Michael Jeh May 3, 2010

The beauty of watching Pakistan play

There are not too many other sides in world cricket that make me that nervous, even when Australia are seemingly cruising towards victory
196

"You never quite know what to expect with Pakistan but you expect to be entertained, frustrated or bewitched at every twist and turn of the game" © Associated Press

Cricket has this wonderful way of throwing up extraordinary events that sometimes teaches us to simply accept the beautiful unpredictability of sport without reading any sinister intentions into it. Struggling to stay awake at about 5 am this morning (Australia time), I was enthralled by a five-wicket maiden over at the end of Australia’s innings in the Twenty20 World Cup match in St Lucia. That an amazing finish to an innings that was rocketing along at breakneck speed just a few overs earlier when David Hussey collared Mohammad Sami.

When was the last time a team that lost 5 wickets for no runs in an over comfortably won a cricket match? That says a lot about how good this Australian team is. It also served as a sobering reminder that when such extraordinary events happen, we should sometimes dispense with our cynicism and appreciate the theatre and drama of sport for what it is. Watching that last over, there was no doubt in my mind that this was a bizarre but brilliant passage of play by Pakistan and an equally poor performance by Australia. Nothing more, nothing less. Just one of those things that can happen sometimes.

Very little else about Australia’s play was poor and Pakistan had little else to celebrate but for this single over. If the situation had been reversed, I wonder if there would have been the usual murmurings and suspicions about how Pakistan could possibly have lost five wickets for no runs in six balls. And that would have been most terribly unfair on Pakistan because as we’ve just seen, amazing things can happen sometimes without having to question the integrity of such events.

Like in Sydney a few months ago, Australia fought back brilliantly and Pakistan stumbled at the last hurdle to complete a memorable game of cricket. It was compelling cricket and Pakistan played their part in one of the most enjoyable Test matches in recent memory, only to have to defend themselves against some scurrilous suggestions that something was rotten in the camp. And sadly for Pakistan, they seem to unfairly have to put up with frequent innuendo of this nature, even when there is little evidence to point to anything but brilliant, poor, inspired, imaginative, freakish moments in a cricket match. It’s the beauty of the way they play cricket, richly talented, often unpredictable, capable of the brilliant and bizarre in the space of a few minutes. That’s one of the reasons I’ve always loved watching Pakistan play – you never quite know what to expect but you expect to be entertained, frustrated or bewitched at every twist and turn of the game. Sure, there have been some integrity issues with Pakistani cricket that have been well documented but we sometimes forget that just about every country has been implicated in the murky world of match-fixing and betting scandals.

Pakistan seem to be forever defending themselves against such accusations but that a roller-coaster ride is the very reason why they are such a watchable side. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve watched Pakistan chase a total and fall hopelessly behind the run rate, only to see the most amazing acceleration that defied the 40 overs that preceded it. Even this morning, despite feeling desperately sleepy and seeing Australia comfortably on top, I could not bring myself to switch off the TV in case Afridi, Misbah or Razzaq just exploded and pulled off a miracle. I only truly relaxed when Misbah was dismissed, despite the scoreboard willing me to call it quits and take an Aussie victory for granted.

There are not too many other sides in world cricket that make me that nervous, even when Australia are seemingly cruising towards victory. Perhaps South Africa with Boucher and Morkel still at the crease but theirs is a more clinical assault rather than the sheer unpredictability of a Pakistani cyclone. It’s Boom-boom or Bust! Whatever the criticisms of modern cricket, one cannot argue that it lacks for entertainment, sheer skill and firepower. I love watching Australia bat for that reason. I love watching Australia in the field for that reason. Even on their bad days, even when the eyelids are heavy from watching two consecutive games of cricket in the middle of the night and a warm bed is calling, when Pakistan are chasing down an impossible target, it’s easy to see why Bon Jovi said “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”.

Michael Jeh is an Oxford Blue who played first-class cricket, and a Playing Member of the MCC. He lives in Brisbane

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • arthur on May 28, 2010, 15:15 GMT

    Michael thanks alot for recognising the talent in the pakistani team, even though they have not won a series in some time.

  • umer on May 11, 2010, 9:36 GMT

    LOL and again we have pakistan vs australia semi final and why i have this feeling no team but pakistan is gona send aussies home :p

  • pervez on May 11, 2010, 4:32 GMT

    thanks bro. am sure u r pakistani. we love are team and would like them to BE what they are. Unpredictable, exciting . AND TODAY WE ARE IN SEMI FINAL. WE WILL BE CHAMP AGAIN

  • Inam on May 7, 2010, 11:27 GMT

    I love Afridi. and I bet you dont leave your seat until Afridi is on crease.

  • Asif Abbas on May 6, 2010, 23:48 GMT

    It is a well written article Michael and I think that is what appeals to every one about Pakistan cricket that is the unpredictability of the side on the other hand one can say that Australian cricket is the neatest specially when it comes to the power plays I think they would concede less runs during those overs than in the rest of the overs, it shows clearly they have a plan and they bowl according to the field set and place their shots according to the field set by their opponents and where as for Pakistan they would just do the least possible with ease and vice versa. It the team in green and yellow which entertains the world of cricket..;)

  • khan on May 5, 2010, 17:44 GMT

    I might follow my team for the rest of the T20 after reading this positively portraited article about negative aspect of our team. I am tired of them but then again I cannot stop myself for not watching them in the field. Perhaps, you are right, its the uncertanity and drama this brings to the sport of cricket.

  • Omran on May 5, 2010, 16:49 GMT

    pakistan w day in was poor that day in ground, i still feel there is still some politics in the team, afrdi has no sence of captincy, i still doing understand why he didnt use Razzaq or Fowad for bowling??? what was the point of giving 4 over to Sami or Hafeez or himself, sixes were going every where but still he didnt think to use other options..... i think he has no sence of captaincy..... but again if the board is like this then you can only expact this kind of perfarmance from the team...

  • arsalan on May 5, 2010, 15:03 GMT

    im a pakistani. So you can imagine how many stress ulcers i must have had watching Pakistan play over the years. But you're right. They're unpredictable and play with a certain flare ( or pure natural naivity bordering on stupidity sometimes, call it whatever you like) but they do entertain. Its funny that I too, didn't turn off the tele till Misbah's dismissal, and then too, i was hoping for a miracle. No side in the world can hope to lift a trophy of a major event with a side that can play as poor as Pak do on quite a regular basis. But that is the funny thing about Pakistan. They somehow manage to deliver the unthinkable just when the whole nation is starting to think of a new sports to follow instead of Cricket, and that just leads to some more stress ulcers over the ensuing years till another Paki side comes along and does the unthinkable again.

  • Karthik on May 5, 2010, 13:50 GMT

    This is the over the top article. Pakistan has been losing to Australia for eternity. For the love of god how will they be scared of Pakistan.

  • Kaiser on May 5, 2010, 12:53 GMT

    Very nice article Michael. I agree, on their day Pakistan can pull off the amazing. I think they will do well under the leadership of Afridi.

  • arthur on May 28, 2010, 15:15 GMT

    Michael thanks alot for recognising the talent in the pakistani team, even though they have not won a series in some time.

  • umer on May 11, 2010, 9:36 GMT

    LOL and again we have pakistan vs australia semi final and why i have this feeling no team but pakistan is gona send aussies home :p

  • pervez on May 11, 2010, 4:32 GMT

    thanks bro. am sure u r pakistani. we love are team and would like them to BE what they are. Unpredictable, exciting . AND TODAY WE ARE IN SEMI FINAL. WE WILL BE CHAMP AGAIN

  • Inam on May 7, 2010, 11:27 GMT

    I love Afridi. and I bet you dont leave your seat until Afridi is on crease.

  • Asif Abbas on May 6, 2010, 23:48 GMT

    It is a well written article Michael and I think that is what appeals to every one about Pakistan cricket that is the unpredictability of the side on the other hand one can say that Australian cricket is the neatest specially when it comes to the power plays I think they would concede less runs during those overs than in the rest of the overs, it shows clearly they have a plan and they bowl according to the field set and place their shots according to the field set by their opponents and where as for Pakistan they would just do the least possible with ease and vice versa. It the team in green and yellow which entertains the world of cricket..;)

  • khan on May 5, 2010, 17:44 GMT

    I might follow my team for the rest of the T20 after reading this positively portraited article about negative aspect of our team. I am tired of them but then again I cannot stop myself for not watching them in the field. Perhaps, you are right, its the uncertanity and drama this brings to the sport of cricket.

  • Omran on May 5, 2010, 16:49 GMT

    pakistan w day in was poor that day in ground, i still feel there is still some politics in the team, afrdi has no sence of captincy, i still doing understand why he didnt use Razzaq or Fowad for bowling??? what was the point of giving 4 over to Sami or Hafeez or himself, sixes were going every where but still he didnt think to use other options..... i think he has no sence of captaincy..... but again if the board is like this then you can only expact this kind of perfarmance from the team...

  • arsalan on May 5, 2010, 15:03 GMT

    im a pakistani. So you can imagine how many stress ulcers i must have had watching Pakistan play over the years. But you're right. They're unpredictable and play with a certain flare ( or pure natural naivity bordering on stupidity sometimes, call it whatever you like) but they do entertain. Its funny that I too, didn't turn off the tele till Misbah's dismissal, and then too, i was hoping for a miracle. No side in the world can hope to lift a trophy of a major event with a side that can play as poor as Pak do on quite a regular basis. But that is the funny thing about Pakistan. They somehow manage to deliver the unthinkable just when the whole nation is starting to think of a new sports to follow instead of Cricket, and that just leads to some more stress ulcers over the ensuing years till another Paki side comes along and does the unthinkable again.

  • Karthik on May 5, 2010, 13:50 GMT

    This is the over the top article. Pakistan has been losing to Australia for eternity. For the love of god how will they be scared of Pakistan.

  • Kaiser on May 5, 2010, 12:53 GMT

    Very nice article Michael. I agree, on their day Pakistan can pull off the amazing. I think they will do well under the leadership of Afridi.

  • P SUBRAMANI on May 5, 2010, 12:51 GMT

    There was a time when Pakistan was great to watch on the cricket field. That was way back in the mid 70s to the late 80s. It was always great to see the likes of Imran, Sarfaraz,Majid Khan,Miandad, Abdul Qadir,Zaheer Abbas and their own great Ws,Wasim and Waqar. They were prodigouly talented, were 'never say die' and were popular off the field as well. Though there were murmurs of ball tampering even then, nothing was certain in the 'absence of proof', as would become a famous Pakistani refrain with their present day politicians.Then they were found out both in cricket and as a nation.It did not matter if they did what they did in public view as Afridi showed in Australia or as Faisal Shahzad did at Times square New York recently.It is sad how their reputation has plumetted not just in cricket. No, they are no longer nice to watch on the field of play. It is sad because they have such a talented bunch of players even today but the fairplay thing looks elusive.It will never be the same.

  • Suleman Toor on May 5, 2010, 12:15 GMT

    Beautiful!

  • tahir on May 5, 2010, 12:05 GMT

    We, human beings love nature and natural life which remained unpredictable throughout of our history but meterialistic and sceintefic approch and progess spoiled all this, We are more like to machines than human beings that is why whenever we watch a natural approach with unpredictability like pakistani team , we love it

  • TRex on May 5, 2010, 11:56 GMT

    Good article. Although I do not agree with following logic -- "When was the last time a team that lost 5 wickets for no runs in an over comfortably won a cricket match? That says a lot about how good this Australian team is."

    It was just an outlier of a situation that's all. I don't think it logically follows how good Australia is. I can make a similar argument -- How bad is Pakistan to have lost!

  • yakub ismail on May 5, 2010, 11:47 GMT

    I am sixty and have lived in Pakistan for all these years.Pakistan cricket players are groomed here and part of same social set up,hot and cold all along. Of course,international exposure needs logical showing but one can not impose it. The article portrays perfect picture,expect the unexpected. After all cricket is a funny game and wrapped around with comparatively much higher element of luck, so there is no harm,rather enjoyable to have a team like that.There are certainly few things that can reduce this element of luck, i.e. having toss for first match only in more than one match series and option to bowl or bat rotating for both teams but difficult to abandon this customary practice. In short, very often it is Pakistan who beat Pakistan more than others.

  • Salman Shakeel on May 5, 2010, 10:24 GMT

    Wonderful blog Michael, especially written by a Neutral Observer .I am a Pakistani and this blog gave me a different angle to think, to enjoy the Pakistan's unpredictability, yes , it's really a new angle for a die hard follower of Pakistan Cricket. In this way, we can enjoy the game more and that too with a Unique and unanimous skills of Pakistan firepower.Thanks for such a thoughtful article.Really awesome!

  • sameen on May 5, 2010, 10:18 GMT

    Great Artical , I think you are absolutly right the beautuy of pakistani team is their unpredictability . and its not fair to relate it to Match Fixing and other things

  • mohsin on May 5, 2010, 8:37 GMT

    Funny truth... appreciated and oblidged!

    Me a Pakistani.

  • rameez on May 5, 2010, 6:09 GMT

    Very well written article. The only positive thing about this match apart from the last over is that Pakistan's one bad match is out of the way. we have always been slow starters..and as grame smith put it...its now how u start BUT HOW U FINISH THAT MATTERS

  • Zeeshan Khan on May 5, 2010, 6:05 GMT

    Great article, really enjoyed it and it brought a smile :) the Unpredictability of Pakistan team is its greatest strength and unfortunately the biggest weakness as well.

  • Samir Ashraf on May 5, 2010, 5:54 GMT

    the beauty of cricket is enhanced by presence of the sheer unpredictability of pakistan. isnt this what sports is all about?

  • nooruddin tejani on May 5, 2010, 5:49 GMT

    Michael, i enjoyed reading your article. Being a Pakistani i only say that we are predictably unpredictable and that seperates us from ordinary.

    With reagrd to allegations of match fixing etc. i just want to copy a quote from Winston Churchill which sum-up Pakistan's position very well: "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."

    Thank you and keep writing.

    Kind regards Nooruddin

  • Sefal Khan on May 5, 2010, 5:47 GMT

    You cannot be an Aussie - you must be a Pakistani. Come on what is your real name - ..... Khan?

    Michael - Bravo, what a wonderful page. It is nice to see something decent about Pakistan these days.

    I love your note

    "I wonder if there would have been the usual murmurings and suspicions about how Pakistan could possibly have lost five wickets for no runs in six balls".

    How true you are - God bless you and thank you. Good luck Team Pakistan.

    Pakistan Zindabad

  • taslim waris on May 5, 2010, 4:38 GMT

    There was some mistake in decision of Afridi. he would opt Mohd. Asif instead of Sami and Choose hammad azam instead of hafeez. batiing order would be. salman butt shahid afridi umar akmal kamran akmal razaak fawad hammad ammer ajmal asif and I m very surprised why Razzagq is not bowling in matches. he is match winner player.

  • Anonymous on May 5, 2010, 4:38 GMT

    u r rite...

  • ali on May 5, 2010, 4:27 GMT

    meet u in final guy pakistan willl definitely lift this trophy once again i knw them these r frm us they will win c u

  • ahsan on May 5, 2010, 3:54 GMT

    good one! I just feel that pakistanis have a lot of talent but at times they just don't apply themselves. Always a fun watching them play.

  • zaheer on May 5, 2010, 3:35 GMT

    this is not any thing to worry abt, its history of Pak Team when they start badly they won the Championship, We all pray this might happen once again.

  • Ankit on May 5, 2010, 2:42 GMT

    India is one more side which off late has given Aussies a run for their money ...especially in the longer format of the game ...

  • Babar Bashir on May 5, 2010, 0:24 GMT

    Truly Written!

  • usman on May 4, 2010, 21:02 GMT

    hey mike...a well thought out article bro...but i would just add a few things...u knoe the best part of pakistan cricket is that they keep on doin it...i mean...afridi doesnt care reali how he got out the previous time...he wud play the same shot...razzak can cum out and hit mcgrath for 5 boundaries in a row...they can accelerate almost at will after 40 overs of an odi...the worst part of this type of cricket is that wen u want stability in the middle overs of an odi...or in a test match wen u need awl that composure...patience to grill and battle it out sumtimes lack..more recently thou...in short...dere are not many extremes dat do exist in the world today...and most of the extremes are hypothetical....but pakistan cricket is definitely a real extreme...their openers can giv a 142 opening stand in a t20 match...sumthing i cud never hav believed until i see it happening...

  • Mansoor Iqbal on May 4, 2010, 19:37 GMT

    That's the beauty of Pakistan cricket isn't it! You are so right, you never know which Pakistani team shows up. Misbah, Afridi, Razzaq, Akmal all had it them to change the course of the match in Pakistan's favour. Unfortunately, no one clicked! All credit to Aussies!

  • Hamood on May 4, 2010, 19:12 GMT

    To non-Pakistanis that may seem like beauty but for the fans of the Pakistan team it's called a heart attack.

  • Syed on May 4, 2010, 18:10 GMT

    Its more of a bust lately then boom boom.

  • Azhar Hussain on May 4, 2010, 18:07 GMT

    And you are correct, if it was the other way around people mostly press would thrown baseless accusations against Pakistani players for playing in the hands of the bookies. Look at the shameful act IPL has become, millions of dollars changing hands, and ICC shamelessly on the sideline looking the other side. Only media can expose such disparities but will it?

  • abrar on May 4, 2010, 17:43 GMT

    That is so true.Pakistan bring beauty to the game as they are unpredictable.They have produced more exciting cricketers than any other side like The sensational double W,s,the explosivs Shahid Afridi,The Speedy Shoaib n the glamourous Imran Khan..very few sights in cricket are more beautiful than watching a fast bowler bowl.They won the world cup when color-clothing and flood lights first came to scene!They can be bizarre at times but they excite a genuine cricket lover.

  • danish siddiqi on May 4, 2010, 17:40 GMT

    i belief in pakistan and its spirit inshahallah they are going to win t20 once again best wishes to pakistan team

  • Muhammad Asghar on May 4, 2010, 17:23 GMT

    Hmm, Good Article. I agreed to you.

  • mobin on May 4, 2010, 17:12 GMT

    *applause*

  • Kaisar on May 4, 2010, 16:43 GMT

    Nice one mate! I totally agree

  • Habin on May 4, 2010, 16:18 GMT

    thanks for wonderful writing. 5 star

  • ali on May 4, 2010, 16:17 GMT

    loved the article :D ...it properly defines pakistan.

  • Adeel Khan on May 4, 2010, 15:59 GMT

    Interesting analysis on the aspect of the game that a lot of us cricket lovers sometime lose track of or chose to ignore. Our players are part of the nation whose passion and emotions for cricket is second to none and being brought up in that culture has its affect on how our players play no matter how richly talented they are. The unpredictability of our team in my opinion is that the ratio of passion and professionalism is still not in balance as in the case of Australian team. Our passion has brought us great success but in order to channel that passion in a consistent way we need to instill the professional approach that sometime gets lost behind the immensity of the potential talent. As an spectator we also need to remember that even if it is the subject we as a nation are most passionate about, it still is a sport and there will always be good and bad days for our talented stars. We need not to look for deeper meaning in every defeat to point fingers... sometimes its just a loss!

  • Ahmed Bilal on May 4, 2010, 15:19 GMT

    very well written !!

  • Kashif on May 4, 2010, 15:09 GMT

    Pakis Could Have Done alot Better Than This everybody Knows that the Pakis r very is unpredictable and that what makes every game tense, stunning and a nail biter, having uncertain climaxes. I wish Pakis All The Best and Hope That They Win Every Game and Eventually Lift The Big Heavy Trophy Go Pakis Gooooo!!!!

  • Majid Ali on May 4, 2010, 15:08 GMT

    This is not on yaar. Why everytime we loosing to Ozi? We whitewash in december. And now this one match we beaten again. We need better batsmans and bowlers. We feilding is very bad. Same from last 20 years. I should be batsmans for them and I will get more runs to winning the match against dam Ozi.

  • saj khan on May 4, 2010, 14:50 GMT

    Hi, I totally agree with Michael's sentiments. Only wish pakistan sometime play with their heads when the situation demands it. Of course that may mean less entertainment for the audience but I would forego that now and then to see pakistan win more matches.

  • MS PATHAN on May 4, 2010, 14:49 GMT

    PAKISTAN DON HAVE BOWLING POWER.AFRIDI CAPATANCY IS NOT GOOD.WHY HE DONT USE ASIF .ASIF IS STRIKER BOWLER.HE CAN TAKE WICKETS.PAKISTAN HAVE NOW ONE CHANCE TO COME IN SUPER 8.IF AUSTRALIA BEAT BANGLADESH.WHY SALMAN BUTT PALYING.HE IS NOT A T20 PLAYET.I LIKE TO SEE IMRAN NAZIR .HE IS GOOD PLAYER FOR T20.PAKISTAN SELECTOR IS NOT GOOD FOR TEAM. AND PLEASE USE ASIF TO BOWL IF THEY COME IN SUPER 8.OTER WISE GO BACK HOME AND SLEEP.......

  • Ammar Moughis on May 4, 2010, 13:58 GMT

    Same here man, good observation! Pakistan in cricket, is just like what Liverpool F.C. is for football.. UNPREDICTABLE! and thats what sport is about for me as a viewer..

  • Noman Yousuf on May 4, 2010, 13:55 GMT

    Wonderful article Michael! You're a treat to read. I being a Pakistani just wish that we could improve our fielding a notch or two. Our win ratio would have been a lot better only if our team could have clung to half the catches they have spilled. Cheers!

  • Mohammad Asad on May 4, 2010, 13:26 GMT

    I fully agree with you. That's why.. though I am Bangladeshi but love to watch Pak cricket. Yeah I do enjoy the beauty of watching Pak Cricket... By the way thanks to Michael for the comments.

    Mohammad Asad from USA...

  • matrixrealoded on May 4, 2010, 12:26 GMT

    Brilliant performance by Pakistan, the team has only 3 players who can bat aggressively afridi, kamran and razzaq. I never blame he captaincy of afridi because he has little option in batting and bowling, in bowling afridi, ajmal and amir. I think the fault lie in team selection where the team best T20 performers Farhat, Nazir, Shahzaib, on the other side mailk and rana face ban imposed by PCB oops sorry Ijaz Butt. Captain and Coach want another seamer in replacement of Gull and Arafat but ijaz butt deny sending Muhammad Irfan a 7.2 ft tall and perhaps a trump card for the team. Ijaz Butt is shameful person and all the country hates him.

  • Mani on May 4, 2010, 11:40 GMT

    A very nice article and i agree with the unpredictability of Pakistans cricket.

  • Abdul Rehman on May 4, 2010, 11:28 GMT

    Nice article, although I didn't understand the last paragraph.

  • Ceeeeeeezia on May 4, 2010, 10:50 GMT

    Very Nice Article. I think its 100% true that you can expect anything from this team even worst .... Enjoy to read this article. Thanx for writing this

  • Ikram Chaudhry on May 4, 2010, 10:20 GMT

    Very well said, its unpredictability of Pakistani team which make you laugh-cry same time :). there are many but still remember 1st T20 final, match in Sharja against Sri Lanka where Razaq took 3 wickets in last over and tied the match :d. I hope Pakistan will go through Super 8 and we will have more fun/Drama to watch in coming days.

  • Nasir on May 4, 2010, 10:17 GMT

    thats right, the joy or sorrow of watching pak team. Aussie were brilliant and the highs and lows of 2 pakistani(sami horror and amir herioc) over describe the match. Wont say a word on pak time bcuz this what we are and how we play so enjoy.

  • Mohammad Aslam Kuwait. on May 4, 2010, 9:55 GMT

    Dear Michel. I love your comments.This is unprdictablity of pakistan team.They make records and any time the turn the table to their side.I was sick and sure that the game is out of Pakistan but still was watching as long as Afridi was playing and was hoping that still A.R.Fawad are there but it was all in vain. I saw the result on P.C. as usual lost.When Kamran and Butt were out the half match was lost but still hopes were there becuase of the power players were there.But our players lookes tired when they came for bowling.I do not understand Afride continueing Hafeez and Asif for what.He should change bowling after every 2 overs as the other teams are doing.I donot know his intention.To A.razzak is not given bowling why???He should have tried Fawad and Butt for one one over.And he should have not continued after 2 overs always.I hope that coach and Afridi should change their plan during the play always if original plan is not working.GOOD LUCK PAKISTAN TEAM for coming games.

  • Javed Ali Shigri on May 4, 2010, 9:29 GMT

    I am unable to understand the decisions made by Afridi during T20 match between Pakistan and Australia. Followings are the questions to be replied by Afridi. Why he gave second over to Hafeez? Why he did not give even a single over to Razzaq? Why he changed Sami when he gave only 7 runs and took one wicket in his first over? Why he did not promote Razzaq in batting order? Why he is under estimating Razzaq?

  • shafiq on May 4, 2010, 9:09 GMT

    Thanks for praising our cricket, when every other one hates us.

    We believe this is our wc, we ll beat aussies in final.

  • Ravi on May 4, 2010, 8:33 GMT

    Very rightly said, Pakistan no doubt is the most exciting team to watch. Miracles are expected and surprisingly, they do happen with Pakistan. They play their game with raw passion and unguided execution. Boom or Bust but that's what we find so exciting!!

  • Mohammed Baluch on May 4, 2010, 8:27 GMT

    Michael Jeh, you are a genius!!! You have articulated beautifully what lovers of Pakistani cricket often feel but fail to express for fear of being branded as air heads! Each cricket team has a role to play on the center stage - the Aussies are mercilessly perfect, the Indians fast catching up, the English and the Kiwis exhorting their strapping youngsters to reach the levels of their Aussie cousins, the Sri Lankans and the South Africans still playing T20 with the mindset of 50 over cricket, and the Windies and the Pakistanis there to entertain - amateur cricket at its best! Pakistanis and the Windies, outwardly so different, but their souls are in resonance, playing with passion, playing to entertain, marching to a rhythm of a bygone era when life was about living and not about succeeding.

  • cric_fanatic on May 4, 2010, 8:05 GMT

    very well written

  • Ashok Sridharan on May 4, 2010, 7:49 GMT

    Dear Mr. Jeh,

    You opened up a whole treasure of memories from a bygone age. I still savour memories of Wasim & Waqar conjuring up their magic balls seemingly at will- not to mention the brilliance of Mushy and Saqlain Mushtaq. To me, Akram's was truly the left hand of God!

    What a pity there's none like them around anymore.

  • owais on May 4, 2010, 7:38 GMT

    Good one - thanks for saying some nice words for Pakistan. But the fact of the matter is that last 15 years Aussies have TOTALLY DOMINATED Pakistan in every aspect of the game. So much so that whipping at the hands of Aussies does not really feel much to an average Pakistani now. Where is our unpredictability here ? So when yours team is playing our team, you can go and catch up on sleep. We cant really get back on our feet in cricket untill we take care of the terrorism mess in our country.

  • Aman on May 4, 2010, 7:38 GMT

    spoken like a true pakistani!

    and yes, yes, i know u were born in colombo.

  • Adnan Idrees on May 4, 2010, 7:35 GMT

    Very interesting read, giving a new prospective to Pakistani cricket team. Unfortunatly for the fans of Pakistan this unpredictibility sometimes or most of the times are very uncomfortable. Knowing a well placed match can easily slip out of our hands just because of the nature of the attitude our team carry with them. It is personal attitude that counts more then match fixing. A national team simply reflect the way the their nation is. Pakistani population as a whole is laid back and really do not want to be accountable for anything and that reflects in the team. Sometimes this is branded as match fixing other times it is simply internal rift among players or mismanagement by the board. There is always another way of describing one's short fall as a non professional players, management or nation and unfortunatly it again comes down to a nation with lack of education. If a team is able to produce such a show with all the handicaps imagine if they had everything proper like Australia :)

  • Adnan Zaman on May 4, 2010, 7:15 GMT

    Beautifully explained the unpredictability of Pakistan team. You never know what next to come from Pakistan that is why they are so good for game.

  • shoaib on May 4, 2010, 7:14 GMT

    Brilliant article mate, totally loved and agreed with every point of it. Unpredictable but entertaining Pakistan!!

  • aamir on May 4, 2010, 7:02 GMT

    In this fromate of cricket, I Think every criket team has equal opportunity to win and I realized that one cannot think that this team will play extraordinarly.any team whick cliks win

  • umar farooq gujjar on May 4, 2010, 6:55 GMT

    It is after a long time,i see a foreigner praising pakistani players. Unfortunately, Pakistani players hav very less sympthy in international cricket. It is great to see somebody giving true comments about Afridi and Razzaq. infact they r the biggest explosives in international cricket. Thanx for the article...

  • Sathish T on May 4, 2010, 6:33 GMT

    Whatever you have said used to be true about the Pakistani team of 90s. They had some supremely talented cricketers who chose their moments to dazzle. But this bunch of Pakistan is not good at all..so please don't give this bull..this team is capable of pulling off a miracle once in a while that is all...Please show me the exemplary talent you are talking about..Having an odd Mohd Aamer and Mohd Asif or Umar Akmal does not speak of a supremely talented team..A bunch of lunatics is what i will call them

  • Jameel Hussein on May 4, 2010, 6:07 GMT

    Thats so true. Pakistan cricket's unpredictability is what makes them so exciting to watch.

  • masood on May 4, 2010, 6:07 GMT

    Very rightly said.against bdesh they were comfortable with 138-0 in 15 but just managed 172.then bdesh were no where near chasing it than suddenly they were requiring 58 of 36 balls with 8 wickets remaining but in the end pak won by 21.such a see saw.its just the irregularity and unpredictability that make pakistan a team to watch.they will lose a match even when 30 required of 36 balls and 6 wickets in hand and you are assured that they will win but than they lose and one is left with .....feelings.so in a pakistani match you can't know what will be the end and that just make you watch the whole match.

  • hermit on May 4, 2010, 5:42 GMT

    very right. they r the most unpredictable side in the world, winning from nowhere and failing to win some of the easiest matches. but the beauty of pakistan cricket is that it gives a flair, an exciting touch to the game of cricket which one cant expect from the professionalism and technical games of aussies and south africans. cricket is beautiful and pakistan has the biggest role in beautifying it.

  • Muslim Ali on May 4, 2010, 5:28 GMT

    It seems that Wasim is still in pakistani team,Good luck young boy,keep doing,all nation eyes are on you.

  • omair on May 4, 2010, 5:25 GMT

    well,well! what we have here might just nt b acceptable for the people.but to me i adore the way Michael Jeh has put things right.i would,if not totally,agree to the content.saying that,i mean is he might not hav written it perfectly,but to the point.we have seen pakistan in different battles,but their unpredictability has the most value.we would not want to change it to predictabilty like they get into a winning streak like oz's or losing like kenya,zimbabwe.they are best when not predicted.thats what pakistan team is;and no matter what,they will not change.i am a pakistani,hoping pakistan win every game they play; but there's a fear in me(as everyone)that somewhere they might just fall.to see them not fallin i stick around watching even the longest format where leaving and defending the ball is seen more. Pakistan can neva come outta geting suspected for doing wrong since every person believes they are better than what they did(always the case) there's no cricket w/o them

  • Hafiz Afg on May 4, 2010, 5:14 GMT

    Yeah that was good and intresting to read about such kinds of team which both are my favourate team when they are playing against each other and i would like to sea Shoib akhter in the match when they play against Australia.

  • krishna on May 4, 2010, 5:08 GMT

    This column applies for India too.

  • Babar on May 4, 2010, 4:49 GMT

    Sadly a very biased & inclined article. Could have been better if the writer used his love for Australia in more appropriate way.

  • Amar on May 4, 2010, 4:46 GMT

    I always think pakistan is the only team that can rise from dearth in most dire situation , they can make ones heart thump when they bat or ball but they are best when they bowl. They play with lot of vigour and power

  • Ali Shah on May 4, 2010, 4:38 GMT

    hi there, nice article. Can you please let us know that what are the chances of Pakistan qualifying for next stage. By how many runs Bangaladesh have to beat AUS to knock Pakistan out. It will be great if you let us know

    regards

    ali

  • osman on May 4, 2010, 4:37 GMT

    You have highlighted the problem we as Pakistani fans are facing since long. After every match we say "forget it, they are hopeless, no need to waste any more time for these loosers" but when next match starts we cant resist watching it and say " lets just watch five overs" and then we have to sit for whole match.

  • Bhupinder garg on May 4, 2010, 4:27 GMT

    Pakistan players,traditionally, need management and emotional support. They need another charismatic leader at this point of time like Imran khan or even wasim Akram. One who can hold his own in all formats of the game. Shahid Afridi is definitely not one of those. They should nurture Salman Butt by making him captain for shorter formats. He seems to be the only batsman of any class without any controversy surrounding him in this side.

  • ska on May 4, 2010, 3:16 GMT

    Coundnt agree with u more

  • fahad on May 4, 2010, 1:48 GMT

    Spot on Michael!!!

  • Zeeshan on May 4, 2010, 1:31 GMT

    what the hell is Afridi thinking opening the bowling with Hafeez instead of sami and aamer. pathetic without any excuses

  • Majid Shah on May 4, 2010, 1:23 GMT

    Well explained

  • tru2game on May 4, 2010, 1:14 GMT

    So true! I have come tom believe that it's the most difficult job to be a Pakistani cricket team fan... as you are bound to get a heart attack sooner or later, either because of over-excitement, frustration or shock! :S

  • Ray Ford on May 4, 2010, 0:57 GMT

    Fantastic article. I think you've echoed every neutral fan's opinion about the Pakistani team. They've always been incredibly fun to watch!

  • Asif on May 4, 2010, 0:35 GMT

    It is often said that Pak are a side that can switch its game at any time. Perhaps this was true in the past; but not anymore.

    The cricket world has moved on - it has become more methodical, disciplined... thanks to Aus incredible success. I think this is a good thing.

    India has adopted Aus approach - good plan for on field, some super bats and even with an average bowling attack has shown that they can be a power-house.

    Pak is still living in the past - the days of being able to turn it on will not work in modern cricket. The problem is PCB/Pak cricket still has not caught up to this reality.

  • DGP on May 4, 2010, 0:30 GMT

    It's proven, Pakistani fans get the most ulcers. Especially around a series! I'm a case in point :p

  • Mudassar Rana on May 4, 2010, 0:18 GMT

    people might forget the match but the last over was something special. aamir may not be a wasim akram yet but he has the knack of taking wickets.

    i thought the match was eventually lost when taits beamer was allowed because afridi was really enraged. earlier in the dear a slow beamer from razzaq got no balled, apart from these decisions the aussies themselves were 100% on top of their game. david hussey in particular was awesome.

    i hope afridi does learn from his mistakes quickly. i think they are a couple of bowlers short and are missing gul badly. but maybe danny vettori can sleep better!

    as i was growing up the windies were my second favourite team purely for the full entertainment. the pakistani's since the 90's have had the knack of unearthing its natural talent and bringing it to the fore. just imagine there was no corruption you would have a lot more of the talented cricketers coming into the team.

  • Inzi_Fan on May 3, 2010, 23:40 GMT

    Pakistani Cricketer have got three problems to deal with besides playing. 1.ICC which is controlled by BCCI(Indian Cricket Board) 2.Terrorism 3.PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt (MAD OAP)

  • Avi Singh on May 3, 2010, 23:32 GMT

    Well I'm glad to see that you can still retain youir sense of naivety. Most cricket fans lost that after March 2000, and if anything the allegations about 27 players match-fixing in IPL 2 would have simply reconfirmed the cynicism. I unfortunately don't share your naivety- something was up and I'm not going to dream that it just happened to be a happy coincidence.

  • Zarina on May 3, 2010, 23:28 GMT

    Just to like say that is truely a brilliant article, I am a Pakistan supporter and at times they disappoint me,actually more often then not but i can not deny the fact that i continue to watch them for you never know what you can expect. Right now everyones written them off as per usual, they might even prove those people right..but they might come up with something truely amazing and shock the world. Thats what keeps us going and its good to know people appreciate it.

  • Emaad on May 3, 2010, 23:01 GMT

    very nice article! I've always said, as long as Pakistan play cricket, it can never be boring. :)

    However, that match Pakistan couldn've easily have won it, I think Afridi made a tactical issue of sticking to his pre-game strategy, which was to let Hafeez and Sami bowl at the beginning. I think that it might've been a good idea at the begining, but as the game progressed, he should've made a change in plans (perhaps bringing on Saeed Ajmal earlier). Hopefully this was a learning experience for them, and good luck to them!

  • No identity on May 3, 2010, 22:58 GMT

    Fantastic article sir, well appreciated !

  • Ayaz on May 3, 2010, 22:52 GMT

    Hey Michael - thanks for cheering me up. Being the eternal optimist before every game and swearing blindly never to spend time watching them again - its bloody hartd work being a PAK fan!!! :) Now do us a favour and beat the Tigers or lose by an incredible margin!!! By the way are all the future standard Aussies 6ft 2 and build like land rovers?? :)

  • sherry on May 3, 2010, 22:44 GMT

    Pakistani fielding is very poor they drops 2 many catches,stumps i dun think afridi have full of control on their team! opener doing nothing in beginning that's y Pakistan lose the match

  • CD on May 3, 2010, 22:13 GMT

    Shahid Afridi biting a cricket ball. That is all.

  • Za on May 3, 2010, 22:07 GMT

    As a Pakistan fan, I can say I am not impressed. You can look at a team like New Zealand, which has essentially never been as talented as a contemporary Pakistani side player for player. What they have had though is professionalism, work ethic, and dedication. It is about the team, not the individual, and I think that's the issue with Pakistan. It isn't and has rarely been any kind of "team". Look at the fate of two of the heroes from the previous cup - Malik and Khan (c). Pakistan has just banned two of its most successful batsmen in the history of the Pakistani GAME!

    As a Pakistani fan, I do not see Pakistan as a team deserving of keeping the title. India? Sri Lanka? West Indies? New Zealand (my ideal final 4, btw) England? Australia? Every single one of those teams is more deserving.

    The Sydney Test wasn't beautiful to watch. It was watching the pathetic collapse of a side at the hands of the weakest Australian team in the past decade. 4 dropped catches by the keeper? Not pretty.

  • champ555 on May 3, 2010, 21:56 GMT

    I agree word to word micheal. I love watching pakistan's cricket they can change the game any time.

  • VJ on May 3, 2010, 21:50 GMT

    Err....Australia really isnt that good a team any longer...or are you stuck in a time warp ?

  • Ska on May 3, 2010, 21:38 GMT

    It's the Pak Board that accuses its players. No one else does. Why the hell did they ban YK & MdY? Why are they always after Shoaib Akhtar?

    Md Asif though is a great bowler, who takes drugs & gets away with it. Who knows what goes on in the PCB?

  • jameel Khan on May 3, 2010, 21:36 GMT

    Pakistan, Currently one of the worst side in the world without fail, talents all faded several years ago, Waqar is again the worst player to coach.

  • Mansoor Huda on May 3, 2010, 21:34 GMT

    Thank you for a wonderful article Mehbs. I think when Pakistanis play India or Australia, players start putting in 150%. I agree that their performance was ordinary, and Australia was amazingly refreshing, I still thought someone would pull it off even after it was way over!

  • Syed Basit on May 3, 2010, 21:34 GMT

    Great post. On one hand, every Pakistani wishes that they could be as successful and dominating as Australia was 1999-2007...but then again, once victories start coming in so easy, the beauty that is Pakistan cricket will be dead, and the only reason the fans are so passionate and at the same time the biggest critics of the team is because of the sheer unpredictability...

    Ask me any day, and I'll always say: I'd like my Pakistani Cricket team, unpredictable.

  • Rifnas Mohamed on May 3, 2010, 20:42 GMT

    I love Pakistan cricket very much, i never missed any single match after 1997/98 but I learned only one thing from Pakistan

    "THEY ARE ALWAYS CHAMPIONS" BE COURSE ALL THE CRICKET TEAMS ARE FEAR TO FACE PAKISTAN , BE COURSE NO ONE KNOW WHEN THEY PERFORM

    like you said

    "You never quite know what to expect with Pakistan but you expect to be entertained, frustrated or bewitched at every twist and turn of the game"

  • Assad on May 3, 2010, 20:24 GMT

    As a Pakistani supporter, I can safely say that the unpredictability is becoming an irritating excuse for our team's failure. It always looks very bewitching to neutral observers, but for us unfortunate fans, this unpredictability has manifested itself in Pakistan losing several test matches from winning positions..Nonetheless good article...good to hear such praise from the Aussies! :)

  • Piplu on May 3, 2010, 20:17 GMT

    OH! NO! What Afridi done? Why he continued Hafij bowlling. Hafij & Sami must be quit in next game.

  • UQ on May 3, 2010, 20:11 GMT

    Ammazingly engineered article! The selection of experession and everything else complements eachother..Keep it up!

  • varun on May 3, 2010, 19:58 GMT

    that is so true pakistan is most unpredictible team in the world.they r so talented n yet sometimes they play like minnows n when u think they r down n out , they rise n take the cup.most exciting team for sure and these days i love to watch mohammad amir bowl. bowling with that maturity n skill at such young age is really impressive. i hope he stays on scene for a long time to come he'll b delightful to watch.waiting for umar akmal to click, he does have talent but he seems a little short of confidence.good luck pakistan

  • IRAZA on May 3, 2010, 19:47 GMT

    Michael jeh you had written that i believed,what a amazing pakistani cricket you cannot predict what they do next, unbelieveable.This is beauti of cricket, any cricket without pakistani player is no cricket.

  • harpreet singh bhinder on May 3, 2010, 19:42 GMT

    India or Australia going to won T20 2010 No matter what!!!!! Bet it

  • shahid rafique sheikh on May 3, 2010, 19:42 GMT

    very well written sir, it truly explains pakistan cricket, bottom line is you can never tell with our chaps as to what might they get upto next. in this t20 as well much as austrailia and india appear to be favourite for now but pakistan cannot be written off just yet and afridi and company just have to see it that way. pound for pound our team is very strong except that asif needs to come for sami

  • nomy on May 3, 2010, 19:39 GMT

    so true.... love u bro..

  • giraag on May 3, 2010, 19:38 GMT

    the current pakistani team is note even a shadow of the 90's one.. india-pak used to be bad ass competition... right now india is way ahead... complete mismatch

  • Ana on May 3, 2010, 19:34 GMT

    Amazing article ,,..

  • Saad Salim on May 3, 2010, 19:17 GMT

    excellent article

  • joni on May 3, 2010, 19:13 GMT

    well said... hoping the bright future fr this young guy ameer they must hv missed gul

  • Tariq on May 3, 2010, 19:11 GMT

    I've to agree with you not a bit less than 100%. And though I am not sure about the reason, your article has laughed the hell out of me. That's the first article ever related to cricket that I am going to save in my computer. Well done Micheal Jeh!!

  • Nain Tara on May 3, 2010, 18:54 GMT

    Excellent article ...I thnk tht showz y v all ove Pakistan Cricket team n y Pakistanis keep on supportng dm evn v knw its comparativly weak team in da absence of umar gul n many otherz...n I thnk tht is the reason y i wak all nite watchg it till the last ball ....mayb therez sum thng besidez the predictable....!!! Last time i really missed wen razzaq got all out against england in dubai n I thought they wud lose n so i didn watch it...n he won the match 4 us !!! but nywaz I wil keep supportng Pakistan evn though dey lose almost evri match .... but its FUN

  • talha ul khair on May 3, 2010, 18:40 GMT

    very good article,its true micheal. pakistan is such amazing players,,and i have no daut in my mind that the team pakistan will rise in world cup such a birlaint players we had.

  • Akhtar Quraishi on May 3, 2010, 18:40 GMT

    20/20 is game which reqiure a nerves of steel . Pakistani players who wanted learn this unique gift yes you can learn not only from current Ausies but our own Pakistani players likes of Asif,Wasim Raja and the lion of Pakistan Moin Khan.

  • Zafar Mahmood on May 3, 2010, 18:37 GMT

    Michael, you have taken words out of my mouth. What a wonderful article. And yes what a wonderful match this was. As you could not sleep last night, I dont know how many times myself and myfriends got frustrated with Pakistan team and decided never to watch again a game but then this unpredictability of our team makes us watch them again.

    World doesnt know how much talent we have, only if our selectors were honest and given fair chance to players on their merit. I only wish our Cricket board was fair to themself and their country.

    Zafar

  • AM on May 3, 2010, 18:28 GMT

    While I respect the author of this article's sympathetic and appreciative tone for Pakistani cricketers' talents, I have followed Pakistan cricket for over 4 decades and for a change would be very happy to see the unpredictable nature of Pakistan's cricket dispensed with. What Pakistanis do in the cricket field comes as no surprise to me at all. In the early seventies Pakistan squandered chances of winning tests and series against both England and Australia. The difference between the teams of now and then is that the present teams have become even worse than their predecessors in their spectacular collapses when chasing winnable totals. It was only briefly under Imran Khan that Pakistan reversed this trend and actually won from a position of losing. I think Mohammed Aamir has a lot of fire in his belly and really wants to win it all for Pakistan. Only time will tell how long this fire will last, given the sad state in which Pakistan cricket is run. I really worry for its future.

  • Mohsin khan on May 3, 2010, 17:55 GMT

    Well put. Although some would argue that you are trying to find brilliance in mediocrity. Yeah, they are unpredictable and entertaining. But this time around they are certainly weak in the bowling department with Umer Gul missing and several bowlers out of form. There are complications with batting as well where only the openers and Misbah are in form. Umar Akmal is making a waste of his talent by trying to play cheeky t20 shorts. He needs to learn something from Jayawardene. Afridi commited several tactical blunder in the bowling department. Although i must confess if i was at his place i would have gone almost the same way with the kind of resources he had at his disposal. Sometimes Afridi tries to do too much and that brings his downfall. Otherwise, as a Pakistani fan, it was heartbreaking for me the way things proceeded. Australia should be given credit for the way they played. Though this is not the same Australia which we were used to seeing earlier. This australian side

  • Yasir Baloch on May 3, 2010, 17:52 GMT

    hahaha you point out some entertaining thoughts. Well spirit of cricket is when teams fight till the end, no matter how big the opponent. some teams get planning right some teams don't. Thats why I love cricket. Last T20 world competition Pakistan stumbled their way into semifinals and ended up winning. I am glad the team fought as well as they did to reach into the 150's in response to the MASSIVE AUSTRALIAN score of 191. As a Pakistani, I dont mind if Pakistan loose, We know how good our team and players are and game results dont go in your favor always. I just want them to play to their potential. Shahid Afridi (before leaving for the W. Indies) said that he is not worried about win or loss, he wants his players to fight and show their capabilities. Australia team looks very well composed this time around. I hope I see a rematch between the 2 later on in the tournament.

  • khuram on May 3, 2010, 17:38 GMT

    Very well written, especially about the fact what would have happened if Pakistan lost five wickets in six balls. At times Pakistan are treated unfairly and at times Pakistan treat them selves and the fans unfairly.

  • Saad Anwar on May 3, 2010, 17:36 GMT

    awesome dude!!! you are a gem...your writing prowess is growing article by article....

  • uxan on May 3, 2010, 17:31 GMT

    Good One Jeh!

  • Atif on May 3, 2010, 17:28 GMT

    Nothing surprise me watching Pakistan playing against one of the best team and dropping catches(3 of them) and having a poor bowling choices, why did Razaq not used when Hafeez is getting hammered in every over. I am not a professional cricketer but played with one of the top cricketers, one thing I can tell you being a Pakistani living in US that this team need to be given to one of the NFL so they can teach them how to put everything in the game rather spending time in makeup and hairstyles. I do not know why each of these players think that they know everything about the game and even though they win this world cup they do not deserve after watching yesterday's game.

  • Sachal on May 3, 2010, 17:28 GMT

    Haha- Well written mate. And well played Australia. Too bad you guys are getting the tough pool :D Good luck though, cheers

  • zaheer ally on May 3, 2010, 17:18 GMT

    why mohammed asif ls not playing

  • Ali on May 3, 2010, 17:17 GMT

    well the bitter fact is that tauqir zia, miandad,ramiz,amir sohail sarfraz nawaz,shoaib akhtar rashid latif like people destroyed pakistan cricket in the past 10 years they played politics to oppose and degrade players like wasim akram saeed anwar inzamam moin khan razzaq waqar saqlain imran nazir shahid afridi because these players are better than those and they were pro imran khan. this is the reason pakistan cricket is in turmoil.

  • liaqat on May 3, 2010, 17:15 GMT

    what you say is true,, But recent times have made me loose all faith in pakistan cricket, old time they where unpredictable good , Now they have become unpredictably bad

  • Salman on May 3, 2010, 17:15 GMT

    Being a Pakistani myself, I couldn't agree more! Well said mate!

  • ijazkotjaffery on May 3, 2010, 17:06 GMT

    if imran nazir and sehzaib thenis different game asif twenty twenty only young peoples

  • Tahir Aziz Malik on May 3, 2010, 16:58 GMT

    Its all true,Pakistan's fielding and batting are worst as compared to the neighbouring teams and seek more atttention to improve. In bowling, Pakistan is the best.

  • usama on May 3, 2010, 16:53 GMT

    You never know about pakistani team. i hope they will be back strongly. a few things which didnt go in pak favour and that was the introduction of hafeez in early overs,he should have been replaced by afridi. no doubt pakistan miss umar gul.razzaq should have given a chance. or why dont we try him in early overs as we done last year.

  • Sharjil on May 3, 2010, 16:50 GMT

    Hey buddy...i was a little disappointed watching the game yesterday. Although, the noball should've been called, right before Afridi got his stumps knocked out. But oh well...thats cricket:) Lets hope Australia beats Bangladesh, and Pakistan can go onto winning the world cup! Cheers

  • Shehryar on May 3, 2010, 16:45 GMT

    Beautifully written. shame we lost though.

  • umar on May 3, 2010, 16:40 GMT

    carelessness i spart of pakistani cricket n no one do take responsibility inorder to play through out the innings thats y we lost several matches our players dont seem relax in the game

  • Aitzaz on May 3, 2010, 16:35 GMT

    Its the best analysis on Pakistani cricket I have ever read. So true and straighter one.

  • Ghamas on May 3, 2010, 16:31 GMT

    What a wonderful piece of journalism. Hats off to author.

  • M Kay on May 3, 2010, 16:25 GMT

    That was an unusual article. Thanks for the ..erm..praise and commenting on their performances in a positive light.

    It is funny how you say how people would be talking if it was Pakistan's turn at bat for that last over. Eeven though we lost and the over was a bit too late. It was still marvellous!! On par with Yuvraj's 6 sixes. Awesome

  • Vaseem Siddiqi on May 3, 2010, 16:18 GMT

    I accept with TEAM PAKISTAN you do not know what you are going to get but when it all goes wrong which often happens, it is very disappointing and heart breaking for a Pakistani fan.

  • A Khan on May 3, 2010, 16:14 GMT

    thank u for this article, I wish more ppl can see the way u have seen my team. Greatly appreciated.

  • Rizwan Rabbani from Augsburg on May 3, 2010, 16:12 GMT

    Wonderfull articale yes Micheal you right always wonderful cricket from pakistan , i still remember after WC 1999 tour of austrilia ODI and 5 4s from Razzaq to Mc Grath......

  • MARLO, Copenhagen on May 3, 2010, 16:06 GMT

    Good article but have some suggestion for Pakistan here. 1) Sami was always a third class bowler with no sense or mind behind his bowlling. He should be replaced with the world class bowler Asif. Only speed with no brains won't help. 2) Razaq should be given new ball, it will compensate for lack of speed. Afridi should show faith in him. 3) Next time u open with a spiner, get it done by the best u have, Ajmal, and yes keep it to one over and then give one to Hafiz. Rotate bowllers. 3) Aamer should only bowl 2 overs in opening spell so that one of his can be used in the middle when u are out of options. 4) Ask ur bowler to bowl wider ball too. Thats what sami didn't do when David was on song. He didn't bowl a slow or wider but kept on serving the same ball. 4) I have never seen Salman catching a ball, he may have dropped 10 out of 10 through the Aus sommer. Worst catcher. Find a closer field for him. 5)Razaq should be one down. he needs balls to settle and is good at fast.

  • Aijaz on May 3, 2010, 16:05 GMT

    What a unique way to analyze Pakistan Team performance! Actually I think this is the collection of two unpredicted things. Unpredicted Cricket + Unpredicted Pakistan = More thrill and enjoyment.

  • rationalist_for _ever on May 3, 2010, 16:01 GMT

    In my humble opinion, there is too much being made out of this 'mercurial aspect' of Pakistan. Can some one please tell me which cricket team in non-mercurial? If boom or bust philosophy entails the mercurial tag, then the Kiwi batting line up, The English top order, the windies, the Bangladeshis and of course the Lankans would top the list. I happen to believe that this Pakistani side, like any others, plays fairly normal cricket, but suffers from chronic batting collapses owing to paucity of true batting talent which funnily has lent a 'mercurial tinge' to them. Also, the tag hurts them when they get very aware of this unpredictability and try to pull off things way beyond their means. The way the Aussies (with practically their 'C' team) have absolutely hammered them of late is proof enough.

  • Hitesh Lohani on May 3, 2010, 15:58 GMT

    Spot on Michael. The Pakistani side is a very extreme one and you never know which one is going to turn up. In addition to the matches you mentioned above, I remember in 2005 in an ODI series against India, they had lost the first two matches pretty convincingly, only to storm back and take the next four and win the series. Yet amazingly, they are always able to produce such world class bowlers. If the batting were a bit more stable, this team would be on par with the aussies.

  • Ali Hayat on May 3, 2010, 15:57 GMT

    Haha, so true.

    Pakistan Zindabad !

  • Rizwan Younus on May 3, 2010, 15:57 GMT

    Salam to all. Michael what a article so beautifully written and so accurate. Hving witnessed the entire game myself australia looked like a team on mission. A team ready to put right the poor nature of the last t20 world cup however pakistan played there part in a interesting contest. Unpredictibility is one word always used with pakistan cricket the ability of one man to pull off something outrageous something which nobody sees coming. Its early days in the tournament all you pakistan fans out there remember the best teams dont win t20 world cups its the teams that peak at the right time! we have started slowly but thats a good sign mark my words people have faith our boys are dangerous and will come good and when they do to the rest of the cricketing world BE AFRAID!!! kHUDA HAFIZ.

  • Sameer on May 3, 2010, 15:56 GMT

    The author is living in some delusion,THIS pakistani team is average at best , the days of it being termed ''unpredictable'' etc etc are long gone. those players no more exist and the ones that do come out are destroyed by internal politics. While Pakistan still has very good bowling , the batting cupboard is bare . and with ineffective captaincy and constant infighting and politics ( its not an illusion, its true), the lack of international cricket both home and away , I wont class this team anyway near the worlds best teams. its now in the same league as Bangladesh, West Indies etc . its a sad stateof affairs because world cricket needs a strong pakistani side, unfortunately this isnt it.

  • razor on May 3, 2010, 15:55 GMT

    poor article..

  • Abbas Haidery on May 3, 2010, 15:53 GMT

    Thanks Michael for such words of praise and appreciation about our beloved Pakistani team and the way we play our cricket! Indeed we bring the fastest bowlers, the doosras and the fastest run makers to the world stage and the sheer excitement and WOW factor missing in some other teams :) Though I'd say, besides us there is one other team that I always love to watch and that is Australia! You Aussies are more clinical but are at times prone to exploding and certainly carry that excitement factor and besides I always fear that no matter what the situation you guys would be able to pull it off! Plus I always love to watch Aussies field. Pakistan and Australia are certainly the most watchable sides in world cricket! Thx

  • Shahid on May 3, 2010, 15:51 GMT

    Talking about that last over, Aamer is a wonderfull bowler and he was heavy on Australia in all of his 4 overs. Ajmal is doing allright too. Real disappointment is Afridi. Sami was always a burden and I don't know why he keeps on coming back. He can bring u a wicket here and there but in T20 its not only getting a wicket or two. Look at that over where he got hammered, he goes on bowlling at the same spot where David got him once twice and so on. He didn't try a slower one, a yorker or a wider ball. He is totally senseless as he always was. Afridi's captaincy was much hyped but the way he conducted this game was a big shame. Choice of Hafeez and not Ajmal to open the bowling and then staying with Hafeez for more overs at that point was a suicide. Razaq should be given new ball with Aamer and Afridi should faith in Razaq. Aamer should only bowl 2 overs in his first spell so that he can bowl an over when things get tough in the middle. Sami should go out to give place to Asif.

  • Dr Masood USA on May 3, 2010, 15:43 GMT

    Well written my friend. The way I discribe the australia & Pakistan is that Australia play with descipline, planning, homework & hard works & Pakistan play with passion (on their day) not necessariely having all the essentials required but still beat the best in the business. And I love both aussies & Pakistani ways.

    Masood USA

  • Anonymous on May 3, 2010, 15:38 GMT

    I MISSED THE LAST OVER DUE MY CABLE BREAK DOWN...BUT WHAT A FANTASTIC ENDING IT WAS........WHAT A TALENT MUHAMMAD AMER IS..A FANTASTIC FIND FOR PAK TEAM.

  • Ram on May 3, 2010, 15:37 GMT

    Spot on. I just love the Paki cricket team and that's about the only thing I like about that country. But they seem to unearth some talent that leaves me bewildered. Aamir is one of those cricketers I just would pay huge dollar amounts to watch. I am glad Pakistan is a separate country than India for more than 100 reasons and certainly the cricket team is the only one on the good side of things..

  • Jonathan on May 3, 2010, 15:32 GMT

    I believe the last over by Aamir was a thing of a legend. It may be repeated by other teams but most likely not against a World beater like Australia. It is just amazing to see a Camp like Pakistan with all the turmoil within and a total unprofessional board, can still produce some of the most interesting players of the game. It is an awesome sight to see a kid seeing eye to eye to the players that give headaches to the world. Mohammad Aamir may or may not be next Wasim Akram but at that tender age see him operating so cool is just marvelous.

    Australia have the best domestic system for Cricket but on the flip side Pakistan may have the worst to unearth the talent. I believe if Pakistan could instill professionalism in their camp they would be as good if not better than Australi

  • Zaib on May 3, 2010, 15:31 GMT

    All I can say ...Michael BRAVOoOoOoOo .... I watched it till Amir got out for same reason because I remembered his three 6s in vittori's one over :)

  • Umair_umair on May 3, 2010, 15:30 GMT

    "When was the last time a team that lost 5 wickets for no runs in an over comfortably won a cricket match?". There is a difference between "any over" and "the last over" of an innings. Had Australia lost those 5 wickets in, lets say, 10th over, I guess result would have been different. Offcourse its remarkable from Pakistan as it reminds me of Wasim and Waqar Era. But since Australia had already scored 191 in 19 overs. So those five wickets in "last over" had little impact on result. So I think this comment is a bit off the context. Though agree with the rest.

  • Anonymous on May 3, 2010, 15:29 GMT

    "When was the last time a team that lost 5 wickets for no runs in an over comfortably won a cricket match?". There is a difference between "any over" and "the last over" of an innings. Had Australia lost those 5 wickets in, lets say, 10th over, I guess result would have been different. Offcourse its remarkable from Pakistan as it reminds me of Wasim and Waqar Era. But since Australia had already scored 191 in 19 overs. So those five wickets in "last over" had little impact on result. So I think this comment is a bit off the context. Though agree with the rest.

  • Mozzam on May 3, 2010, 15:28 GMT

    Good article, but that does not hide the fact that Pakistan is also the most inconsistent and indisciplined side when copmared to even Bangladesh or Ireland. Yes they can beat the best on their day, but those days are not frequent as before. pakistani fans should not expect any thing big from their team, as they seem to be lacking the hunger and commitment required to go all the way. They will struggle to make it to the semis if they make it to the super eights. For me the semi final line up looks like India, Australia, West Indies and New Zealand/Sri Lanka.

  • Mohsin on May 3, 2010, 15:27 GMT

    Pakistan will not come to semi finals becoz i dont think AFridi can lead the side in a better was first mistake he did was not taking Imran Nazir in squad who was father of BOOM BOOM in hard hittin and agressive attitude and Afridi is lookin old these days just not crossed 30

  • Masood Rehman on May 3, 2010, 15:25 GMT

    quite an intriguing heading "The beauty of watching Pakistan play" .. and yeah Expect the unexpected when Pakistan's playing. :)

  • Saad Khan on May 3, 2010, 15:24 GMT

    When was the last time a team that lost 5 wickets for no runs in an over comfortably won a cricket match? That says a lot about how good this Australian team is.

    This is completely out of context. Yes, had this been during the middle of an innings and the Aussies still won then that would be a miracle. Being 40 runs ahead of a par total (that Pakistan would be lucky to chase with such a fragile batting line up) and losing those 5 wickets makes no difference whatsoever as the result showed.

    Also regarding your comment about if the situation had been reversed 'there would have been the usual murmurings and suspicions about how Pakistan could possibly have lost five wickets for no runs in six balls'. Yes, this is probably what would have happenned, but again, out of context. These suspicions arise because Pakistan's middle order collapses regularly at a crucial stage of an innings in all forms of the game. The Aussies rarely collapse and when they do, they have it under control.

  • Anonymous on May 3, 2010, 15:23 GMT

    "When was the last time a team that lost 5 wickets for no runs in an over comfortably won a cricket match?". There is a big difference between "an over" and "the last over". Had Australia lost those 5 wickets in, lets say, 10th over. I guess result would have been different. So this comment is a bit off the context.

  • Nabeel Ahmed on May 3, 2010, 15:23 GMT

    haha.. great job with the article.. I quite agree with you.. you never know what to expect. The performance of Abdul Razzaq in the second t20 against England in Dubai was pretty much a miracle too when most people thought match is over and he pulled off an innings that lead Pakistan to victory. if you remember last year's t20, Pakistan started badly and then they picked up.. kind of the same scenario here.. let's see if they can pick up this time? Hats off to Australia though. They really played well and showed everyone what they've got!

  • Khurdur Khan on May 3, 2010, 15:18 GMT

    Pakistani Cricket team is worlds most unpredictable side...One day they will be on top and another day they look miserable...Lack consistency...If u all remember world cup 1992...Pakistan was bowled out for their lowest total and they ended up winning the cup...I feel our current team is not good enough to retain champions tag...There are some exciting players however overall as a team they lack that penetration...Also other teams have learned the art of T20 cricket and this year it is going to be wide open...Anybody can win...My top contenders of world champions are ; Australia/India/Pakistan/South Africa......

  • ob on May 3, 2010, 15:14 GMT

    I think Pakistan and India were asked to do too much in 2-days while the hosts and teams from other countries were given relaxing and flexible schedules. India survived, Pakistan did not. It is of course exciting to watch both teams when they are in control. Pakistan missed lot of chance and I can not understand use of off-spinner in the frst few overs. I hope they qualify for the last-8 and pick-up from there. May be another India-Pakistan final in the works.

  • Yasser on May 3, 2010, 15:11 GMT

    well, that's so nice of you for Pakistan cricket, it shows that you are following along the toe-breakers of Waqar, the loud appeals of wasim, the temperament of Inzamam and the sudden death of innings when he usually ran himself out, Aamer over was really amazing so as Mohd Sami who gave 28 runs in an over, Pakistan is unpredictable that's the fact but unpredictable decisions by Afridi in a game against Australia gave them a loss, though i am sure the final most act of unpredictability is not going anywhere, which is larger than life and that is lifting of trophy, if they made it :-)

  • atif on May 3, 2010, 14:56 GMT

    absolutly amazing article.......fine stuff

  • Naz on May 3, 2010, 14:52 GMT

    Delightful yet accurate post/synopsis of Pak cricket! For us fans we'd luv just a few years of the Australian resilience or South Africa's efficiency every 10 yr cycle, but inevitably we are served up with the mayhem and madness of Pak cricket, which on occasion when the moon and stars are in alignment may take someone by surprise.....

  • Anneeq Anwar on May 3, 2010, 14:50 GMT

    Another match and another loss to Australia. I was actually really optimistic about this match. Fair play to Aus tho, and fair play to Pakistan, they didnt hand Australia the victory like they did in Sydney. Again the fielding let us down, we were told so much about the intense fielding camp that Pk had going, looks like they werent intense enough for Misbah. Really wish Umar Gul was in the squad, he would have made a huge difference yesterday!!

  • Talha on May 3, 2010, 14:49 GMT

    Being a Pakistani, i know exactly how it feels to watch your team tightening the grasp around the opponent's neck, only to let it go at the last moment. It's so frustrating! But equally enthralling is to see them blitz a team out of the match when they're almost down and out. I don't think anyone matches the Pakistani side in terms of sheer "unpredictable entertainment"! What good is it to watch an Australian side turn up against most of the teams knowing the eventual result of the match? Pakistan's team is definitely no match for Australia and India the longer the format gets but if you're looking for lightning bolts of brilliance or stupidity, Pakistan has no match. That is why they're so good at twenty20. Hope they dominate at least this format of the game for years to come.

  • IK on May 3, 2010, 14:42 GMT

    very nice article!

  • Faraz (the first Faraz on all of Kamran Abbasi's blogs) on May 3, 2010, 14:40 GMT

    I have to admit Michael, reading your article, did put a smile on my face...of Pakistani dissent and resenting their loss, it becomes an after-thought as to why I did not want to quit watching until it was 40 runs to get from the last over. Had Afridi kept his cool over the non-call for no-ball maybe we would have seen the unimaginable...but we all have to wait another day to see Pakistanis perform like the 007s of cricket - against all odds.

    Pakistan Zindabad!

  • Zafar on May 3, 2010, 14:38 GMT

    What a beautiful article . At last some one seems to be appreciating Pakistani cricket team . Thank you for writing good words for a Pakistani side who always seems to be getting criticism for one reason or another .

  • AminZ on May 3, 2010, 14:34 GMT

    Very rightly said .. after all they are the surprise package of Cricketing world!!

  • Zubair Khan on May 3, 2010, 14:27 GMT

    Excellent article, but i disagree with what you have mentioned here "When was the last time a team that lost 5 wickets for no runs in an over comfortably won a cricket match? That says a lot about how good this Australian team is" At the end of 19th over, Australia had already managed 191 runs and that was more than enough for a team like pakistan who dont like to chase big targets. No doubt that was an excellent attempt by Aamir and Akmal but the game was already lost.

  • Mahmood on May 3, 2010, 14:24 GMT

    You are right Micheal, i think in pakistani team they have no finisher players, they just play for their own cricket, like Salman Butt, now he will play all matches cus he make 73 in first match but look at his fielding he alyaws drops catches and not make runs when needed. i do not know what shoud i write about Pakistani cricket teem, when they will become mature? when they start play for Pakistan ? why they did not drop Misbah/Salman/ and useless Sami, i think M. Yousuf is beter then them, I think we should sack chairman and other stupid employer, like Waseem Bari extra. We need strong people in management, like Majid Khan, Amir Sohail.

  • Umair on May 3, 2010, 14:24 GMT

    Pakistan can win every other team. except Australia and India because they are mentally pressured by them.

  • Brendan on May 3, 2010, 14:16 GMT

    I would opt for the sleep. Chasing a big total, nine times out of ten Pakistan will wilt and fall well short. And in the tenth game they will get slightly close and still lose if they are playing Australia. They are the most constantly humiliated side in modern cricket, with a captain who chews on the ball, a star batmean in Mohammed Younus who has been banned by the country's own board, a star bowler in Mohammed Asif who is still lucky to be a free man after his previous stopover in Dubai, a constantly changing skipper, a coaching job no one will hold down for more than a year and no one from abroad is lining up for, a country no one will tour after the Sri Lankan team bus was riddles with bullets, a coach who passed away in mysterious circumstances at the last World Cup...the list goes on. Entertaining, yes. But for all the wrong reasons - and none of them for cricketing prowess.

  • PakistaniFan on May 3, 2010, 14:15 GMT

    Although, the bottom line is that it does not matter even if some one agrees with it or not. But Pakistan cricket team is the biggest attraction for the game. Let it be in bad way or good. They can make any stupid team look smart and any smartest team look stupid.

  • Ronnie on May 3, 2010, 14:15 GMT

    Yess!! and who could have guessed the final over would be anything like it was.. W.W.W.W.0.W it may be a while till we get to see such thing again.. and a little more than a while, to see that against aussies...

  • Zeeshan Aftab on May 3, 2010, 14:13 GMT

    Nice article. I think there was something wrong in Pakistan squad. Having Razzaq in the team and not giving him to bowl is a serious concern. Why didn't Razzak opened the bowling with Aamir? I think Afridi is not playing a team sport and will pay the price for it.

    Zeeshan

  • PakistaniFan on May 3, 2010, 14:13 GMT

    An Excellent article. I loved the part "I wonder if there would have been the usual murmurings and suspicions about how Pakistan could possibly have lost five wickets for no runs in six balls" that is what I hate about our cricket board and ministries of sports and even few fans. When something like that happens to Pakistan team every one doubts the faith of Pakistani cricket team but when the same happens with any other team they are not asked questions because it is a sport and any thing can happen in the game just like the Sydney test. This is the reason why our team gets in tremendous pressure because even when they are trying their heart out (who knows) they know in their back of minds that if they loose with a big margin or even do few mistakes (which every human or team do all the time) they gonna be taken for investigation about their faith for their country. We should change the thinking.

  • Salman on May 3, 2010, 14:07 GMT

    Michael Jeh Thank you for capturing the experience of being a Pakistan fan. Its Good to know that fan of other side share that feeling. You know your team is out but in the back of your head you always have this hope. This hope has given us many amazing days but many more disappointments. For all their shortcoming we love these guys. they are us and we are them.

  • Zara on May 3, 2010, 14:00 GMT

    Great article. That 5 wicket maiden over really was something special and new. "If the situation had been reversed, I wonder if there would have been the usual murmurings and suspicions about how Pakistan could possibly have lost five wickets for no runs in six balls." So true.. Pakistan cricket cannot live without such murmurings and suspicions.

  • kaifi Mahmood on May 3, 2010, 13:54 GMT

    I am still in doubt that how they manage to recover after a humiliating defeats but they do it in great style,,,,will Pakistan be able to defend there title or not it is a big question and i beleive no one can say that they will defend there title,,,,if anyone can then come up with your reason of that beleive?

  • Khalid Rafique on May 3, 2010, 13:43 GMT

    I would laugh and say that is very true. But I hope that one day, they might get out of experiments.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Khalid Rafique on May 3, 2010, 13:43 GMT

    I would laugh and say that is very true. But I hope that one day, they might get out of experiments.

  • kaifi Mahmood on May 3, 2010, 13:54 GMT

    I am still in doubt that how they manage to recover after a humiliating defeats but they do it in great style,,,,will Pakistan be able to defend there title or not it is a big question and i beleive no one can say that they will defend there title,,,,if anyone can then come up with your reason of that beleive?

  • Zara on May 3, 2010, 14:00 GMT

    Great article. That 5 wicket maiden over really was something special and new. "If the situation had been reversed, I wonder if there would have been the usual murmurings and suspicions about how Pakistan could possibly have lost five wickets for no runs in six balls." So true.. Pakistan cricket cannot live without such murmurings and suspicions.

  • Salman on May 3, 2010, 14:07 GMT

    Michael Jeh Thank you for capturing the experience of being a Pakistan fan. Its Good to know that fan of other side share that feeling. You know your team is out but in the back of your head you always have this hope. This hope has given us many amazing days but many more disappointments. For all their shortcoming we love these guys. they are us and we are them.

  • PakistaniFan on May 3, 2010, 14:13 GMT

    An Excellent article. I loved the part "I wonder if there would have been the usual murmurings and suspicions about how Pakistan could possibly have lost five wickets for no runs in six balls" that is what I hate about our cricket board and ministries of sports and even few fans. When something like that happens to Pakistan team every one doubts the faith of Pakistani cricket team but when the same happens with any other team they are not asked questions because it is a sport and any thing can happen in the game just like the Sydney test. This is the reason why our team gets in tremendous pressure because even when they are trying their heart out (who knows) they know in their back of minds that if they loose with a big margin or even do few mistakes (which every human or team do all the time) they gonna be taken for investigation about their faith for their country. We should change the thinking.

  • Zeeshan Aftab on May 3, 2010, 14:13 GMT

    Nice article. I think there was something wrong in Pakistan squad. Having Razzaq in the team and not giving him to bowl is a serious concern. Why didn't Razzak opened the bowling with Aamir? I think Afridi is not playing a team sport and will pay the price for it.

    Zeeshan

  • Ronnie on May 3, 2010, 14:15 GMT

    Yess!! and who could have guessed the final over would be anything like it was.. W.W.W.W.0.W it may be a while till we get to see such thing again.. and a little more than a while, to see that against aussies...

  • PakistaniFan on May 3, 2010, 14:15 GMT

    Although, the bottom line is that it does not matter even if some one agrees with it or not. But Pakistan cricket team is the biggest attraction for the game. Let it be in bad way or good. They can make any stupid team look smart and any smartest team look stupid.

  • Brendan on May 3, 2010, 14:16 GMT

    I would opt for the sleep. Chasing a big total, nine times out of ten Pakistan will wilt and fall well short. And in the tenth game they will get slightly close and still lose if they are playing Australia. They are the most constantly humiliated side in modern cricket, with a captain who chews on the ball, a star batmean in Mohammed Younus who has been banned by the country's own board, a star bowler in Mohammed Asif who is still lucky to be a free man after his previous stopover in Dubai, a constantly changing skipper, a coaching job no one will hold down for more than a year and no one from abroad is lining up for, a country no one will tour after the Sri Lankan team bus was riddles with bullets, a coach who passed away in mysterious circumstances at the last World Cup...the list goes on. Entertaining, yes. But for all the wrong reasons - and none of them for cricketing prowess.

  • Umair on May 3, 2010, 14:24 GMT

    Pakistan can win every other team. except Australia and India because they are mentally pressured by them.