June 26, 2009

2010: Summer of Pakistan

2010: Summer of Pakistan

Kamran Abbasi
Giles Clarke, the new ECB chairman, addresses a press conference, Lord's, September 26, 2007
 © Getty Images


It's been some week for Pakistan cricket. An incredible rush to the World Twenty20 title is followed by the wonderful news that Pakistan will be playing an unprecedented six Tests in England next summer. This is an unimaginable treat, even for somebody like me who has been watching Pakistan tours of England since the 1970s.

Delight, of course, is tinged with sadness that Pakistan will not be playing international cricket at home anytime soon, but I guess British Pakistani fans will not be complaining. Indeed, their passionate participation during the Twenty20 World Cup must have been the final clincher on a deal that has been cooking for several months. When the traditional Pakistani coach paraded around Lord's after last week's final, with celebrating supporters sitting on and hanging off every inch, it was a sign that the tide is turning favourably for Pakistan cricket.

Unusually for this blog, this is also a moment to congratulate all three cricket boards. The PCB has chosen an imaginative solution to a dreadful problem. Cricket Australia has been one of the least keen to visit Pakistan over the years but it has rarely been reluctant to play Pakistan elsewhere. It's not worth quibbling that it's only a two Test series. And the ECB has made an unprecedented decision in hosting a Test series between other nations.

Ultimately, the players did themselves the best favour by thrilling us during the World Cup. Star performances sell and Pakistan are box office again. Test series against Australia and England will be tough, especially for a sporadic Test playing nation. But tours of England are always invaluable learning experiences, and Pakistan have a good record in English conditions over the last twenty years.

2010 promises to be a dream come true for Pakistan cricket fans based in England. Indeed, it will be a relief for all Pakistan fans that their team will play the highest form of international cricket for a sustained period.

I'm finding this very hard to say but . . . well done Mr Butt.

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

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Posted by javaid ganaie on (March 31, 2010, 7:13 GMT)

it is a good sign of pakistan cricket,but the people of pakistan is disappointing to see the home team to play in front of the home crowd.And i tell one thing that the mismanagement pcb destroys the pakistan cricket from the last 5 years and i hope if pcb will retain afridi as captain after t20 in all formats of the game then no doubt about that pak team vl come again back on track... and i see one bad thing in pcb, they don't respect senior players and also in pak team is lack of disciplined. this is the reason behind pak cricket's poor show and especially in pakistan domestic cricket is too weak as compared to other countries........

Posted by mohsin on (September 13, 2009, 8:50 GMT)

well i think that india did try to isolate pakistan particularly in the IPL,when modhi refused to pakistani players to play in ipl.but when pakistan won wrld cup modhi said that he never refused to pakistani shows that great nations can never be isolated and i hope world cricket nations have learned thier lessons particularly india.but all is gone and we should enjoy cricket and support cricket

Posted by Abdulrubgopunguthkan on (August 9, 2009, 21:07 GMT)

After reading the result of the last ODI between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Here is my sincere advise to the hierarchy of Pakistan cricket. please make sure that the following gentlemen are in the team for a good ending. . Younus Yousuf Afridi Shoiab Malik kamal

In my opinion and also the record manifest that the above mentioned players are good enough to help the team with their individual performances for any kind of format. such as TEST, ODI and T20. Simple is that.Case close

Posted by Cricket premi on (July 8, 2009, 9:17 GMT)

Just an observation to Pakistanis. Indians and Pakistanis, both hate the same people : the fanatics who disrupt daily life and spread hatred. Pakistani bloggers, please realise this. 99.99% Indians are not interested in seeing Pakistan isolated. Do you know when we hate Pakistan the most ? When they play stupid, irresponsible test cricket, like on Day 4 in SL.

Posted by javed Zarif Canada on (June 30, 2009, 19:47 GMT)

Playing test cricket at a neutral venue is not new to pakistan. It may not be very good for the criket in Pakistan but it could give a new lease to the competitivness of the game. There were times when playing test cricket under neutral umpires was impossible to think, yet when introduced it was an immediate success. who knows playing test matches at neutral venues becomes order of the day in future. It will remove the home advantage(disadvantage sometimes) from the game which is good for the game itself. As we know most of the innovations in cricket satrted as a result of a necesasity may be this is the begining of another one. As a pakistani fan i am happy that i will get to watch some fantastic cricket, doesn't matter where.

Posted by khalil on (June 30, 2009, 19:25 GMT)

In 1996 world cup, AUS, WI & NZ refused to play in SL courtesy security situation.Pak should refuse playing WC matches in India if ICC do not shift the matches to any neutral venue.Shifting of IPL matches to SA by BCCI is a sufficient proof of security situation there.

Posted by gav on (June 30, 2009, 12:21 GMT)

Next summer's six tests are not just great for Pakistanis but also for those non-pakistanis like myself who love Test cricket and, particularly, love the Pakistan team for the skill and drama which they always seem to bring to the game. Long live Pakistan cricket and well done for winning T20 cup-and for the return of the best batsman in the world, Mighty Mohammed Yousuf.

Posted by AZ on (June 30, 2009, 10:30 GMT)

@DEV-India Pakistan won the carlton united series in 1997 and that was the first time ever that Aussie team didn't qualified for the Finals, then Pakistan were in Finals again in 2001 in carlton and united series in which india were there as well and they lost 3 matches to Pak and all to aussies, Than we white washed Aussies in July 2002 in 3 match one day series in indoor stadium and indians loose the same series following year 3-0. Pakistan have beaten aussies @ their peak while indian did this with weak aussie team.

Posted by Abhyuday on (June 30, 2009, 5:59 GMT)

Another session of Indo-Pak slanging match. Pakis just can't get the "india-bashing" out of their head even after winning the tt wc and indians are responding with equally stupid comments. I wonder, how come Mr. Abbasi allows these comments to be posted. No pakistani sees that India are ranked 3 in both test and odi while pakistan is at 5 or6. They are so full of themselves after winning the wc that they are forgetting that they were thrashed by India in the last test and odi series played between these two sides. Indians are so proud of the money powere, they do not even consider Pakistan a nation inhabited by humans. It will not be long before these two nations destroy each other unless they learn some humility and respect for each other.

Posted by Kumar on (June 30, 2009, 4:56 GMT)

Jilani, You are even funnier, conveniently ignoring data. Here is a list of data you missed out:

Shohaib Akhthar 425K M. Yousuf 330K Shoaib Malik 500K Shahid Afridi 675K Younis Khan 225K M. Asif 650K

As far as I can remember, none of these made any impact either whatsoever.

Ali Majid, You should direct your ire to Younis Khan who is reportedly begging for contracts with more money.

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Kamran Abbasi
Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Asian columnist for Wisden Cricket Monthly and Kamran is the editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. @KamranAbbasi

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