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August 2, 2010

2010: Summer of Pakistan

Butt, where's the logic?

Kamran Abbasi
Mohammad Yousuf arrives for his meeting with the inquiry committee set up to look into the reasons behind the disastrous tour of Australia, Lahore, February 13, 2010
Logic would not have produced an urgent recall for a retired cricketer who hasn't played first class cricket in months  © Associated Press
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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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Posted by MSJ on (August 10, 2010, 1:12 GMT)

I don't know why they dropped Kamran Akmal outrightly. With inexperienced batting line-up, he can play as a specialist batsman. It won't be a bad idea to take him into trust, relieve him of wktkeeping responsibilities & draft him in the playing 11 as a pure specialist batsman for a permanent solution. I am 100% sure he will do wonders in that role. Recalling Mohd Yusuf would do no good to team.

Posted by Abdus-salam Ahmad on (August 9, 2010, 13:09 GMT)

I think Pakistan need some good batsman and very fast bowlers. I think this is a a good team for Pakistan.

Salman Butt Umar Akmal Younis Khan(Captain) Mohammed Yousuf(Vice captain) Fawad Alam Zulqarnain Haider(Wicketkeeper) Mohammed Aamer Umar Gul Saeed Ajmal Shoaib Akhtar Mohammed Asif

I think this is a good team for Pakistan. Mixed with very good batsman and very good bowlers.

Posted by bilal on (August 9, 2010, 7:08 GMT)

pakistan will rock one day

Posted by gallant_cricketer on (August 7, 2010, 20:31 GMT)

Provincial prejudice would be a valid argument if PCB were using any negative logic. But they aren't - they are being simply devoid of logic, positive or negative. Punjab and Sindh are brothers and the bigger brother is not doing a good job at all for itself or anyone else, let alone thinking of any Punjab-Sindh issues. So making it a provincial bias issue achieves nothing but cause inflammation and thus the argument itself is illogical. It seems that logic is more rare than one would expect when it comes to cricketing matters in Pakistan.

Posted by Kamran Sekha on (August 6, 2010, 21:48 GMT)

The simple answer to the main question "Butt, where's the logic" lies in Salman's butt and not in his brain.

Punjabis are running and ruining Pakistan cricket. This team has all Punjabis and none from Karachi (Kaneria is axed now).

Sad state of affairs as Punjabis made us lose two wars to India also.

Posted by gallant_cricketer on (August 6, 2010, 0:25 GMT)

Hanif wrote "very soon we will call PAKISTAN what is PUNJAB now". Saying such things only adds fuel to the fire and are least sporty in nature. If you are Hanif, the great opener, please be sporty and say something constructive without whining about Shoaib and adding a provincial, religious, or political twist to what is already a dismal situation.

Posted by M.TAHIR FROM SPRINGFIELD on (August 5, 2010, 20:03 GMT)

Kamran Bhai what the hell is everybody talking about Yousuf's form ...ONE fifty by all our in form middle order..and we are comparing forms with a legend(Yousuf).There is asaying in our language A DEAD ELEPHANT IS WORTH ONE AND A HALF LAKH.THIS ENTIRE PAKISTANI TEAM'S BATTING COMBINED TOGETHER CANNOT MATCH YOUSUF'S CALIBRE.YOUSUF IS A GIANT AMONG THESE PYGMIES(ACTUALLY THERE SHOULD BE ANOTHER WORD INVENTED FOR THESE PATHETIC BUNCH OF "BATSMEN"..)Umar akmal should also be "rested" for the entire series..Fawad should be given a chance along with Yasir.They are both fighters and will do good in tests.Razzaq shoul come in place of malik,particularly in english conditions..Razzaq can also be a Handful.Malik is only good on sub-continental pitches..nothing against him but time and again he has shown he cannot bat in these conditions,and fast paced pitches.He also does pretty good in sri lanka wher all the pitches are not so easy to play but they are not fast paced.May god help this team ...

Posted by Taz on (August 5, 2010, 19:28 GMT)

Kamran has been axed for the second test - coaches showing some sense at last. Yousuf will not be playing due to tiredness.

btw, I totally disagree with many people saying Yousef shouldn't have been picked and that they should have stuck with the youngsters. The two Y's need to be in the team, as seniors and mentors, that's how the kids will learn. This is how other stars learned in the past, from their seniors. Otherwise, what will the youngsters learn all alone - how to get thrashed game after game? Not very motivating for them!

Taz

Posted by 4,0PAK LOOSES,GAIN EXP on (August 5, 2010, 19:09 GMT)

TEST IS THE REAL TEST OF TALENT, no one in d pak squad would b given d imp of test cricket, they should remember their r more test fans today then for one dayers,except for ameer/asif/salman(not as a captain) no one deserves to b in d team,these kids batting talent is of 20/20 on flat sub con picthes,if MOYO yaseer hamid and even younis khan is included be prepared to listen salman butt closing ceremony after 4th test" yes, we lost badly all the 4 test but these young batsmen will get experience TO HELL FOR D EXP OF 20/20 MINDED BATSMEN, pcb jokers r 10 years late, they didnt blossomed any middle order batsmen in last 10 years,so paki fans dont wanna c nontalented batsmen getting experience of english condition WE WANT PAK TO WIN 3,1

Posted by Khalid Arif Siddiqui, Jeddah - S. Arabia on (August 5, 2010, 17:24 GMT)

The article is very well written & lays out the facts without mincing words. Agreed that Salman & Waqar shud have full support/backing of the board & this young team shud be given some more time to settle down. Sending Yousuf may look in appropriate knowing that he has not played any cricket for the last 6 months. Salman, as we are led to understand that he is a bit upset about it, if that really is the case then he shud also be upset with Malik's presence as he too did not play any cricket after that Aussie tour, yet he is there & playing (2 tests 4 inngs scoring 83 runs @ 20.75), I think Yousuf will at least be better than him. The question here is that if Malik is acceptable to Salman then why is there a problem having Yousuf, is this because Malik is Salman's buddy. Salman must keep personal likes & dislikes aside & behave like a team leader, he shud concenterate on how to get the beat out of Yousuf who a seasoned campaighner, he should stay as far away from Malik for his own sake.

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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 editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. @KamranAbbasi

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