team. so just give some encouragement to the guys available n plz plz plz... stop askin for shoaib akhtar, that guy had not done nething good to pakistan cricket for the last 3-4 years.

Posted by Fayyaz Qadir on (June 10, 2009, 7:48 GMT)

In the present circumstances( with present team having made it to super eights). I think playing Afridi as an opener will do Pakistan a lot of good. It will most likely bring out the true colors of Afridi. He wil be able to look a bit before lauching. Ball will come onto his bat better early on also there will be less fielders to catch it if he mishits ( Pakistan has nothing to loose as he is not doing well at any other position- where he comes in situations where he has to dig his team out by scoring 12 runs an over) He may be a lottery in the early overs.

Posted by ALi on (June 10, 2009, 4:01 GMT)

Good Luck Pakistan In the SUPER 8's !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Naveed Ather on (June 10, 2009, 3:59 GMT)

I can't understand PCB policy on Badshahs. If ICC and BCCI have no objection on this. Why PCB is creating Dramas. Cricket is in our Blood and we can't swallow a failure due to this week team performance while we have such great players sitting infront of the TV and just watching T20 Funny Game.

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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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