Politics June 3, 2010

No reward for dignity

Pakistan cricket has its last chance to get its house in order before a tough summer of cricket against Australia and England

Younis Khan seeks justice but in Pakistan cricket there is no reward for dignity © AFP

Pakistan cricket has its last chance to get its house in order before a tough summer of cricket against Australia and England. The Asia Cup might be considered a distraction but it is also another shot at gathering momentum and resurrecting some damaged careers.

Shahid Afridi has put all bans behind him by claiming the national captaincy in all formats, a mighty responsibility. In the absence of viable alternatives, Afridi is the best choice. He is a leader rather than a tactician, and requires a more creative mind to cajole him through those confusing moments in the middle of an international match.

He could turn to his new vice-captain, Salman Butt, although their coupling is virgin. He might consider the repentant sinner that is Shoaib Malik, although their past entanglements suggest otherwise. The same would apply to Shoaib Akhtar, pardoned and toned up for action. What about Kamran Akmal, Umar Akmal, or Mohammad Asif? All sinners too, now forgiven.

Indeed, the PCB has suddenly swapped its jackboot for a velvet glove. Nobody really expected otherwise, even though the routine on this occasion has been even more brazen than usual. Rana Naved-ul Hasan, a player who admitted underperforming on duty for his country, is fortunate that the PCB has lost all notion of justice. Despite some encouraging selections for the Asia Cup, does anybody still respect this cricket administration?

Now only two wounded beasts remain in the wilderness. Mohammad Yousuf perhaps prefers the wilderness? He still has runs in him at Test level but his decision about a return, dependent on the advice of elders, seems unclear and opportunistic. He is too great a batsman to squander his talent with this dithering.

Meanwhile, Younis Khan would welcome a return to international cricket but he will not do it with a compromise. Why should a World Cup winning captain agree to pay a fine when he isn't guilty, especially when he is the victim of a conspiracy? Paying a fine is an admission of guilt, and Younis has too much pride to sell his soul. It is rare for a modern Pakistan cricketer to make a stand on principle. It is even rarer for the current cricket board to admit it has made a mistake. It should. Afridi requires a wise counsel and the summer of Tests requires a middle-order batsman with an average of over 50.

Younis seeks justice but in Pakistan cricket there is no reward for dignity.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • testli5504537 on July 8, 2010, 21:54 GMT

    you call it dignity ...maybe but there is a lot of arrogance in that man along with a lot of talent and in many cases they go hand in hand like Imran Khan etc bu no one is above the country and i know there are players who would grovel to play for there country let alone apologize.

  • testli5504537 on June 30, 2010, 8:05 GMT

    Younis Khan is a Test batsman, most consistent in test scoring at Avg of 65 for last 4 years, but got only 5 test innings in last 15 months. He gets charged up after every good test innings and then do good in ODI. Good test performance resulted in avg of 54 at strike rate of 97 for 2008. If u play the rubbish in test and ignorhim u will louse a star test and sensible ODI batsman.

  • testli5504537 on June 29, 2010, 18:45 GMT

    BRING BACK MOYO, just watch d worst series againgst aussy n new zealand, MOYO was d only player who performed well, india wanted sachin 4 asia cup but sachin didnt go, MOYO 2 yrs younger then sachin wanted to go but PCB didnt take him if d chief devil shoaib malik n consistent controversial shoaib akhtar can b brought back y not MOYO remember my words=MOYO is the best batsman with tremendous technic/exp/ patience required to play in the swinging english tour,there was miandad,then inzi n if not MOYO then no batsman can bat in england with big scores n has d ability to take the team to victory by his batting, if MOYO is not taken to england tour at the end we all will regret not taking him, n plzz avoid all d bullshit lies of MOYO taking oath on quran n other off d field fake issues MOYO IS MOST NEEDED now, cuz pakistan in last 10 yrs has not devoloped any middle order batsman except umar akmal who has d technique to play all 3 formats

  • testli5504537 on June 25, 2010, 4:12 GMT

    But experience requires in condition like England. Inject youngsters but don't forget the experienced campaigners.

  • testli5504537 on June 23, 2010, 21:30 GMT

    dear kamran

    what has happened with onmedica

  • testli5504537 on June 21, 2010, 18:50 GMT

    Javed Miandad is moaning the selectors have not picked Younis Khan ans Sami, and thought the selectors should have picked these experience players. I have a question for Miandad, What have the experience players contributed to Pak team in the last 12 months? The YK,Sami and Yousuf failed miserably for Pak along with other experience players. Sami 1 match wonder (Aust v Pak Sydney). The time is right for the Pak selectors to show foresight and go for young breed.

  • testli5504537 on June 19, 2010, 17:43 GMT

    Glad Pakistan lost.

    Can;t stand them.

  • testli5504537 on June 16, 2010, 0:28 GMT

    Both Pakistan & Srilanka played well in the opening match of Asia Cup. After a good comeback from Shoaib Akhtar & a batting collapse Afridi got it going with a fighting knock. Unfortunately Pakistan could not finish. Malinga ran through the tail to end Pakistan's hope of winning the match. Both youngsters Shahzaib & Umar Amin on debut went AWOL. They struggled against some very good & precise attack of the SL Bowlers. The runouts of the Akmal brothers did not help. Shoaib Malik did nothing to justify his inclusion and struggled like the debutantes.

  • testli5504537 on June 11, 2010, 6:46 GMT

    Dignity? Let me point out two things, his performance in the 2007 WC where poor Bob Woolmer died, his, resigning the captaincy and acting like a clown on the field, his dropped catches at slip, he is a flat pitch bully , like Matthew Hayden of Australia, he is nothing special, and he behaves like a teenage girl, crying about this and that, Yousuf is ten times the batsman that Younis is, and ten times the man that Younis is. Dropping Yousuf is akin to the aussies dropping Greg Chappell or the English dropping Geoff Boycott, how can you drop the best batsman Pakistan has had since Inzy? The guy who broke Viv Richards' record? I hope Pakistan loses 2-0 to the Aussies and 4-0 to England. You get what you deserve.

  • testli5504537 on June 10, 2010, 19:27 GMT

    Ambition is virtous if it can be kept under check. Allowed to run in a disorderly manner it becomes greed & can be a catlyst to implode the organization or team from with in. The controversies of the last several months may have weakened the Pak team, but if the players & management can put their differences behind, out of fissure & fracture will emerge a stronger unit united like no other to overcome & dismantle any opposition that is thrown at them on the playing field. Resolve & application are important contributing factors leading upto, victory in the face of defeat, or going down gracefully & fighting all the way. Waqar & Afridi can improve the dressing room enviroment & stem in the team the confidence to play at the highest level & win matches. Both warriors can bring the team together & mold it in to a potent combination to play cricket to the teams fascinating potential.

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