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July 20, 2010

2010: Summer of Pakistan

Boom Boom goes bust

Kamran Abbasi
Shahid Afridi's decision to retire midway through the series is disappointing  © Associated Press
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Shahid Afridi's decision to quit the captaincy of the Test team and retire from the format has caused a crisis quicker than anybody could have expected. The reaction has been mixed. Afridi has been blamed, and so has the PCB. Others have sympathised with Afridi's plight and praised him for his honesty.

After a weekend of reflection I remain disappointed with Afridi's decision. Yes, it is admirable to be honest and admit your limitations, and perhaps it is best for Pakistan cricket to move on quickly. And, yes, ultimately the cricket board is responsible. But with power comes responsibility and Afridi is experienced enough to know what he was letting himself in for.

My view is that Afridi should have waited until the end of the Australia series before making a decision. Ideally, he would have decided to fight through his own limitations, establish his role in the team, and grow into a worthy captain over this summer. Indeed, there were signs at Lord's that, despite the defeat and an inexperienced batting line up, some of the magic ingredients of Pakistan cricket had returned.

Instead, Afridi is gone and Pakistan cricket is in an even worse mess than before. Mr Boom Boom has gone bust, and he has disappointed his many fans with a lack of tenacity and determination to overcome the odds stacked against Pakistan cricket.

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Posted by bilal on (August 30, 2010, 12:02 GMT)

this recent controversy is completely ridiculous.this players whodid matchfixing should be banned for half a decade.absolutely disappointing to all fans of pakistan all over the planet. PCB should think seriously about dis comments.

Posted by cricket_fan_1 on (August 30, 2010, 6:42 GMT)

Afridi may be sad, certainly not jealous of Slman Butt anymore. Should be releived that he doesn't have to deal with the latest controversy of Spot-fixing at lords. Its all for Salman Butt to clean the mess.

Posted by waterbuffalo on (July 29, 2010, 6:41 GMT)

Well Pak beat Oz for the 1st time in 15 years, mainly because Ponting is a blithering idiot, but a win is a win, let's hope we win the toss and bowl first, and we might have a chance at Trent Bridge, and Pakistani fans, I hope the tickets are not too expensive, 30 quid for a weekday? That is ridiculous, do they think all Pakistanis are millionaires? It doesn't matter if we lose, but we must go down fighting, go get em boys. And good luck to Salman and Waqar.

Posted by Badar on (July 25, 2010, 1:14 GMT)

I am so upset with the negative comments about Pakistan cricket team. Every commentator and cat and dog has undermined Pakistan cricket. I want to tell them even after the circumstances that Pakistan is facing internally their team is most successful in T20 they are struggling in test cricket because they have not played proper test matches for some time. I am sure it only matter of time for Pakistan to show these so called critics that the Pakistan cricket team was down but it was not out.

Posted by Khan on (July 24, 2010, 2:16 GMT)

Obviously the dolts at PCB, bereft of any vision, forced Afridi to lead the team in a version of the game that he had already ready retired from. Despite his talents Afridi has never displayed the sporting intellect that is necessary in Test cricket. At least he had the honesty to admit it.

Instead I would get rid of incompetents such as Ijaz Butt-head and others who pressured Afridi into donning the captaincy for the sake of 'national interest' or some similar piece of invented nonsense.

Posted by saiful ansari, Leesburg, VA, USA on (July 23, 2010, 23:18 GMT)

This morning Aamer was back to help Asif. The wickets of Ponting, Clarke & Hussey tumbled to turn the tide in favor of Pak. Paine & Smith played a very useful rear guard & Smith's defiant 70+ was a great knock from a youngster. It gave the Aussie attack 180 runs to defend. An early dismissal of Salman Butt sent tremors in Pak dressing room. But Imran Farhat & the Young rising talent Azhar Ali steadied the ship. It was a sigh of relief for Pak fans to see for the first time in many years a 100+ runs stand from a Pak Opener & one down batsman. Two quick dismissals, were enough to put pressure back on Pakistan. 40 runs are required to win with 7 wickets in hand. Yet it seems like a uphill task. After all you do not win against a team like Australia till the last ball is bowled or you show the courage to chase the last run. Only tomorrow will tell if Azhar Ali & Umar Akmal can cross this hurdle or they need all their mates to do the job. BOYZ must taste victory, forget Sydney to become Men

Posted by Mr. Umair Rizvi on (July 23, 2010, 19:49 GMT)

What is common amongst Imran Farhat,Salman Butt, Azhar Ali,Umar Amin,Umar Akmal and Kamran Akmal. Well, other than being born and raised in Lahore they are a team representing Pakistan. And I hope the whole nation can agree on one thing," Talent growns on the Lahori soil. Take for example television, all the senior artists working in Karachi for so long all hail from Lahore. from stage, theater, films to Tv serials. We should honor the great Lahoris instead of criticizing PCB for being discriminating against Karachi players, LIke Hasan Raza, Asim Kamal, Fawad Alam Kaneria and others. p.s. I am a pure Karachite. But i love my Cricket team.

Posted by saadbaba on (July 23, 2010, 12:19 GMT)

Afridi's decision of retirement was not good because he was the most seniour player in the playing 11,instead he should have try to develop his batting technique and patience.

Posted by Saiful Ansari on (July 23, 2010, 3:58 GMT)

The response from Pak bowlers was BANG - after Boom to Bust episode. The Aussies were skittled for 88 one of their lowest scores. As usual Pak batting again did not come good. Except for Salman Butt, Farhat, Azhar & the unlucky (to be out) Umar Amin the rest of the batting includng Akmal brothers did not come to party. Pakistan again proved that they either do not understand the art of batting in tests or could careless. In the 2nd innings at Headingly, the Aussies came back strongly. If Ponting & Clarke stay at the crease till lunch tommorow, Pakistan will need to chase a big score in their second innings. We may have a repeat of Sydney, unless the bowlers can get their act together & bowl at a fuller line & length (as in the first innings). Today,except for Mohammad Asif,our strike bowlers seemed absent. Salman Butt needs to talk to his bowlers, play with an attacking field, & hope that with a bit of luck&application his team can close the game to tie the series.

Posted by huni on (July 21, 2010, 11:49 GMT)

Afridi's decision was best in the interest of team and himself.He knows exactly the importance of every match and was wise to call it a day otherwise he would have demoralized others with his performance in the second test.Secondly he doesn't have to exhaust in the field by playing the seconf test. He has now time to think over his future prospects and there is no doubt whatsoever that he is a great asset to Pakistan cricket team.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kamran Abbasi
Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Asian columnist for Wisden Cricket Monthly and wisden.com. Kamran is the international editor of the British Medical Journal. @KamranAbbasi

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