Butt, where's the logic?
Pakistan's depressing defeat at Trent Bridge has exposed the hollowness of the Pakistan Cricket Board's claims that we are entering a new era in Pakistan cricket. A ruling body with any sense of purpose, process, or principle would have stuck to its guns as, in the words of the Pakistan captain, the new era is only two Tests old.
First, let's put aside the issue of whether or not Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan should have been in the original touring party. They were not. We should also temporarily put aside, although it is difficult, the result at Trent Bridge. It is still one win and one defeat in the reign of Salman. I urge you to focus on the decision to appoint a young captain with a young team. I've been as concerned about the inexperience in this squad as any Pakistan fan. But if these players have been identified as the best to take Pakistan cricket forward they should been allowed a longer run without interference.
Logic suggests that you back that captain and his team. You also back your recently appointed coach, who happens to be one of the greatest cricketers in your country's history. Despite some imaginative spin from Pakistan's cricketing bureaucrats, there is no reason to question the reporting on Cricinfo and elsewhere of the post-match statements made by Salman and Waqar Younis. They were powerful messages that the team required support and time. Indeed, they were a plea for patience. Waqar even questioned why you would recall under prepared Mohammad Yousuf from retirement?
The PCB now claims that both Salman and Waqar were consulted about the decisions to recall Yousuf, drop Danish Kaneria, and call up Raza Hasan, who is undoubtedly a player with immense promise. Many bosses say they have consulted their staff when, in truth, they have merely informed them of a decision. This is the scenario that has played out in the last few days - and it is an unsatisfactory one. Ijaz Butt has instantly undermined the new regime that he contrived to put in place in Pakistan cricket.
But logic has rarely been a factor in the PCB's decision making. Logic would have suggested better use of the resources within the current squad, such as recalls for Yasir Hameed and Saeed Ajmal or a replacement for Kamran Akmal. Logic would not have produced an urgent recall for a retired cricketer who hasn't played first class cricket in months, however great he once was. The time for change of captain or players was between series not in the middle of this one.
In the end, we must hope that Salman and Waqar will brush off this insult. Ironically, the enigmatic relationships within the Pakistan camp will mean that Yousuf is more welcome than Younis Khan would have been, although Younis may have a stronger cricketing case for a recall. But the great unknown is how a damaging relationship between Yousuf and Shoaib Malik can be healed?
The Pakistan cricket team has had other defeats as embarrassing as the loss at Trent Bridge, usually with far more experienced personnel. In addition, poor fielding and poor bowling contributed to the extent of the loss, not just the woeful batting. The best response from the cricket board would have been to avoid meddling and allow the players to respond in more favourable playing conditions away from Trent Bridge. Instead, the board has meddled, and it is this knee-jerk interference that destroys the talent and confidence of Pakistan's cricketers, demoralises fans, and earns the cricket board a reputation as an organisation without vision, skill, sense or logic.
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Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here