Australia 2009-10 January 2, 2010

Mo and Inti's Book of Excuses

Come on chaps, accept some responsibility and motivate your troops instead of saying: "Everything's messed up, it's not our fault, and we can't do anything about it."

While billions of people have been working on their New Year's resolutions, Pakistan fans can sleep safe that instead of setting targets and goals for 2010 the Pakistani "think tank" have been cooking up a series of excuses for the team's plight.

Mr Mo Yousuf and Mr Inti Alam are making a decent late bid to become the pantomime clowns of the 2009-2010 season. Come on chaps, accept some responsibility and motivate your troops instead of saying: "Everything's messed up, it's not our fault, and we can't do anything about it." Here are three extracts from Mo and Inti's Book of Excuses, you might have some of your own to add.

Excuse Number 1: Don't blame us for the witless batting, blame Twenty20. Sounds plausible but forgets the point that most of the batsmen's careers predate the advent of Twenty20. In any case, these are professional players whose brains should be able to switch gears. I much prefer Shahid Afridi's view that Twenty20 has enhanced Test cricket. Indeed, much of Australia's domination of Test cricket was thanks to their one-day rate of scoring. Pakistan's batsmen like to give it a go but can't keep it up for long enough.

Excuse Number 2: Don't blame us for the hopeless fielding, blame Pakistani domestic cricket - and while we're at it how could a fielding coach do better than us anyway? Sounds half-plausible but the problem is that fielding is one discipline that really can be improved with perseverance and specialist input. Pakistan's main problem is that standards of fielding have risen in all other teams while Pakistan have stagnated. Generally, when Pakistan are playing well with a positive attitude, they hold their catches. Last year's Twenty20 was a prime example, when Pakistan went on a roll they hardly put a catch down and fielded as well as any team. They can do it, so complacent excuses don't wash.

Excuse Number 3: Don't blame us for the bowling, that's what we hired Waqar to cop the blame for.

With this excuse culture setting in, and Mohammad Aamer's injury, Pakistan's prospects aren't looking too clever for the Sydney Test. While fans continue to support their team with passion and are desperate for success, it hurts to see the country's cricket administrators and management of the team continually squander the natural resources at Pakistan's disposal.

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

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