Australia 2009-10 February 5, 2010

No wins but finally some pride

 
103


Mohammad Yousuf's time as Pakistan captain must come to an end © Getty Images
 

Nine defeats out of nine, a depressing outcome. Yet Pakistan leave Australia with the knowledge that they can challenge in world cricket, especially in the limited-overs format. As much as anything, the last two defeats have shown that Pakistan have forgetten how to finish off a match.

This confidence-sapping Australian summer has exacted a heavy toll. But there is spirit in the camp, which is often brought out by adversity--although it is no coincidence that Pakistan's best performances have been in the absence of Mohammad Yousuf. Despite his surreal claims about Pakistan's great achievements, the captain's time must be up to be replaced by the double act of Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik.

Pakistan don't play a Test for some months, hence all they need do is confirm that Afridi will lead in limited-overs cricket with Malik his deputy. Younis looks to be out of any reckoning. Afridi can hold his place as a bowler, any batting is a bonus. But Malik cannot justify his selection as a batsman. He should play as an allrounder, which is also better for the balance of the team.

If nothing else, the past few months in Pakistan cricket have demonstrated how important the spine of decision making is in cricket: chairman of cricket board, chief of selectors, coach, and captain. Pakistan's spine is like an eel's, all jelly. At least Iqbal Qasim has had the decency to go. The rest are hanging on like murderers at the funeral of their victim, no shame or dignity.

The road to any kind of success is long and arduous but it needs to begin with the immediate exit of Messrs Butt, Alam, and Yousuf. Australia have shown Pakistan what years of professionalism can achieve. It cannot guarantee success but it can make the difference. The world's best and the world's worst cricket administrations have just observed the outcomes of their labours, and the contrast can never have been more stark.

Pakistan's cricketers do have the talent to excite and succeed but the spine that supports them is an international and obvious joke. The supporters of Pakistan cricket all around the world, Pakistanis and non-Pakistanis, all deserve better. Pakistan may have lost the final two matches of the tour but there were many moments of joy and pride, and for an embattled people those moments are like gold dust.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • syed Murtaza on March 16, 2010, 14:31 GMT

    sorry guys i dont agree with this thing that pakistan an weak team its not its the management and selection commetie who made it weak. The whole world says shahid afridi can change the image of pakistan cricket as he is an agressive captain like doni and ricky he can utilise the potential of his players very but i cant understand the strategy of pak cricket y r they even thinking of somebody else as captain. plz ijaz sahab plz utilise ur power house(afridi) and let him rule not only his team world ranking also......

  • papaindia on March 3, 2010, 15:20 GMT

    We do need a ball hitting captain. Period.

  • kaka on March 1, 2010, 7:49 GMT

    We dont need a ball biting captain. Period.

  • Ruchit Vachhrajani on February 23, 2010, 2:46 GMT

    I liked the way you have clearly mentioned - Pakistan have forgotten how to finish off.

    It is not just limited overs, even in the Sydney test, Pakistan set an example of how to lose a won match.

    The Aussie team was almost Australia A team. Many players were out of the squad due to injury and other reasons. The fast bowling pair of Harris and Siddle was actually the third pair because Hilfaneus, Tait, Bracken and Bollinger were not available.

    The problem with Pakistan is, even if they perform well, they are not in the winning habbit.

    So yes, an inspiration is required.

    However, a captain needs to be matured enough to take the responsibility. Afridi is certainly not the option.

    And as far as leaving the positions (Iqbal Qasim an others) is concerned, I consider it is a coward act.

    Show responsibility and change the scenerio instead of just raising hands and going away. Learn from mistakes instead of giving up. Pakistan has talent but needs professionalism.

  • roshan on February 18, 2010, 18:46 GMT

    what would have happened if Bangladesh had gone to Australia for 3 test and 5 ODI? They would have lost 3-0 and 5-0 respectively. Well! in that sense Pakistan is no different from Bangaladesh, no wonder they are ranked at number 7. There are any champion cricketers left in them. If not for 20-20, they are a nothing team.

  • jawwad jafar on February 15, 2010, 6:56 GMT

    Since the departure of Saeed Anwar, Pakistan has never found anyone matching his skills and technique. He was no doubt one of the finest opening batsman Pakistan has ever produced alongwith Hanif Mohammad and his son Shoaib. To me, only these three were world class openers Pakistan has ever produced. We have some other good names but they were not world class. Openers like Muddasar, Mohsin, Aamir Sohail, Rameez Raja, Majid Khan and Sadiq Mohammad, all fall in good category but they were not world class. Only top three can match the skill and record of Worlds greatest openers like, Greenidge and Haynes, Hayden and Langer and many others of these categories. But the unanswered question is that why Pakistan cannot find a good opening pair again, or even a single good opener in all these years after Saeed Anwar. I don’t want to go into the details as it wont help. I have a solution to the problem and I would give examples to justify my suggestion. One thing we all agree that Opening the batting is not the easiest of job. Infact, it’s the most difficult position to bat on. It takes great skill, patience, good selection of strokes and real determination to be a good opener. I am sure that any player starting his career cannot have all these skills, with few exceptional greats like, Lara’s , Inzi, Tendulkar. Our problem is that we always try players as openers who are fresh and young and we through them straight into deep water by sending them opening the innings in test matches. I totally disagree with it and I go by sending senior players up the order, who have experience to apply all those techniques required to open the batting. If we take Aussies as bench mark, as we should be doing, we will find numerous example of this practice which I am talking about. We can look at their current openers, Katich and Watson, who are extremely successful. Both of them were middle order players and after some experience they tried them as openers and they are now extremely successful. Similarly, Sehwag started his career batting at No 6 scoring hundered and later on transformed as opener. Micheal Vaghan is another example who started as middle order and later on was a successful opener. Justin Langer who was one of the finest openers of all time also falls in the same category. Sanath Jayasuria, Tilkaratne Dilshan, Ashwell Prince , you will find so many examples justifying what I am saying. Moreover, one point that justify my suggestion the most is that our new fresh blood of openers are not doing well for more than 10 years now, so I think this strategy should be tried. To me best available option for openers is Younis Khan and Muhuammad Yousuf. I know there will be many eyebrows raised on this but I again refer to what I have said earlier. If your earlier strategies have failed, why not try a new one. Moreover, with our openers they are more likely to be batting in 6th or 7th over so why not open the batting. Younis is currently out of form but he is one of our best test batsman and we need him in our test team. So for me Pakistan test team composition should be like this.

    1. Younis Khan 2. Muhammad Yousuf 3. Kamran Akmal (Not as keeper but as one down batsman as we don’t have better batsman than him available in the current set up at No.3) 4. Omar Akmal (He has proved his worth and deserve this position) 5. Fawad Alam (He is better than both Misbah and Shoaib Malik, plus his debut hundred which is in the top ten innings of the year as declared by ICC should be given respect) 6. Azeem Ghumman, Naveed Yaseen, Hasan Raza, Aamer Sajjad , Babar Azam (All of these have performed so well in first class this year and should be given a go at this safe and easier batting position rather than throwing them as openers and destroying their careers. 7. Sarfaraz Ahmed (Keeper) , I would rather go for a better keeper batsman but I don’t think there is anyone who has proved his worth. 8. Shahid Afridi (As Captain and specialist bowler in place of talented but absent minded and confused Kaneria. I think Afridi can also take 5 wkts for 150 runs as Kaneria does plus he can also mesmerize the opposition by his late hitting. 9. Muhammad Aamir (Deserves his place) 10. Muhammad Asif (Deserves his place) 11. Umar Gull, Muhammad Sami, Muhammad Rameez (top first class performer this year), Rao iftikhar, Saeed Ajmal, (Can be any of them) I am sure that with this batting order, experience on top and depth down the order, not many teams would feel comfortable facing Pakistan. This is my opinion and suggestion and I feel that its gonna work for Pakistan.

  • taimur on February 12, 2010, 0:04 GMT

    hey, kamran, I would like to know what you think about the US being the new host for Pakistan cricket? I dont think it's a good short-term solution and a good opportunity for cricket to become popular in the States. Esp. T20, when they see the best t20 players(i.e.,Pakistan) play and play excellent and entertaining cricket for 20 overs, they will fall in love w/ this game. But we need a long-term solution to get PAK cricket back to it's homeland. They cant keep playing home away from home. One day,they will return to their country.

  • Kamran Qureshi on February 11, 2010, 19:55 GMT

    so what have we learned from Aus tour.Strictly speaking cricket our team looked atleast 3-4 notches weak in all the department of the game except bowling.Bowling becomes inefficient if not supported by fielding.First thing pak need to do is to hire a world class fielding coach from Aus or SA.Next the openers.Must groom and develop openers by revamping their domestic cricket system.Lastly zero tolerance in discipline with players as well with management.The talent is immense you will have a top team in 3-5 years.

  • Amanzeb Khan on February 11, 2010, 9:57 GMT

    No matter who is the captain, first and foremost it should be ensured that all players are trying their best. Players who have deliberately performed poorly to undermine their captain, or been disruptive influences should be removed from the team. One such individual seems to be Shoaib Malik who created problems for both younis and yousuf. He and any other player who is creating disharmony in the team should be removed/cautioned. The worst you can do is make such a player the captain which would mean that he will have achieved what he set out to do at a very big cost.

  • Khair on February 11, 2010, 7:24 GMT

    The mediocrity of Pak cricket is not only with the players, coaches and administrators. It goes far beyond that. We only have to see comments from ex-players, journalists, parliaments members, etc. There seems to be no dearth of opinions but sadly they all seem to revolve around which player should be in and who should be out, and who should or shouldn't be captain . I am just dumbfounded that 'reputed' cricket commentators can take such extreme and sometimes conflicting positions, for example, recommending that Afridi or Younus be made captain, or Yousuf be dropped from captaincy, or that Malik should be banished. It is not so much who they are talking about but the absurdity of the reasoning clearly points to bankruptcy in standards and values. Sadly dispassionate analysis and objectivity are seriously lacking and I don't see how Pak cricket can improve in this situation.

  • syed Murtaza on March 16, 2010, 14:31 GMT

    sorry guys i dont agree with this thing that pakistan an weak team its not its the management and selection commetie who made it weak. The whole world says shahid afridi can change the image of pakistan cricket as he is an agressive captain like doni and ricky he can utilise the potential of his players very but i cant understand the strategy of pak cricket y r they even thinking of somebody else as captain. plz ijaz sahab plz utilise ur power house(afridi) and let him rule not only his team world ranking also......

  • papaindia on March 3, 2010, 15:20 GMT

    We do need a ball hitting captain. Period.

  • kaka on March 1, 2010, 7:49 GMT

    We dont need a ball biting captain. Period.

  • Ruchit Vachhrajani on February 23, 2010, 2:46 GMT

    I liked the way you have clearly mentioned - Pakistan have forgotten how to finish off.

    It is not just limited overs, even in the Sydney test, Pakistan set an example of how to lose a won match.

    The Aussie team was almost Australia A team. Many players were out of the squad due to injury and other reasons. The fast bowling pair of Harris and Siddle was actually the third pair because Hilfaneus, Tait, Bracken and Bollinger were not available.

    The problem with Pakistan is, even if they perform well, they are not in the winning habbit.

    So yes, an inspiration is required.

    However, a captain needs to be matured enough to take the responsibility. Afridi is certainly not the option.

    And as far as leaving the positions (Iqbal Qasim an others) is concerned, I consider it is a coward act.

    Show responsibility and change the scenerio instead of just raising hands and going away. Learn from mistakes instead of giving up. Pakistan has talent but needs professionalism.

  • roshan on February 18, 2010, 18:46 GMT

    what would have happened if Bangladesh had gone to Australia for 3 test and 5 ODI? They would have lost 3-0 and 5-0 respectively. Well! in that sense Pakistan is no different from Bangaladesh, no wonder they are ranked at number 7. There are any champion cricketers left in them. If not for 20-20, they are a nothing team.

  • jawwad jafar on February 15, 2010, 6:56 GMT

    Since the departure of Saeed Anwar, Pakistan has never found anyone matching his skills and technique. He was no doubt one of the finest opening batsman Pakistan has ever produced alongwith Hanif Mohammad and his son Shoaib. To me, only these three were world class openers Pakistan has ever produced. We have some other good names but they were not world class. Openers like Muddasar, Mohsin, Aamir Sohail, Rameez Raja, Majid Khan and Sadiq Mohammad, all fall in good category but they were not world class. Only top three can match the skill and record of Worlds greatest openers like, Greenidge and Haynes, Hayden and Langer and many others of these categories. But the unanswered question is that why Pakistan cannot find a good opening pair again, or even a single good opener in all these years after Saeed Anwar. I don’t want to go into the details as it wont help. I have a solution to the problem and I would give examples to justify my suggestion. One thing we all agree that Opening the batting is not the easiest of job. Infact, it’s the most difficult position to bat on. It takes great skill, patience, good selection of strokes and real determination to be a good opener. I am sure that any player starting his career cannot have all these skills, with few exceptional greats like, Lara’s , Inzi, Tendulkar. Our problem is that we always try players as openers who are fresh and young and we through them straight into deep water by sending them opening the innings in test matches. I totally disagree with it and I go by sending senior players up the order, who have experience to apply all those techniques required to open the batting. If we take Aussies as bench mark, as we should be doing, we will find numerous example of this practice which I am talking about. We can look at their current openers, Katich and Watson, who are extremely successful. Both of them were middle order players and after some experience they tried them as openers and they are now extremely successful. Similarly, Sehwag started his career batting at No 6 scoring hundered and later on transformed as opener. Micheal Vaghan is another example who started as middle order and later on was a successful opener. Justin Langer who was one of the finest openers of all time also falls in the same category. Sanath Jayasuria, Tilkaratne Dilshan, Ashwell Prince , you will find so many examples justifying what I am saying. Moreover, one point that justify my suggestion the most is that our new fresh blood of openers are not doing well for more than 10 years now, so I think this strategy should be tried. To me best available option for openers is Younis Khan and Muhuammad Yousuf. I know there will be many eyebrows raised on this but I again refer to what I have said earlier. If your earlier strategies have failed, why not try a new one. Moreover, with our openers they are more likely to be batting in 6th or 7th over so why not open the batting. Younis is currently out of form but he is one of our best test batsman and we need him in our test team. So for me Pakistan test team composition should be like this.

    1. Younis Khan 2. Muhammad Yousuf 3. Kamran Akmal (Not as keeper but as one down batsman as we don’t have better batsman than him available in the current set up at No.3) 4. Omar Akmal (He has proved his worth and deserve this position) 5. Fawad Alam (He is better than both Misbah and Shoaib Malik, plus his debut hundred which is in the top ten innings of the year as declared by ICC should be given respect) 6. Azeem Ghumman, Naveed Yaseen, Hasan Raza, Aamer Sajjad , Babar Azam (All of these have performed so well in first class this year and should be given a go at this safe and easier batting position rather than throwing them as openers and destroying their careers. 7. Sarfaraz Ahmed (Keeper) , I would rather go for a better keeper batsman but I don’t think there is anyone who has proved his worth. 8. Shahid Afridi (As Captain and specialist bowler in place of talented but absent minded and confused Kaneria. I think Afridi can also take 5 wkts for 150 runs as Kaneria does plus he can also mesmerize the opposition by his late hitting. 9. Muhammad Aamir (Deserves his place) 10. Muhammad Asif (Deserves his place) 11. Umar Gull, Muhammad Sami, Muhammad Rameez (top first class performer this year), Rao iftikhar, Saeed Ajmal, (Can be any of them) I am sure that with this batting order, experience on top and depth down the order, not many teams would feel comfortable facing Pakistan. This is my opinion and suggestion and I feel that its gonna work for Pakistan.

  • taimur on February 12, 2010, 0:04 GMT

    hey, kamran, I would like to know what you think about the US being the new host for Pakistan cricket? I dont think it's a good short-term solution and a good opportunity for cricket to become popular in the States. Esp. T20, when they see the best t20 players(i.e.,Pakistan) play and play excellent and entertaining cricket for 20 overs, they will fall in love w/ this game. But we need a long-term solution to get PAK cricket back to it's homeland. They cant keep playing home away from home. One day,they will return to their country.

  • Kamran Qureshi on February 11, 2010, 19:55 GMT

    so what have we learned from Aus tour.Strictly speaking cricket our team looked atleast 3-4 notches weak in all the department of the game except bowling.Bowling becomes inefficient if not supported by fielding.First thing pak need to do is to hire a world class fielding coach from Aus or SA.Next the openers.Must groom and develop openers by revamping their domestic cricket system.Lastly zero tolerance in discipline with players as well with management.The talent is immense you will have a top team in 3-5 years.

  • Amanzeb Khan on February 11, 2010, 9:57 GMT

    No matter who is the captain, first and foremost it should be ensured that all players are trying their best. Players who have deliberately performed poorly to undermine their captain, or been disruptive influences should be removed from the team. One such individual seems to be Shoaib Malik who created problems for both younis and yousuf. He and any other player who is creating disharmony in the team should be removed/cautioned. The worst you can do is make such a player the captain which would mean that he will have achieved what he set out to do at a very big cost.

  • Khair on February 11, 2010, 7:24 GMT

    The mediocrity of Pak cricket is not only with the players, coaches and administrators. It goes far beyond that. We only have to see comments from ex-players, journalists, parliaments members, etc. There seems to be no dearth of opinions but sadly they all seem to revolve around which player should be in and who should be out, and who should or shouldn't be captain . I am just dumbfounded that 'reputed' cricket commentators can take such extreme and sometimes conflicting positions, for example, recommending that Afridi or Younus be made captain, or Yousuf be dropped from captaincy, or that Malik should be banished. It is not so much who they are talking about but the absurdity of the reasoning clearly points to bankruptcy in standards and values. Sadly dispassionate analysis and objectivity are seriously lacking and I don't see how Pak cricket can improve in this situation.

  • Imran Khan on February 8, 2010, 10:53 GMT

    Pakistan has a set of mediocre players whether it be batting, bowling or feidling.

    Yes one players magic can sometimes win you games but one or two players do not make a team. The players cannot catch, or bat when it gets tough and often the bowling is terrible also but I am afraid the likes of Bangladesh will overtake Pakistan soon.

    Pak needs some genuine leader who demands respect and set high standards when playing and I am afraid the likes of Afridi, Malik and even Younis do not do it for me.

    Maybe they should learn how the South Africans, Australians and even the Indians do it.

    Pakistan does have talent but this talent is not being used properly neither do they show any maturity....look at Afridi his been playing for about 12 years but when he starts swinging at every ball it seems like I am watching an amateur playing cricket in back galee!!

    Pak need to get the basics right and with someone who is hard working, intelligent and genuinely world class captain!!

  • AK on February 8, 2010, 7:58 GMT

    Why this man Yasir Hameed, with a modest family background from NWFP and no lobbying support but solid performance is ignored consistently is a indication of factionalism of Pak Cricket. Here, politics comes first and apparently Yasir was no good in it. This excerpt is from Yasir's Cricinfo profile which summarizes it all: "Selectorial inconsistencies didn't help, Hameed being dropped the next match after scoring two fifties in a Test at Syndey". Two fifties in Sydney - certainly he does not deserve to be in team after what seeing Pak's recent performance down under.

  • Vivek on February 8, 2010, 7:30 GMT

    Mr. Oops,

    Ya right. Tomorrow Afridi will hit the umpire if he raises his finger to move him out. But you will be happy as he will do that as he was scoring runs and was the only hope to win.How dare the Umapire give him out even if he was actually out.

    Hahahaha... there are some rules and true winners follow those... LOSER!!!!

  • ahmed on February 8, 2010, 3:52 GMT

    No changes will come and nothing will happen. Same story with new actors will be repeated down-under in five years time.

  • Abdul rehman on February 7, 2010, 22:45 GMT

    this is not the way to loose the games continuously.atleast pak should win the t20 bz that was in pak hand.in this series confirm there was some fixing.give me the reason that why butt is playing in the team.farhat why not,1st of all we shoul change our coach intikhab alam,who make him coach.finsih the ijaz butt thast all.than chek the team thanks.

  • Asif on February 7, 2010, 22:06 GMT

    You r absolutely right shahid afridi should be made the captain for all the formats of the game with malik as his deputy till the wc 2011.This will end all the groupism in the team & u can expect pak to atleast fight till the end.It is time now to discard yousuf & younus from the oneday squad.Ejaz ahmed will be the right choice for the coach & waqar as the fielding coach.Ejaz himself was a brilliant fielder & also was the fielding coach b4 & hence he can help in both batting & fielding with waqar looking after the bowling.There is no need for pcb to do further inquiry in the afridi ball tampering incident as he was already given the maximum penalty as per ICC rules.Since afridi has apologised,felt ashamed & vowed not to repeat the silly mistake again he should be forgiven & that should be the end of it.

  • Javed Iqbal on February 7, 2010, 21:57 GMT

    first I agree to all but everything will be the same no one is listening you don't wast u time on comments and

    I'm asking mr,Abdul-Rahim Ahmad what is problem with BismiLLAH,we are muslims first,so don't if you are muslim practice it in the begining of evrything DO U KNOW THE MEANING OF BISMILLAH sham f u

    mr,authur hope u will publish it

  • Badar on February 7, 2010, 21:27 GMT

    I'm afraid that after this pathetic performance, Pak will be playing only a 2-test series on their next trip Down Under in off season July at Cairns and Darwin. It's a waste of time and money for the spectators to watch un-competitive cricket. Don't blame India and other countries if they talk about 2-tier system; Pakistan can't compete with top teams bar T-20s. Let them play Zim, Bng and WI. No one is sure of his place in the team; everyone is playing individual game. Is there any batsman who could bat like Amla and Kallis? Occupy the crease for hours, tear away the opposition bowling, or run through batting line up? It's a total mess at Pak cricket, from top to bottom. The chairman, captain and coach all need to be replaced by professionals. Look at top teams coaches and officials and what Pak have. Afridi must captian in shorter version and Younis in Tests. Bring Shoaib Akhtar back only for T-20s like Tait who can bowl fast n furious. We need a fresh start but not necessarily faces.

  • noor on February 7, 2010, 20:43 GMT

    “You always learn from your mistakes" so said Shoaib Malik, same old record. When is the "learn from mistake" going to end? The solution to the problem is to sack old those players who have consistently failed i.e. Kamran Akmal,Younis Khan,Mohd Yousuf,Salman Butt and Shoaib Malik and for good measure fire the following Intikhab Alarm,Ijaz Butt, Wasim Bariand Waqar Younis. Bring in new blood, even if they failed its worth a try, who know Pakistan may find a players or two that fits in the team as a reliable player like Umar Akmal and Aamir Mohd.

  • Muzammel on February 7, 2010, 19:21 GMT

    I believe that there is something deeply wrong with Pakistan cricket that produced and now excuses the performance in Australia (which appears to be a consistent with the last few years i.e. snatching defeat from the jaws of victory). Although we may be the champions at making excuses.

    For me the team's performance was so poor that I don't think any progress can be made without wholesale changes . Blaming the PCB or the coaches will simply be a cover up. There are too many players in the side with experience (19 plus test matches) who have consistently remained mediocre and occasionally promised average performances who should have been dropped. The impression I get is that if you are part of the 'in crowd' you will remain in the team no matter how badly you play. A good start to making changes would be to ensure no player's position is guaranteed and his performance for the team is the only guarantor of his position which also means player revolts should not be tolerated.

  • Mohammad Irfan on February 7, 2010, 19:11 GMT

    Salam Dear Abbasi Brother I also Agree with you this is the man reason that captain change. Afridi is the best selection for pakistan captain Because he know the way of playing and captaining.

  • Amana Hasnain on February 7, 2010, 16:49 GMT

    Hmmm... well, as far as Afridi is concerned, he was one of my favorites in the team, not that I have many. But that was ONCE UPON A TIME. After what he did on the 5th one day, I gotta say, it was PURE stupidity. I was hoping they'd make him captain, but after the immaturity he showed at that match, I'm not too sure. We do need a proper captain, desperately. If thats what our 'future' captain can do to win(??) a match, then I would never want to support him as a captain. And Shoaib Malik, I don't get why they removed him from captaincy in the first place. Yes we all know he didn't do too well at times, but you should've thought of that before extending his captaincy for another year, for the SECOND time!! The year had just started and the PCB said they'd like to keep him on as captain. The one-day series b/w SL and Pakistan ended in SL winning it 3-2, and they remove him from captaincy!!!? WOW!

    If Salman Butt can cement his place in the side permanantly=future captain, there u go.

  • oops on February 7, 2010, 16:36 GMT

    kamran, those who are still doubtful about afridi's captaincy potential are obviously not fact-based. they are those who have never won anything; just been good hoping one day their goodness and meekness will allow them to inherit the earth. not so for those like harbajhan and afridi, who don't RESPECT top seeded or champion dynasty teams. they want to win, and in order to do so they have brushes against the rules. that's because they are driven. and they are irreverent.

    so, all you losers out there, stop being judgmental and moralizing about what afridi did. he did what he had to do. he has done the impossible again and again and lifted a bunch of sorry losers to give their best for their country. nuf said!!!

  • Abdul-Rahim Ahmad on February 7, 2010, 15:36 GMT

    Kamran's recommendations always have one common denominator ... those having beard and start their talk with Bismillah should not become captain. Kamran, see Afridi also has a short beard and may have started his talks with Bismillah at times.

  • M KHAN on February 7, 2010, 13:53 GMT

    My options to get PAK team into wining is; A.. Never make M Yousaf captain again.If he wants to play as player he should take more responsibility 9and if he is indulging in 'religious promotion' i.e tableegh jamaat, he should be censored and warned to stop immediately B...Time to restructure the cricket board by bringing in more wiser heads from the profession itself rather than retired generals C.. Time to restructure domestic cricket to what Imran Khan has been preaching for decades D... Players must be asked to show more commitment not in just their individual play but also on the finer points of the game (SO that there is not drought of captaincy material), learn to bond and gel together so no groupism or politics and every member to improve fielding drastically. E: Ban any practic of religious self promotions like when Inzamam was captain. I suspect M Yousaf still is doing this. There is no need for this at all - the players just put unnecessary pressure on themselves. Stop that.

  • adnan on February 7, 2010, 13:35 GMT

    i have a few gora frnds and i have been ashamed to even meet them or even talk to them since wht our boys did to us downunder.most of u wud agree that they r the reasons we r ashamed to hold a green colored passport, i mean thats wht cricket mean to all of us.these guys dont play for pride for their countries. theyplay 4 the money.they more worried abt not being called 4 he IPL rather than winning a T20 for Pakistan.screw them all. finish there central contracts.go with wages on performance basis.umar akmal u peice of shit, how dare u refuse to play 4 Pakistan.i wud give my left arm to b where u guysr.fuk u n ur brother. intikhab if u were n hounable man, u too wud die of heart attack in ur hotel room. God Bless his soul(woolmer). waqar younus,fielding coach...??whts going on in this world?Allah we need u!!!!!

  • rabin jackman on February 7, 2010, 12:46 GMT

    Silver lining? Played well in the last T20? Excuse me, but shudnt they have won that game easily? They had only 128 to win. Not only that they had 30 to win from 36 deliveries and 6 wkts in hand. What silver lining you are talking about? Pakistanis are world champions in T20. SHould have beaten the aussies, not lost from a winning position. Wake up Mr. Author. Pakistan is not Banglasdesh to feel proud from losing agame closely. Pakistan are a top side who have lost their way completely

  • Awad From India on February 7, 2010, 12:45 GMT

    salam to kamran abasi and all paki fans the best solution is to make afridi as a captain for all 3 formats and should through away younis khan n rana naveed,from all the 3 formats he is the alone leader is the their for pak team and regarding the issue of ball biting i appreciate his feelings to win a game atleast a game to pak thats the spirit a leader should have

  • R.A on February 7, 2010, 10:14 GMT

    I agree, captain should be changed. PCB management also need to be changed. I propose Younas Khan as test captain (with full support from board whatsever is the players' powers) and Shoaib Malik as voice captain in tests, Shahid Afridi as captain of both ODIs and T20s and Shoaib Malik as his deputy.

    PCB need a good boss such as Majid Khan or Arif Abbasi (Imran Khan would have been the best option but he is not interested). Selection committee should be headed by Abdul Qadir and Iqbal Qasim, Rashid Latif, Saeed Anwar, Amir Sohail and Aqib Javed as its paid members. Pakistan also need full time batting and bowling coaches and a foreign fielding coach (only based in National Cricket Academy Lahore).Pakistan faces long lasting batting problems and Javed Miandad could be best choice as a full time batting coach (no other role),Wasim Akram/Waqar Younis as bowling coach. A strict manager should keep check on all players & inform them on each match day what is legal or illegal in cricket.

  • Arvind on February 7, 2010, 9:09 GMT

    When there are corruption charges against your President, you change your laws to "protect" him. How do you expect the PCB to be any better? Your whole system needs to be dismantled. Fixing bits and pieces here and there won't change anything. Oh by the way, you guys demanded a separate country from India and now screaming your throat out to play in India's IPL. You guys are really funny.

  • Abdullah Shams on February 7, 2010, 8:08 GMT

    hi, i totally disagree with you. to make an omlette you have to break the egg first. here, we have few useless and few clueless players (i.e. Butt, Malik, Farhat, yousuf, younis and akmals). if you think this result even in last two matches is giving you any hope for the future then a bunch of school boys can give you the same result but more realistic hope. malik; i don't even remember when was the last time he performed except CT match against India but you must agree we all have one or two off days in life. Butt; i think we should add one more coloumn in his profile and that is Dropped Catches. Farhat; i wish i have a selector as my father in law. Akmal; Rehman Malik of cricket, i'll not quit. younis; i'll not play i'll not no no i'll not....then, i want to serve my country with few more single digit scores. yousuf; i'm havong a form of my life but i can't score, amazing.

    Mr. Abbasi, please tell authorities to pick me i gaurantee i'll give them the same result, whitewash.

  • Qaiser Khan on February 7, 2010, 7:09 GMT

    Well I would rather talk about techniques. In order to win against a team such as Australia you have to play two matches one is cricket second is mind game (temperament). We played neither. Secondly why we dont select players based on their techniques like Imran used to do. Aamir Sohail, he had all kind of shorts, Saeed Anwar, Salim Malik, Ramiz Raja. Do you think Fawad Alam can score at will and according to situation. I dont think so because he does not have that style and shorts. Do you think Salman Butt and Khurram manzoor can start a chase of 300 runs. No because they dont have those shorts. They can only score 40's and 50's but they cant set a platform for a win. For God sake select technical players even if they dont score. Select a coach who can teach you how to play under pressure. Who can improve your technique. Please concentrate to point out this matter to the authorities.

  • Coeurlion on February 7, 2010, 6:27 GMT

    Pride? From a scoreline that reads 9-0!!! NINE DEFEATS! 3 tests, 5 ODIs, 1 T20. That's every format of the game! In anyone's language, that's a flogging of biblical proportions! There should be no pride in that. This Pakistani team has been found severely wanting in so many key areas, naming them all would make 'War and Peace' look like a short story. So what can be done? The PCB needs someone strong at the top to drag Pakistani cricket by the hair into the 21st century. Ijaz Butt is NOT that person. Basically, Pakistani cricket needs to be rebuilt, piece by piece, on the field and off it. Same for the captaincy. A young captain, the same person for all 3 formats, and give him the support and mentoring that he'll desperately need. And BACK HIM! He'll be doing a very difficult job... being the nucleus of a team rebuilding from the ground up. There are no quick fixes here... it'll take years of HARD WORK. Remember, to reach the summit, you've got to climb the mountain.

  • AM on February 7, 2010, 5:25 GMT

    With all due respect to you Mr Abbassi, I consider Pakistan cricket to be a lost cause. Since the test series I have not followed Pakistan's performances in the limited overs format live. I only glossed over the scores. Nothing has surprised me about our team. Even in the pre-Imran days, our teams at least had the capacity to draw a test match and very frequently some player would rise to the occasion to play a fighting knock. The only time they would buckle under would be when chasing a target in the fourth innings against strong teams like Australia. But now?

    Take a handful of these Pakistani players and make them play in overseas domestic tournaments. They will prove that we still have the ability to produce great players, just as Pakistanis in all walks of life succeed overseas . But as in every other sphere, the way Pakistan cricket is run as a whole is testament to the degeneration of every sphere of activity in Pakistan. Hockey, Squash Rackets and now regrettably Cricket.

  • paddle_sweep on February 7, 2010, 4:40 GMT

    Guys,As I predicted at the beginning of the Pak tour of Aus they were not even able to even a single match against the Aussies.Did they at least draw or even the matches against the state sides?

  • Himad on February 7, 2010, 3:39 GMT

    A sheer disgrace means pride in your dictionary. But that's not a news to me atleast. I have seen enough of flip-flop behavior and contradictory statements in your different articles even when they follow each other. You just comment on what happened in match and suddenly you think Shoaib should be the vice captain and Afridi the captain. What a joke...We started losing when we started backing Shoaib Akhtar despite his wrong doings..Now its the time again to make it a lesson for every one. Drop Shoaib forever..Ban Afridi for 1 year..Drop Umar Akmal (disciplinary grounds)..Bring Back Younis as the captain as having watched cricket for such a long time, I think he is the only second selfless cricketer Pakistan ever had after Imran..Ask him whom he wants to be the vice captain and go with that guy..Just give him full powers, be patient with his batting and captaincy and by the time he leaves, I am sure you will bunch of good players and a rehabilitated Afridi to take over.

  • Masood Alam on February 7, 2010, 3:13 GMT

    My analysis is very different about the entire series. The selection commette is responsible for this white washed series. Also Intikhab Alam is responsible for the defeat. First of all the selection criterea should be change. A batsman who make 100 and drop 1 catch should be out from the team. Umar Akmal is the worst fielder in the team. Just watch the first test and how he dropped the Katech in the Gully when he was in 3. I beleive Pakistan could have won atleast 2 test and onday series if they fielded well. Also batting performance is very crucial. now a days i dont think any of batsman have an ave of above 50 (Except Muhammad Yousuf). we have to catagorise our batting strength. Umar Akmal is not a batsman of test calliber he can only suitable for T20 even not for ODI We have lot of talented players but we have to follow Imran Khan's Advise regarding Infrastructure of the Domestic criket.

  • Ray on February 7, 2010, 1:45 GMT

    Excellently summed up My Bosco Martyres! I wish some people had this common sense in the Pakistan camp. Overly optimistic and overly casual bunch of non-professionals. It takes hard work to be champions, not a bunch of lazy a**es who find it below their dignity to field, run and work hard. Michael Clarke showed us how its done, you don't need to hit stylish boundaries to win - singles are as good. Congrats to Aus on a well deserved win, and against a team that needs to grow up. As for Mr Abbasi, you need to put in some thought behind your writing - you have switched from Yunus to Malik because you couldn't justify your earlier choice? Why did you choose someone you couldn't back - a similar lack of thought process like the PCB and Pak team. Maybe you should reserve your articles to asking for opinions instead of giving yours Sir!

  • AsadAK on February 6, 2010, 23:31 GMT

    Same malik said 6 months ago, MUJHAY KOI SHOK NAHI HAI CAPTAIN BANAY KA, what a lier pathetiic person, selfish and dying to be captain without any talent.

  • Gowhar`Geelani on February 6, 2010, 22:23 GMT

    Finally Mr Abbasi deserves a pat on his back. Two Y's [read two wise] of past are basically past their prime. It is high time Pakistan looks forward and moves on. Despite the embarrasing loss in Australia the performances of Salman Butt, Amir, Umar Akaml, Asif, Afridi and Farhat need to be acknowledged and appreciated as well. Those who failed miserably and made mockery of the term experience include Yusuf, Younis and Misbah. Pakistan has done well in patches. Amir, Akmal, Butt, Asif and Afridi are the future of Pakistan cricket. Time for Misbah, Yusuf, Younis, Sami and etal to bid adieu to the game they played well in patches. Afridi is the right choice for captaincy, and make Shoaib or Kamran his deputy, let's not forget the fact that Sarfaraz can't replace Kamran even in next decade. There is no comparison! Akmal is a class act, we can forgive him for Sydney debacle and Boom Boom for biting some white leather! Bring Farhat back. If he can play tests and 20/20, why not in ODIs??????

  • kazim on February 6, 2010, 21:46 GMT

    Well another match another defeat,what can one say about the Pakistan cricket team?I suppose every derogatory term that could be printed to describe their performance has been,from stupid,incompetent,spineless,fools,and of course lack of mental toughest.But, Mr Abassi,your headline "no wins but finally some pride" was even more telling.Here we have a team being deafeated in nine consecutive games,and being in positions where they should have won some,but stupidly threw it away,and you speak of pride.Was that the purpose of this tour,to instil pride?You have shown the same defeatest attitude that the players showed this summer.They must have serious self esteem problems for not only believing in themselves.This tour has been nothing but a disaster,and I can't see any silver lining,but then i'm not Pakistani.

  • Cricket Fan on February 6, 2010, 21:20 GMT

    Mr Bajwa, I agree with you. However, pls dn't ignore politics and therfore dn't expect all deserving to be in the team. Regarding President, there is lot more worse in the country to worry about and expect lot more worse in the future if that shameless person is still there. How come you expect something good from him? Can't you see all those top level positions that he has filled in govt. with incompetents that support him. Switching the topic, I just read an article about Kamran Akmal saying he got tips from other players and would improve. It is pretty awful for a keeper, keeping for so long, to say that. Does he now need tips for the basics? If you watch closely he has always been taking eyes away from the ball when it approaches gloves. Is that how it is supposed to be and above all what are the coaches doing in our team. Hard to believe the fact that our team is in such a mess.

  • Cricket Fan on February 6, 2010, 20:39 GMT

    I have always wondered if there would be a better time, to use powerplay, than taking it when two batsmen are set, especially those who can slog. The logic to save it for the last ten overs, and most often forced to take on 45th does not make any sense. At that point most of the players are arleady gone and tail under is exposed. If we successfully utilize these overs somewhere in the middle of the game then it gives opportunity for the players coming later to play couple of overs without any pressure. The logic may fail in few cases but the I would say success rate would be greater. The reverse is true when taking the powerplay in the very last overs - and results have proved it. In addition to it, when we brought Razzaq in the last matches during T20 WC, everybody, including the captain, said it increased the strength of the team. How come he is not included anymore? He might also be as good in 50 overs as in T20.

  • karim Manji on February 6, 2010, 20:35 GMT

    "Depressing" is a major understatement. Not even the most negative & least confident of Pak supporters could have ever envisaged this outcome. And if you think that losing the last one dayer in the way they did when it was paramount to avoid a whitewash (at least the team that lost 5-o to the West Indies in 1988 could say they lost to opponents at the height of their powers) was "competing" that is delusional, as for failing to win the 20/20 when chasing 120 words I'm sure fail every Pakistani fan who was watching that and would agree that that was not "competing" it was losing pathetically as is possible. The depressing fact is that this team cannot beat Australia at any format and at any level. Forget about "finishing" a game, they can't even "compete" by the vey definition of the word, and when that is the case, then "winning" is out of the question. I, for one, would be happy if they didn't play at all because each successive defeat is so painfu

  • Shariq on February 6, 2010, 20:28 GMT

    What pride are you talking about man??? How did Pakistan show they can beat any team in the world in the last ODI? By chewing on hard leather? And what about the T20? How did we prove anything? If anything we proved that we can lose a match conveniently from a strong position. Pak needed 30 runs off 36 balls with 6 wickets in hands when Kamran threw away his wicket man!!! What are you talking about?

    And we all know we need to get rid of Yousuf as captain and the ghost of YOUNUS that ................. WAS!

  • HENRIK, Denmark on February 6, 2010, 20:09 GMT

    I always loved pakistan cricket. They have been my favourits but to see them in this disorganised way and with that looser mentality, I really feel sorry for their fans world over. Why doen't your president care for the sport which is everything pakistanies have. Why cant they see how disintegrated your cricket board is which is then reflected upon the team. If these politicians can't give bread and shulter to the poor masses then at least they can let them have their beloved game at least. Why not bring in an administration which can put some dicipline in it on any cost and appoint some professionals to do the job. I personly will fire the chairman, Miandad, coach and the captain to start with.

  • Arif Bajwa on February 6, 2010, 20:03 GMT

    I can live with Afridi as a leader but do not understand the logic of taking Imran Nazir with them for the whole tour and not playing him in any game beside th T20 I think he is far more effective than Imran Farhat and Salman Butt and more aggresive and has the ability to take the game away from any team in the world. we have the best resorces in the world but we do not have the proper managment or the will to use them accordingly because we are trying to play individual cricket not trying as a unit and not useing the proper tools (players) for the job. I wish someone one day will take Paskitan to the level we were 15 years ago and what is wrong with the president dont he watch any games? Why is he not changing the PCB head or they are all in the same boat which will never reach its destination??????????????

  • Cricket Fan on February 6, 2010, 19:57 GMT

    I see following issues in the board/team. Lack of mental strength and belief in oneself (irresponsible shots and mis-fielding - unprofessional criket overall added to it). Crapy captaincy (and Yousuf has guts to say the hard period is over and he would like to continue. We could have won some with good decisions and we would be losing with bad decisions in future as well irrespective of what country we are playing against). Pittiful administration (worst in decades filled with favourism, try finding relationships b/w board/administration/players and you would find a lot). Shameful lobbying of senior players(Shoaib and Younus included). Lack of opportunities for juniors. Lack of descipline. Expectating performance from few players instead of the whole team (we tend to brag about individuals being weapons of success - what about other players, why not hold every player responsible).

  • khalil on February 6, 2010, 19:37 GMT

    The outcome of NZ/AUS tour is by no means less than a disaster. It needs to be approached in the same way. By virtue of its immense bank of talent,ready to upset any side, Pak is considered as a force in world cricket. It is inevitable to do wholesale changes in the team/cricket setup,to avoid going the lane of WI or become another Zimbabve.

  • ram on February 6, 2010, 19:25 GMT

    Instead of following a spent force like afridi or malik or younus or yousuf go for young player as captain. name a interim captain like malik and groom a new player like umar akmal as future captain who seems to be much better than others.kick kamran akmal out as he is not at all good for considerable period of time and get a good opening pair. Fortunately bowling department is good.Bring abdul razzak back. Batting is a big letdown in the current team so try new young players instaed of bringing back the same players again and again like nazir

  • rocky on February 6, 2010, 17:53 GMT

    typical sub continent mentality.... lost a series change the captain....lost cos' they could'nt score the final runs....the tail enders are axed....just step back 'n think for a minute ...how many of us did really expect pakistan to win the test series in australia?? In new zealand the same guyz 'n captain could get a draw because of a relatively weaker opposition....dont just judge on the results...yes we do need to build a proper team with a suitable leader...but changing one player or shuffling the capatin ai'nt gonna help....continue with yousuf for tests 'n one days....but get some proper openers who can handle the new ball...'n when was the last time we had a reliable 1st down??get some proper test batsman with an attitude to bat on for a couple of days....atleast we dont lose tests that way....all the boom boom explosives r fine for 20 20...any gully cricketers can play that.Be prepared for some losses if u really wanna build a TEAM.

  • Wasim on February 6, 2010, 17:04 GMT

    Pakistan failed in all departments,with the exception of Butt nobody else averaged over 40, most of them averaged in 20's. Twice in the test series we failed to bowl Australia out that shows how good our bowling,almost 30 dropped catches in last two series shows the quality of fielding. With this kind of batting and feilding even Bangladesh and Zimbabwe can give us hard time. Pakistan needs a new middle order, the four main batsman are doing nothing except dirty politics they should be shown the door.But the biggest problem is that we don't have the patience with youngsters we want instant results therefore this circus will continue.

  • Rahman on February 6, 2010, 15:58 GMT

    Again i said Pakistan needs dicipline in there ranks to become best team in world- the reason australia on top is due to diciplie- e.p Andrew Symonds is in front of us which out only due to dicipline not performance. I sill says Younis Khan should be made captain and Afridi his deputy and give free hand for him- performance- dicipline his responsibility and support him if he take any action for players who not playing good or have any dicipline issue.

    All past cricket is agree on Shoib Malik that he with his politics bring Pakistan team down.

    Allah nighabah Pakistan cricket ka.

  • mqislam on February 6, 2010, 15:51 GMT

    With all the mess about ball tempering, there is no choice for Pakistan but Afridi as T20 captain for the world cup. Someone needs to energize the team and he is the man. But you need a good group of good batsmen and bowlers to back the captain. Practically, Australia had much better quality batsmen and bowlers and super quality fielders. So, they won. What is disappointing is the way Pakistani players are loosing from wining positions. If Malik or the openers could could contribute a little, T20 was a sure win. Without a single player's(Kamran) contribution, it would be a huge defeat. That one man show can not bring success, T20 and the second test is the living proof. In the 2nd test, Sami gave the opportunity, but all others messed that up. Both Younus and Yousuf must play test cricket only. Leave one days for the youngers.

  • Bosco Martyres on February 6, 2010, 14:59 GMT

    For the T20 champs, another game, another loss.There are SO many things that need to improve in Pakistan cricket that have bben covered in these comments, that I will not re-hash them here. One major improvement that is urgently needed is mental toughness and good old strategic thinking. With Kamran and Umar at the crease and the run rate less than a run a ball, why on earth would you go for the big hit? Should you not concentrate on playing the ball on the ground, getting ones and twos, and winning the game? Instead Kamran goes for the big hit and gets caught.What does Umar do? Instead of farming the bowling and bringing the team home, he allows Umar Gul to face. Come on guys, GROW UP and THINK!!!!

  • shafiq ashraf on February 6, 2010, 14:25 GMT

    I wish I had your optimism; talk about putting a positive spin on it! Frankly this tour could not have ended soon enough; it has been torture to watch since the Sydney test. I was all for Afridi to take over as Captain in all formats but he has shown himself to be an imbecile and embarrassed Pakistan cricket. A radical change in direction is needed; we have got to sweep away the parchi culture which is killing our cricket at all levels. Why do people like Rao Iftikhar (not the only one) keep getting picked for tour after tour with no chance of selection except for matches when we have lost the series, why do talents like Asim Kamal, Taufeeq Umar too name a few get discarded when nobodys like Abdur Rauf and Khurram Manzoor( please don’t anybody justify his selection based on the innings in the last test) get selected? The shameful treatment of Fawad Alam, the mess which was Younis Khan and Yousaf being Captain of the one day team is proof that the administrators have not got a clue an

  • Noshir Mody on February 6, 2010, 14:20 GMT

    The tour is over and Pakistan should have learnt many lessons. Our fielding was a disaster, except in the T20. There has been a lot of talk about the captaincy - some leaders are born others need to learn what leadership is all about. Mohammed Yusuf is a great batsman and he can serve Pakistan better if he sticks to batting and demonstrates his class. Imran Khan's name constantly comes up as Pakistan's best captain - he developed his leadership skills on the playing fields of Oxford just like Abdul Hafeez Kardar. If a new captain is apponted he should be mentored by our past captains - Hanif, Miandad and Imran who had outstanding cricket brains. Of course, he should be willing to learn from these greats of Pakistan cricket. Umpiring decisions go both ways but on this tour we suffered a bit more than Australia - 2 glaring bad decisions were that of Salman Butt and Khalid Latif. I am looking forward to Pakistan continuing to play exciting but responsible cricket

  • Unsquashable on February 6, 2010, 13:50 GMT

    Maybe ICC should introduce T10 cricket, as even 20 overs nowadays seem too long for the Pak team to concentrate on the match.

  • Ash on February 6, 2010, 12:49 GMT

    After watching the Pak-Aus T20 match, I am more convinced than ever that we need more technology to help with umpiring decisions. To wit, Cameron White was given out after straying from his crease--this after having been rapped on his gloves and caught by Fawad Alam in gully off a Umar Gul bouncer. That there was glove involved is evident from the television replay. Now had Fawad not hit the stumps with his throw immediately afterwards, White would have been adjudged not out. Second case in point: Khalid Latif got a bum rap having been given out lb for a ball he nicked onto his pads. This awful decision could cost poor Latif a career. (Even if he hadn't edged, even the inexpert viewer could make out that the ball would have sailed over the stumps since it hit Latif's pad above the knee roll.)These kinds of umpiring goof-ups can hurt and hurt badly and in close contests like the one yesterday tilt the match against one side or the other. So my plea: let's have a review system in place.

  • Tony on February 6, 2010, 12:32 GMT

    Kamran Abbasi sums up the situation very aptly, although it has to be said that before the Afridi incident I was in favour of having Afridi as skipper in all forms of cricket but now it somehow doesn't seem right. On the other hand, where would you find honest, devoted administrators? Pakistan will have to make do with similar administrators even if the present lot are relieved. Their social conditions cannot change overnight and past experience has shown that a charismatic and assertive/aggressive leader is what Pakistan need pending its entry into the first world which might be a few decades away. Pakistan like a third world patient has always reacted positively to the most potent of medicines no matter how irresponsible, bizarre and dangerous it might seem. So I say, surprise the world and appoint Afridi as captain in all forms of cricket. His popularity remains high as ever especially when his misdemeanour, unlike those of John Terry and Tiger Woods is on the field and not off it.

  • Munir on February 6, 2010, 12:22 GMT

    I agree with KA only up to the extent that the team performed better without Yousuf.To think of bringing back Afridi, despite his cheap-n-cheat act with the ball, reflects defeatist mindset. What if Afridi is not there? The T20 was as good as won without him. The boys looked pretty sharp in the field and a new spirit was on display. Malik handled his bowlers well and they responded to his call. It showed a well-knit side. The batsmen went on defensive and failed to take initiative. Malik had nothing to do with it. Let him at the helm.Butt had been performing better than Farhat on the tour and could have retained his place. Fawad Alam's fielding was above average and his batting in the last ODI was superb. The odd thing was a maiden over played by Rana when victory was in sight. He could have sacrificed his wicket to give strike to Umer Akmal.Unfortunately, most of the Pak players lack a cricketing brain.I think,Yousuf & Afridi should not be considered for captaincy, anymore.

  • Owais on February 6, 2010, 11:59 GMT

    Kamran, this sentence from someone best summarizes what I think of so called silver lining "They just played the weakest aussie team in twenty years and got smashed 9-0". After 2nd test debacle, I stopped watching cricket and my life is far better. This group of 11 idiots in the field, another 5 on the bench with their loser management, a pathetic selection committee and most importantly jackass Butt at helm. I have far better options in my life than waste my time on these losers....

    There is no hope...stop watching these losers, try to achieve something yourself in your respective lives. Forget cricket.

  • Irfan-Dubai on February 6, 2010, 11:24 GMT

    @ paddle_sweep & troy; Indeed; Bangladesh are upcoming nation in cricket world, they were not lucky enough to complete the job in first test against india last month. coming to point, I bet! any street boys team of Pakistan will fancy their chance against india, Pakistan national team is far far better, have doubts, see the head to head track record b/w Pak Vs ind., Luck is far off from Pakistan for some reason or may be there is something missing like desire etc., but I am sure the day Pakistan would play india, all would be back, the world knows that.

    cheers

  • salman on February 6, 2010, 11:22 GMT

    its time to give captaincy back to younis khan.get rid of kamran akmal, salman butt and shoaib malik as if they r in the team they wont settle any captain. afridi needs to play test cricket so tat he can be considered as a future captain in all formats. most importantly... sack ijaz butt, the whole PCB set up and intikhab alam. miandad should be the chief of PCB. bring in players like aamer sohail, rameez raja, rashid latif, moin khan etc in PCB setup. on a coaching debate, consider ijaz ahmed, waqar younis and aaqib javed. i bet we will be on winning ways again. umar akmal has to be careful as hes still new to pak cricket. he should stop supporting his under performing villain brother. yousuf should only play test matches. afridi should bat at 5 or 6 to accomodate an allrounder. bring back shoaib akhtar for odis and 20-20 atleast as he still has got some gas left in his cylinder. mr kamran abbasi.. u need to sort urself out about shoaib malik as to me u seems to be one from his group.

  • M KHAN OF LONDON on February 6, 2010, 10:22 GMT

    Continued from above LESSON 3 – Long term, being professional and having stable structure is the KEY to success. In Pakistan when something goes wrong every tom dick and harry wants their say. You must set up a system that people agree is the best – then STICK WITH IT. The only time in recent history that I can remember the system working well was when RAMIZ RAJA was head of PCB and AAMER SOHAIL was selector (Junaid Zia aside!). LESSON 4 – Keep it simple! When you have sharp educated mind you can pursue complex coaching. When you have uneducated mind, you have to keep it simple (BOB WOOLMER realised this and kept it simple!) LESSON 5 – These lessons are never going to be learned, so just enjoy the roller coaster ride.

  • M KHAN OF LONDON on February 6, 2010, 10:22 GMT

    LESSON 1 - At international level TALENT =40% and the MIND = 60%. Changing players won’t make a difference as they will get infected with the wrong mentality. Stick with the team I noted above – then you need to IMPROVE MENTALLY! EG Imran and Wasim were unbelievable strong mentally. Afridi is the only one I can think of in the current team – Captain. LESSON 2 - When you have unruly masses – you NEED strong leadership When you have a third world country – you need tough leadership otherwise things get out of control. The squad is currently out of control. Bring in a tough (but professional) coach who is the boss. If the players don’t like it DROP the player not the coach. Afridi captain. Continued below

  • Sami Khan on February 6, 2010, 8:42 GMT

    Well Kamran i will not agree with you, Actually pakistani players do want to win any match as we can see they are not trying to win, The biggest example was Kamran Akmal who batted very well and throught his wicket in a time when pakistan needed some one to finish the match in style. Pak needed 30 from 36 balls and 6 wickets in hand but what happined of playing a loose shot. Well i will say keep the pakistan team away from the cricket atleast for one year and give them a chance to play with weak teams and then play the big teams like Auss and etc..sham to all paki players..

  • Adnan on February 6, 2010, 7:43 GMT

    i think wht we lack in our team now is the attitude. we had it when wasim and waqar were there. to a certain extent akhtar as well. we dont have it.our guys r intimidated and resigned to there old colonial masters the gora sahabs. look at india, they went to australia andharbajan matched them word to word off the field and his teammates followed it on field and they drew tests and won the ODIs. we need that attitude. when we were aggresive with india we beat them but these days we even scared of our old whipping boy neighbours. advice to bangladesh, u still wana beat someone in test, come to pakistan beat us up, heck every1 else is doing it, im sure u guys can do it to.

  • Mehdi-Singapore on February 6, 2010, 7:25 GMT

    Kamran,nail on the head!!!Bravo. Keep writing like this and someone might just listen if they have any love for Pakistan Cricket and the country.REVAMP REVAMP REVAMP TEAM AND PCB.Sack all the charlies and fundos.About time sense prevails.Get Younis back as Captain and give him all the powers to hire and fire.Get a no nosence guy.Look at the talent we have,someone should make them gel.Can Imran Khan help or is he too biased?What about Razak Dawood from the private sector?There must be someone who can take this as a project and make it work?Sack all the cronies for the sake of all the Pak cricket/country lovers all over the world.About time someone takes a bold decision.Is anyone listening???

  • Zaheer Dostana on February 6, 2010, 7:18 GMT

    Afridi will be a disaster as a captain. The standard of cricket has gone so low that 9 out of 9 defeat is being considered some sort of victory. Afridi is not a leader of men nor an intelligent student of the game. If running around and being bubbly was all it took to be a great captain, Australia would not have chosen Steve Waugh and Sreesanth would have led the world 11. A cricketer who bites the ball in the middle of game would not be able to lead a bunch of twelve year olds in the long run. There are two ways to go, one painful but the right path of choosing a young captain and allowing him to build the team from scratch and another appointing a hot head who averages 22-23 in 200 odd games and has retired from the test cricket (for fast bucks I suppose) to lead a great cricketing nation. What a shame that learned individual like allow is suggesting the second part, all in the hope that 9-0 would be 7-2 or something. Not good enough in my opinion.

  • Vivek on February 6, 2010, 6:15 GMT

    Dear Kamran,

    I fail to understand your bias toward Afridi. In the last post also, you never critisize him effectively. Instead of that you focused on his potential captaincy. He did a crime for god sake. He should be critisized to the harsh extent. Thats the difference in the attitude. English Board sack Terry as a captain of its football team as he was proved as guilty. But you want to reward Afridi despite the disgrace he had shown. Wow!!! And you talk about lack of professionalism of Pak Borad!!! Oh.. I got it... you dont have a choice or even if you have you want runs more than ethics. Good going Pak Cricket!!!! And great going Kamran.

    BTW... have you played any sort of cricket?? Any exposure to international level???

    Hope you allow this comment to be posted here!!!

  • desihungama on February 6, 2010, 6:07 GMT

    C'mon Guys. Give Afridi a break. He did what had to be done to win just one lusy game for the country. As for Pakistan cricket, the demise of our cricket started the day Wasim Akram sat out the 96 World Cup quarter final. (For reasons best known to everyone).

  • Mohit on February 6, 2010, 6:05 GMT

    Depends on how one tries to look at it...It can also be taken as "Still unable to win matches even when in good position" But if you wanna see some silver lining forcefully ...well goood for you and your teams fans. For example even after a 3rd string Australian side declared 4 times in 3 test matches ,full Australian team did not get dismissed even once in ODI ...still many Pakistan fans seem to feel they got best bowling attack in world...Hmm no harm in being optimistically positive even if it means by ignoring facts and adding many "If this" and "if that" to feel good.

  • AsadAK on February 6, 2010, 5:36 GMT

    Come on Kamran this articals prove that u really dont have knowledge about cricket. Pakistan dosnt have real captain except YK. I start hating Afridi after that Ball in his mouth, while this malik dude is the NO.1 guy of making groupings iin the team. Malik cant even win the low scoring match and u think he should be depty of Afridi. Look Afridi , maliik r rayloos kata , neither a batsman nor a bolwer. These guys are selfish players and just wana be captain. Pakistan team is loaded with selfish players, who only think of themselves.

  • hello on February 6, 2010, 5:30 GMT

    If you've watched closely pak's last few series with SL, NZ and AUS, you will notice that Pak played good cricket but couldn't win. In test matches, they lost bcoz of poor catching plus lack of aggression needed when it is required. While in ODIs they been preforming poor since we have this power play. I still remember that we used to had a good ODI ranking whether our batsmen perform or not. We always used to make good use of last 10 overs and win the matches but we hardly making good use of batting powerplay moreover when the same is used against us we lost the game. Since none of these things matter as such in twenty20 so we still good at it.

  • Kaiser Mukhtar on February 6, 2010, 4:44 GMT

    Very well written article with beautifully selected words of wit but is anybody reading(listening)to the dismay of pak cricket supporters and their broken hearts sobs and sighs. "No shame or dignity" well said Mr. Kamran Abbasi, I fully agree with you, they are like vultures picking and devouring bites off the victims' murdered body. Shoddy claims of pride and achievements although I'm an admirer of Yousuf's batting but he has got no venom left in his strokes and his decision to go defensive in sydney and in the last test in NZ were worst examples of captaincy by any individual. Even i'm ashamed of Pakistan's showing after following Pak cricket right from 1979 as a kid to be grown with the achievements of Imran Khans and miandads and akrams and w. younus, saleem maliks, rashid latifs , moin kahns and others of that period of time. But this defeat rather series of defeats is sop depressing and choking that one feels out of sorts . Thanks kamran for writing this piece.

  • ruchit on February 6, 2010, 4:29 GMT

    Hello Kamran,

    Now these are views as a neutral. A test series defeat in no way warrants resignation of board president. This demand is pretty much knee jerk in nature. I mean the issue is with the system and not guardians. And again whatever success Pakistan has tasted in its cricketing history has come within the confines of this system only. You need to improve the system all the time but changing officials is never going to help a great deal. The bottom line is Pakistan need very good batsmen which it doesnot seem to produce any more.Mr. Butt can not ensure that. The players particuarily at the junior level can only make themselves better batsmen with good infrastructure support which I believe is already in form of academies. Fielding needs to be improved but again at that level coz it is the best age to learn. Results would not be instantaneous but would come if enough hardwork is put in. Blame actors for poor play and not the props vendor.

  • Rahman on February 6, 2010, 4:27 GMT

    Actually i don;t agree with captain and vice captain here- i still believe Younis Khan should be captain and Afridi his deputy. Players like Malik, Kamran Akmal, Salman Butt and Imran Farhat should throw out from the team. They are reason that younis fail in Srilanka and they again reason Yousuf fails in Australia. If you closely look Malik performance in last matches ( last one day and twenty twenty ) he played well while before that he not willing to accept responsibility or willing to score and also he is one who advise Afridi to make that Mistake of Ball tampering.

    So if you want Pakistan to be strong than these four should go out of team right away- but it will be dream as it will not happened because My country which i love too much but dont deny fact is full of corruption where politics play role in every sector and even here and Merit is not there now.

  • dilep on February 6, 2010, 1:17 GMT

    a shameful defeat...pakistan cricket team should have stayed at home.

  • victor trumpet on February 6, 2010, 1:08 GMT

    It doesn't matter who you are in the Pakistan team, there's always going to be someone calling for your head. What do you call this national obsession with tearing down your stars? I call it small man syndrome. Listening to Malik after the game, he presented as a gracious, intelligent and likable young man - the antithesis of Yousuf and Afridi. And something Pakistan hasn't had since the golden days of Imran Khan. This guy is potentially a fine leader of Pakistan cricket - a charismatic champion. Of course it was disappointing that Pakistan were whitewashed by Australia. But aside from Afridi's overwhelming desire to swing the ball with his teeth, there was a good spirit to this tour. The Australians are extremely disciplined, but under Malik, things looked more upbeat and professional. The future could be very bright if the perennial sabotage from the fans, the administrators and the stars themselves, is somehow kept in check. That and getting rid of Ijaz Butt. Good luck Pakistan.

  • Fawad Ahmad on February 6, 2010, 1:01 GMT

    I think you are right. Although Afridi was involved in the ball-tempering controversy, I think that he is the only one to lead the team in t20's and odi's. As Malik's vice captaincy goes, i think he needs to work on his game. He has to earn his place. Just think what Afridi, Ajmal and Malik can do a spin attack. Asif, Aamer and Gul/Rana can make it one of the best attacks. But batting still remains a concers.I think we need some new blood instead of younus, misbah. I am not doubting thier abilities, but they have to make themselves worth being in the team. Fawad Alam's energy in the field is also positive. Pakistan's next assignments are two t20's against england and world t20. Let the champions prove themselves again, but they have to starting prepping NOW!! Its not going to easy, with India looking for blood, Aussies and Lankans as always a threat!

  • Bashir Hussain on February 6, 2010, 0:53 GMT

    They did nothing when ship was sinking and did everything (legal or illegal) when their own lives were at risk. The PCB should take action aginst players like Shoaib Malik, Afridi, Umar Gul, etc. Look at them, tehir feelings, their body language, and at their performance. Pakistan lost the Test and ODI series and they have not taken it seriously and put tehir efforts in last ODI and T20. All such players who played for their own and not for country should be punished and should not be included in the team. National benefits should be at the top and not the individual benefits. They are playing at the public purse (at expenses of Pakistan) and not from their own pockets. Players like Umar Gul, Rana Naveed, Sulaman, Younis Khan, kamran, Rao Ifthikar and Sarfraz performed badly but unfortunatly will be included in the team under the captanacy of main culprits Shoib Malik and Afridi. Of course performance of Yousaf is also very poor but he played for the country. Just mind the point.

  • Dr.M.S.A.Iyer on February 6, 2010, 0:20 GMT

    The T20 and last ODI gave the impression of Paks capability. I was happy to see Malik at helm though due to a big controversy. I, from India is a great fan of Malik and was unhappy on the comments to sack Malik from your side. But its good he is back and should be played as offspinning allrounder.

  • troy on February 6, 2010, 0:00 GMT

    They can challenge in world cricket?

    They just played the weakest aussie team in twenty years and got smashed 9-0..they were lucky to draw with the kiwis before that.

    Who are these challengers you expect them to best? Bangladesh?

    I admire your optimism but it simply has no factual basis, Pakistan are so far off the pace its tragic.

  • Khair on February 5, 2010, 23:43 GMT

    After yet another performance where Pakistan managed to find a way to lose from a winning position, many on this forum will be quick to point to selection errors and suggest who should be dropped and who should be picked. Not many will point to the frailties of their individual psyche. No, because it is a mirror of the psyche of the nation and very few are exempt from it. I am not suggesting that selections could not have been better, I am suggesting that even if they did get the perfect selection, with this mindset Pak would still find a way to lose. Coaches and team management should work on how to make the players strong mentally, not just physically. There should be two separate teams for tests and ODIs with not more than three or four players common to both forms. Integrity and discipline should be of foremost consideration, so there should be no talk of Afridi and Younus as captain for the foreseeable future. Lastly, a comment on umpiring: their errors are costing Pak badly.

  • Q on February 5, 2010, 23:35 GMT

    What pride ? 9 defeats in row against Austrilia that is embrassing.Pakistans bolwers really workes hard for the Team but the batting is awful

  • Spencer de Vere on February 5, 2010, 22:55 GMT

    Re "Nine defeats out of nine, a depressing outcome. Yet Pakistan leave Australia with the knowledge that they can challenge in world cricket, especially in the limited-overs format"

    You're really stretching the "silver lining" take on Pakistan's woeful summer in Australia to see some positive in their close defeat in the 20/20 slog lottery.

    Pakistan lack hard, mature, sensible cricketers (Butt excepted). Australia proved to be miles too professional, mentally tough, resourceful and intimidating.

    The best advice I could give to the Pakistani playters: "GROW UP".

  • Saiful Ansari, Leesburg, VA USA on February 5, 2010, 21:45 GMT

    Kami you nailed it and hit the bullseye. The team has defintiely salvaged some pride, though they did not find a way to win. Under Afridi&again today under Shoaib Malik Pak side showed fight & will to stand its ground. Had the batting not wavered after the departure of K.Akmal, our boys would have soundly beaten the Aussies in T20 format. Now PCB must put its act together and be the pillar of strength behind its Test & limited over teams. The current administrators (including Ijaz Butt) should voluntarily abdicate in favor of new elected officials dedicated to make Pak Cricket competitive, & make its fans proud again. We need to find two real quicks and two reliable strikers of the ball to retain the next T20 World Cup. In T20 game Imran Farhat, Imran Nazir, Khalid Latif struggled against 150-160 KM pace. Fawad Alam looked unsettled. Pak tail had no spine to chase a small score after Umar's dismissal. Why did Kamran&Umar rush? With singles/doubles they could have taken Pak to victory.

  • Neil on February 5, 2010, 21:11 GMT

    I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments Kamran. Yousef, fine batsman though he is, is way too timid a captain to succeed in the world of modern cricket. He might have been a chance in an era when cricket was more defensive but there is little room for subtlety and nuance in the modern game, that is unless you have the natural gifts of Shane Warne or the determination of Shiv Chanderpaul. Yousef's early morning meltdown on the 4th day at Sydney set the tone for all that followed on the tour. His tactics were beyond bizarre. As for the administrators, well I'm afraid that here in Australia we simply have no idea what is going on so I'll bow to Kamran's judgement on that one. What I do know is that Pakistan cricket still has a heart that beats strongly despite this summer's results. The blueprint for success lies in Australia's patient wait during the late 1980s. There are some wonderfully talented young players in this Pakistan side. Be patient and give them plenty of time.

  • Amer Khan on February 5, 2010, 21:09 GMT

    Pakistan's tour of Australia was a forgettable and painful experience for the fans. The players may be proud of how they played in the final two limited overs games and in the first three days of the Sydney test, but in all, they were rubbish. Aussies are a tough team, but when you are losing games by 100+ runs, and games that you should have won but didn't, that just means that you don't deserve to play International Cricket. Its time to sack the PCB and the rest of the selection committee and start from scratch. Reshuffling the lineup won't do any good; replacing players like Fawad Alam and Salman Butt would just allow another inexperienced newcomer to come in and find new ways to lose. We need to get to the root of the problem, and the change has to come from the top.

  • Daniel on February 5, 2010, 21:06 GMT

    Well played Pakistan in the 20/20 match! Although the result went against them in the end, the game was so tight, it was really exciting cricket. As an Aussie fan I couldn't decide who I wanted to win the most, Aus or Pakistan. Hopefully things will pick up from here for the Pakistan teams.

    Best wishes from those of us who have appreciated the quality that is there.

  • Haseeb - Kuwait on February 5, 2010, 20:07 GMT

    Since our schools we have been taught by our teachers "UNION IS STRENGTH" and i am so sorry to say that there is no unity in this team. Unless until there hearts and minds are clear for each other they can never win.

    The team needs a leader who can unite them under one umbrella. I have been a big supporter of Pakistani cricket team and will support them in the future as well.

  • Mehboob on February 5, 2010, 20:04 GMT

    In the 3 one days, he managed to play against australia, Malik averaged arround 22 and this figure for yousuf was 20 for his four matches. Malik's batting cannot be dismissed but, yes, playing as an all rounder will creat an additional full time batsman's slot and malik's usually better than average pakistani fielding will also help. But it is strage that after so much tendency to play foul, why is afridi still backed for captaincy. He is really needed for the team, but after this ball tempering incident, no way as captain. Imagine afridi losing his mind and doing something silly in one of the world cup matches and pakistan losing its captain for few matches. How upsetting would that be for the team in such circumstances. Leave alone the bowling or batting foul play, he may hit one of the spectators with the bat. Tendencies can be altered when you are young, but more than 10 years into international cricket, these may be fairly resistant to change...

  • Mirza Saab on February 5, 2010, 19:33 GMT

    You are wrong. They don't have enough talent to win just good enough to excite. A quick 30-40is short of inning to save their own careers not the match. Shahid Afridi is a cheat and should be kept away not on the basis of morality but on te basis of sheer stupidity that was watched by millions, and couple of months ago everyone was talking about all the groupism and negative mentality that Malik brings to the table. This is not a solution , this is a mirage that is merely being projected because anything will look good in contrast to what has happened recently, but if it is not grounded in realism and maturity, it sure would not long last.

  • CricketWatcher on February 5, 2010, 19:28 GMT

    Yousuf is a poor captain, he has no tactical skills at all, he is laid back, relaxed and unfluttered by how well the opposition is playing - that makes for a good batsman but a poor captain. Enough said

  • Alf on February 5, 2010, 19:03 GMT

    I fail to see the reason for your optimism in the last two matches. In the second last match Afridi, pakistan captain no less, was caught ball tampering and Pakistan still lost. In the last match Pakistan did a repeat of 2nd test match by failing to chase 127 in a 20-20 - that too when they were pretty well poised at 98/4.

    Well if this makes you happy so be it!

  • sern on February 5, 2010, 17:45 GMT

    How can you be so optimistic, only format which Pakistan can compete right now is T20,in odis they just dont seem to have enough batting talent to build big scores. Their strength which was bowling has been found wanting in ODIS, even Nathan Hauritz flayed this bowling attack all over the park but still you are ever optimitstic supporter.

    This team has snatched defeats from certain atleast twice.This team just doesnt have any discipline nor guts to fight.They were so timid in their approach.

    Pakistan historically has proven to have mighty collapses but one thing those teams had was guts they might have lost matches but they were never timid in their approach that is the difference this team and previous teams.

    How can ever put a postive spin on tour where the team has been white washed 9-0 and still claim they have talent.Talent will take people only so far who ever make to any top sides will be talented, what seprates men from boys is what you have upstairs.

  • Usman Zia on February 5, 2010, 17:35 GMT

    You are spot on when you said that Pakistan has forgotten how to finish a game. The good thing is that atleast the team showed fight without Yousuf. Yousuf has to go without a doubt as a captain but i cannot help myself agreeing with him that the players started to lobby for the leadership once they learned that he was not going to be the captain. It was very ill timed. But he must be dreaming when he said he wants to continue being captain. Why was he the ODI captain in the first place? This butt and his team has been the worst administrators we had in years. Also we need a finisher. I thought Fawad Alam or Umar Akmal will suit this role but they have shown they cant atleast for now. We need Razzaq back in the team. In onedayers, we need to swap places for Umar Akmal and Younus Khan. I dont care what people say about Younus but he has to be given an opportunity lower down the order to finish games for us. Afridi captain but please not ShoibM v-c. V-captain best suits Younus Khan.

  • AJ on February 5, 2010, 17:27 GMT

    Poignant article. As Harsha Bhogle points out in his piece "It couldn't have got worse for Pakistan, with the trademark boardroom squabbles at full pitch, a pathetic performance on the field, and the hysteria over the IPL auction. Their real problems actually figure in that order; they'd be in reverse if you go by the time spent in debate over them" There is a dire need to rid the system of the ineffective clowns at the top first before any of the on field personnel changes are made.

  • paddle_sweep on February 5, 2010, 17:04 GMT

    Well Pakistan failed to chase only a score in the 120's and you say it's a good finish.They lost 9 nine matches in a row.Even England won few ODI's when they were Ashes whitewashed in Aus in 2006.Pak vs Bangladesh would be a cracking contest.

  • muzz on February 5, 2010, 16:31 GMT

    Well - I have expected that 9 out of 9 defeats in my last comment/may be 10/10 after under 19s final/what we have shown in every match is lack of dicipline/patience and confidence - hopefully all old horses will make way to the new energetic breed and old horses should be barred from opening their mouth to 'regurgitate' any excuses. Loosing after a decent fight is NOT shameful - surrendering IS. I agree both malik and Afridi needs to concentrate on their respective role andplacing in the team in limited overs- Test cricket is totally different so Yunis and yusuf both need to work hard to be 'TESTED'.

  • Mahboob Alam on February 5, 2010, 16:23 GMT

    You are absolutely right Mr. Abbasi. I totally agree with you... specially on your view of changing the captaincy.. Afridi is the best choice for captain in short format while Shoaib Malik should captain the test side..

  • allwell on February 5, 2010, 16:05 GMT

    I disagree. If the last two matches could not finish Pakistan's way despite of effort from team, how could you term as good captaincy by Afridi and Malik. While Captain does play an important role, all eleven players need to be individually responsible for their batting. With these batting performances, performing in one out of 20 matches with likes of Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal etc, you will always look good and lose. Winning matches always needed good individual players. Good captaincy with part timers cannot win matches. So not to worry too much if Yusuf is Captain. He was as close to winning as any one else in last 5 years. Unfortunately he was playing Australia and not Zimbabwe or Bangladesh.

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  • allwell on February 5, 2010, 16:05 GMT

    I disagree. If the last two matches could not finish Pakistan's way despite of effort from team, how could you term as good captaincy by Afridi and Malik. While Captain does play an important role, all eleven players need to be individually responsible for their batting. With these batting performances, performing in one out of 20 matches with likes of Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal etc, you will always look good and lose. Winning matches always needed good individual players. Good captaincy with part timers cannot win matches. So not to worry too much if Yusuf is Captain. He was as close to winning as any one else in last 5 years. Unfortunately he was playing Australia and not Zimbabwe or Bangladesh.

  • Mahboob Alam on February 5, 2010, 16:23 GMT

    You are absolutely right Mr. Abbasi. I totally agree with you... specially on your view of changing the captaincy.. Afridi is the best choice for captain in short format while Shoaib Malik should captain the test side..

  • muzz on February 5, 2010, 16:31 GMT

    Well - I have expected that 9 out of 9 defeats in my last comment/may be 10/10 after under 19s final/what we have shown in every match is lack of dicipline/patience and confidence - hopefully all old horses will make way to the new energetic breed and old horses should be barred from opening their mouth to 'regurgitate' any excuses. Loosing after a decent fight is NOT shameful - surrendering IS. I agree both malik and Afridi needs to concentrate on their respective role andplacing in the team in limited overs- Test cricket is totally different so Yunis and yusuf both need to work hard to be 'TESTED'.

  • paddle_sweep on February 5, 2010, 17:04 GMT

    Well Pakistan failed to chase only a score in the 120's and you say it's a good finish.They lost 9 nine matches in a row.Even England won few ODI's when they were Ashes whitewashed in Aus in 2006.Pak vs Bangladesh would be a cracking contest.

  • AJ on February 5, 2010, 17:27 GMT

    Poignant article. As Harsha Bhogle points out in his piece "It couldn't have got worse for Pakistan, with the trademark boardroom squabbles at full pitch, a pathetic performance on the field, and the hysteria over the IPL auction. Their real problems actually figure in that order; they'd be in reverse if you go by the time spent in debate over them" There is a dire need to rid the system of the ineffective clowns at the top first before any of the on field personnel changes are made.

  • Usman Zia on February 5, 2010, 17:35 GMT

    You are spot on when you said that Pakistan has forgotten how to finish a game. The good thing is that atleast the team showed fight without Yousuf. Yousuf has to go without a doubt as a captain but i cannot help myself agreeing with him that the players started to lobby for the leadership once they learned that he was not going to be the captain. It was very ill timed. But he must be dreaming when he said he wants to continue being captain. Why was he the ODI captain in the first place? This butt and his team has been the worst administrators we had in years. Also we need a finisher. I thought Fawad Alam or Umar Akmal will suit this role but they have shown they cant atleast for now. We need Razzaq back in the team. In onedayers, we need to swap places for Umar Akmal and Younus Khan. I dont care what people say about Younus but he has to be given an opportunity lower down the order to finish games for us. Afridi captain but please not ShoibM v-c. V-captain best suits Younus Khan.

  • sern on February 5, 2010, 17:45 GMT

    How can you be so optimistic, only format which Pakistan can compete right now is T20,in odis they just dont seem to have enough batting talent to build big scores. Their strength which was bowling has been found wanting in ODIS, even Nathan Hauritz flayed this bowling attack all over the park but still you are ever optimitstic supporter.

    This team has snatched defeats from certain atleast twice.This team just doesnt have any discipline nor guts to fight.They were so timid in their approach.

    Pakistan historically has proven to have mighty collapses but one thing those teams had was guts they might have lost matches but they were never timid in their approach that is the difference this team and previous teams.

    How can ever put a postive spin on tour where the team has been white washed 9-0 and still claim they have talent.Talent will take people only so far who ever make to any top sides will be talented, what seprates men from boys is what you have upstairs.

  • Alf on February 5, 2010, 19:03 GMT

    I fail to see the reason for your optimism in the last two matches. In the second last match Afridi, pakistan captain no less, was caught ball tampering and Pakistan still lost. In the last match Pakistan did a repeat of 2nd test match by failing to chase 127 in a 20-20 - that too when they were pretty well poised at 98/4.

    Well if this makes you happy so be it!

  • CricketWatcher on February 5, 2010, 19:28 GMT

    Yousuf is a poor captain, he has no tactical skills at all, he is laid back, relaxed and unfluttered by how well the opposition is playing - that makes for a good batsman but a poor captain. Enough said

  • Mirza Saab on February 5, 2010, 19:33 GMT

    You are wrong. They don't have enough talent to win just good enough to excite. A quick 30-40is short of inning to save their own careers not the match. Shahid Afridi is a cheat and should be kept away not on the basis of morality but on te basis of sheer stupidity that was watched by millions, and couple of months ago everyone was talking about all the groupism and negative mentality that Malik brings to the table. This is not a solution , this is a mirage that is merely being projected because anything will look good in contrast to what has happened recently, but if it is not grounded in realism and maturity, it sure would not long last.