March 23, 2010

Pakistan cricket

Hero to zero and back again

Akhila Ranganna

Nothing ceases to amaze in Pakistan cricket. In less than a fortnight you could go from being branded a bad influence to being rewarded for your performance by none other than the President himself.

On March 10 the PCB - the President of Pakistan is its patron - banned Younis Khan (and Mohammad Yousuf) from playing for Pakistan in any format for an indefinite period because his infighting - according to the PCB - brought down the morale of the team and resulted in the side's disastrous, winless tour of Australia. Shahid Afridi, of ball-biting infamy, was punished by the PCB for that very incident during the Perth ODI, where he was captain, with a fine of Rupees 3 million. On Tuesday, both Younis and Afridi were awarded the President's Pride of Performance Award. Seriously. Both were nominated for this award a few months ago and their names were recommended to the President. Talk about changing perceptions.

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Akhila Ranganna is assistant editor (Audio) at ESPNcricinfo

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