England September 15, 2010

Fielding is important to Pakistan? Sez who?

No coach, nothing on the introductory video - why should Mohammad Irfan practise diving and catching?
53

Sunday, 12th September No one likes fielding, apart from Jonty Rhodes and one or two Australians who have probably spent too much time in the sun. Fielding isn’t natural. Most players need to work incredibly hard at it just to reach a level where they won’t embarrass themselves on television and even then, they can only keep it up for so long. England started the summer well, but it’s wearing off and they too are back to stumbling and slipping about in the field like newborn foals taking their first tentative ice skating lessons.

It came as something of a surprise therefore to hear the estimable Mr Afridi castigating one of his own players, the genial green giant Mohammad Irfan, for not acquitting himself well in the field.

"I'm really disappointed with this guy," said The Boom, "Cricket is not all about just batting and bowling, nowadays fielding is very important.”

This is rather harsh, I feel. Irfan could be forgiven for complaining that they’d said nothing about fielding being important when he sat through the “So You Want to Play For Pakistan?” introductory video, nor had it featured at any of their training sessions. Pakistan don’t even have a fielding coach, which is just as well, because the poor chap would by now be heavily sedated and occupying a padded cell in one of the nation’s more secure facilities for the terminally bewildered.

Monday, 13th September An odd little competition, the Champions League, but it was fun to watch Makhaya Ntini loping to the crease again today as some Warriors had a splendid time beating up some Bushrangers. And thanks to British Eurosport, or more accurately, to their accountants, we were spared the experience of a studio full of dull men in open-necked shirts telling us what we already knew. This no-frills, straight-to-the-stadium approach is excellent. Now if we could just get rid of those commentators…

Tuesday, 14th September The never-interesting dispute between those abbreviated titans of Caribbean cricket, the WIPA and the WICB rumbles on like a persistent cough. Today’s meeting kicked off when Tweedledum, head quibbler for the WIPA, complained about the omission of Ramnaresh “Hamstring” Sarwan from the list of centrally subsidised failures. Tweedledee, official bickerer for the WICB, brushed aside these complaints and suggested that the WIPA were just arguing for the sake of it.

These formalities aside, the meeting turned to further hotly contested issues. There was an interesting discussion about the desirability of cats as opposed to dogs, a stimulating debate on the relative merits of the two gentlemen’s mamas and a most enlightening exchange concerning the correct pronunciation of “potato”. Proceedings were brought to a close after a brief but vigorous swapping of fisticuffs and some open and honest hair pulling. Both sides agreed to do it all again next week.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Fahad Tanwiri on September 16, 2010, 6:22 GMT

    If the crowd doesn't get humor then be it.

    Andrew the article was brilliant! *thumbs up*

    @OTHERS: Guys, google the word 'SARCASM'.

  • Muhammad Ali on September 16, 2010, 5:45 GMT

    Sad but true article. As for the Ijaz Ahmed Debate. They may as well not have a fielding coach at all. Give the guy some credit for bringing a bit of humor into the article. The state of cricket here these days... i'll take a smile with open arms

  • Jiten on September 16, 2010, 5:32 GMT

    who says pakistan can't field??? They field very well but for their opponents lolz.... It's a bit difficult to win against pakistan if their fielders don't drop catches & don't miss easy runouts!!! So, thumbs up for their contribution in the wins of their opponents....cheers

  • Ari DeAndrado on September 16, 2010, 3:23 GMT

    Andrew,

    That was great. Had me in peals of laughter.

    I think players from the subcontinent save perhaps the Sri Lankans (with the exception of Arjuna Ranatunge) do not take fielding seriously. Not sure why that is?

    I bet you'll get some abuse from some for this artilce, but keep it up. Writers like you bring a comic dimension to cricket, and keep the sport grounded by providing a humorous rejoinder that cricket is a sport to be enjoyed, win or lose. Take heed effigy burners of the sub continent!

  • Ozbuck on September 16, 2010, 2:32 GMT

    Mmmm..cricket is about hand-eye coordination. Ball bashers and leather flingers have it, particularly at test level. These same people from Pakistan seem to lose this ability in the field. Australia in the early 80s were similar. They recruited Bob Simpson, the greatest slips ever (catches/test). He taught hard work using simple drills and the fielding improved dramatically. Funny about that! Love the lines of the place for the terminally bewildered. Maybe Mr. Ahmed is already there? If not, maybe he is the stand in coach. Would you admit to being the fielding coach of Pakistan?

  • Junad on September 16, 2010, 2:00 GMT

    I don't think this a sad article. In fact it points out a fact that Pakistan is just not good at fielding. Okay so they have a fielding coach, so who is that again? Ejaz Ahmed? And that suppose to fix all their fielding problems. Get real.

    Pakistan cricket is in shambles, PCB is a joke, how can anyone take anything seriously that is to do with Pakistan cricket and PCB when they keep giving world reasons to point a finger at them and laugh?

  • Dickson on September 16, 2010, 0:47 GMT

    To those of you who are saying that he's wrong about Ijaz Ahmed, what he's saying is slapstick - in that Pakistan's fielding is so poor at times it's like they have no fielding coach.

  • Adam Steele on September 16, 2010, 0:43 GMT

    Great article mate... and yes us aussies must luv fielding because we get this thing called sun most of the way through the summer.. and even though the pakis do have a fielding coach it would appear that he is not really getting much through to the players lol all in all great article

  • clivejw on September 16, 2010, 0:19 GMT

    Well, if Pakistan do have a fielding coach, he obviously isn't any good.

  • James D on September 16, 2010, 0:10 GMT

    As a long time reader Andrew, and fellow countryman, i find your writings extremely funny. Any person who seeks to criticise on factual inaccuracies in a comedy article is surely a most unfunny person themself.

    Please continue to produce the hilarious articles you do as each one brings a little sarcastic humour to my life.

  • Fahad Tanwiri on September 16, 2010, 6:22 GMT

    If the crowd doesn't get humor then be it.

    Andrew the article was brilliant! *thumbs up*

    @OTHERS: Guys, google the word 'SARCASM'.

  • Muhammad Ali on September 16, 2010, 5:45 GMT

    Sad but true article. As for the Ijaz Ahmed Debate. They may as well not have a fielding coach at all. Give the guy some credit for bringing a bit of humor into the article. The state of cricket here these days... i'll take a smile with open arms

  • Jiten on September 16, 2010, 5:32 GMT

    who says pakistan can't field??? They field very well but for their opponents lolz.... It's a bit difficult to win against pakistan if their fielders don't drop catches & don't miss easy runouts!!! So, thumbs up for their contribution in the wins of their opponents....cheers

  • Ari DeAndrado on September 16, 2010, 3:23 GMT

    Andrew,

    That was great. Had me in peals of laughter.

    I think players from the subcontinent save perhaps the Sri Lankans (with the exception of Arjuna Ranatunge) do not take fielding seriously. Not sure why that is?

    I bet you'll get some abuse from some for this artilce, but keep it up. Writers like you bring a comic dimension to cricket, and keep the sport grounded by providing a humorous rejoinder that cricket is a sport to be enjoyed, win or lose. Take heed effigy burners of the sub continent!

  • Ozbuck on September 16, 2010, 2:32 GMT

    Mmmm..cricket is about hand-eye coordination. Ball bashers and leather flingers have it, particularly at test level. These same people from Pakistan seem to lose this ability in the field. Australia in the early 80s were similar. They recruited Bob Simpson, the greatest slips ever (catches/test). He taught hard work using simple drills and the fielding improved dramatically. Funny about that! Love the lines of the place for the terminally bewildered. Maybe Mr. Ahmed is already there? If not, maybe he is the stand in coach. Would you admit to being the fielding coach of Pakistan?

  • Junad on September 16, 2010, 2:00 GMT

    I don't think this a sad article. In fact it points out a fact that Pakistan is just not good at fielding. Okay so they have a fielding coach, so who is that again? Ejaz Ahmed? And that suppose to fix all their fielding problems. Get real.

    Pakistan cricket is in shambles, PCB is a joke, how can anyone take anything seriously that is to do with Pakistan cricket and PCB when they keep giving world reasons to point a finger at them and laugh?

  • Dickson on September 16, 2010, 0:47 GMT

    To those of you who are saying that he's wrong about Ijaz Ahmed, what he's saying is slapstick - in that Pakistan's fielding is so poor at times it's like they have no fielding coach.

  • Adam Steele on September 16, 2010, 0:43 GMT

    Great article mate... and yes us aussies must luv fielding because we get this thing called sun most of the way through the summer.. and even though the pakis do have a fielding coach it would appear that he is not really getting much through to the players lol all in all great article

  • clivejw on September 16, 2010, 0:19 GMT

    Well, if Pakistan do have a fielding coach, he obviously isn't any good.

  • James D on September 16, 2010, 0:10 GMT

    As a long time reader Andrew, and fellow countryman, i find your writings extremely funny. Any person who seeks to criticise on factual inaccuracies in a comedy article is surely a most unfunny person themself.

    Please continue to produce the hilarious articles you do as each one brings a little sarcastic humour to my life.

  • Mudassar Rana on September 15, 2010, 20:58 GMT

    good article andrew. guys it should be taken in the sense it was meant - i.e ironic, sarcastic.

    so what if ejaz ahmed is the so-called fielding coach - judging by this summer he might as well not be there. To be honest it is better for ejaz if he is not the fielding coach otherwise he could be in court for serious dereliction of duty.

    Afridi spoke out against irfan but failed to say anything when shoaib dropped one in the first one dayer! Pakistani's have been dropping catches for ages infact had they been held maybe pakistan would be somewhere north on the icc rankings and not disappearing out of sight.

  • M HASEEB on September 15, 2010, 20:39 GMT

    Pakistan does not need a fielding coach. It can do well with a betting coach.

  • Anonymous on September 15, 2010, 20:32 GMT

    @umar As a Pakistani

    I think the current furor against the players from Pakistan is warranted warranted even if proven till guilty.

    U cannot fall for something like this EVEN IF IT DOESN"T change the outcome of the game. It's stupid immature, mostly naive and these guys should be banned from international cricket if found guilty, yes even Amir.....

    PCB hasn't made things better.

    If u want to slay that creature u have to take the PCB chief's selection de-politicized by taking it away from the President. of the country.

    A constitution would be nice too.....

  • Mohammad Assad on September 15, 2010, 20:24 GMT

    Not sure whether "Pakistan don’t even have a fielding coach" was sarcasm given our pitiful performance in the field...or actual misinformation on the authors part..

    Never the less, the bit about Pakistan was hillarious!!

  • Matt on September 15, 2010, 20:19 GMT

    Why do Pakistan fans have to take everything so seriously! please just take the jokes that are set your team's way just like everybody else and have a laugh!

  • David on September 15, 2010, 18:45 GMT

    India suxx at fielding as well!!......i dnt see a great difference..:P

  • Muhammad Ehsan on September 15, 2010, 18:19 GMT

    Give green shirts buckets for catching cricket ball! Add Indian and the West Indians to this article also, they too catch like somebody using feet instead of hands to catch kookaburra.

  • Nathan on September 15, 2010, 17:47 GMT

    Apparently, people think that just because Andrew missed the point that there IS a fielding coach for Pakistan, the article is not funny. Ha ha. Apparently, not all readers of this blog have what is called, logical reasoning. Andrew, keep up the good work :)

  • Syed Abbas on September 15, 2010, 17:33 GMT

    Fab Article Andy !

    Funny as... and serious as ....

    Folks we need to chill out. Andy's take on the fielding is very general. As far is the coach debate for Pakistan goes.. Ejaz Ahmad was a good batsman and a good fielder, but as coach ummm...not sure.

    His focus has remained so much to fix Pakistani batting ( 4 times they got out under 100 on this tour) and I am sure fielding was not the Ist priority.

    As far as Afridi and his comments are concerned, I feel he is gifted player, possessed by spirits. His ball biting, pitch jumping incidents were the funniest I could remember. So while he needs to comment about the good, the bad and the ugly, he should think twice before he speaks. Infact I was Afridi, I would double that ! lolz

    Irfan was definitly dissapointing, and for a country like Pakistan, with pedigree's of talent waiting to be picked.... this should be pointed towards selectors. what good is his height when he is an average bowler ?

  • mudasir on September 15, 2010, 17:03 GMT

    1)kamran Akmal 2)Abdul Razack 3)Mohd Yousuf 4)Shahid Adridi 5)umer Akmal 6)Asad Shafiq 7)Mohd Hafeez 8)Fawad Alam 9)Umaer Gul 10)Saeed Ajmal 11)Shoaib Akther

    for the next ODI

  • Pansy on September 15, 2010, 16:52 GMT

    serious cricket talk aside, Andrew Hughes articles always brighten up my day. Love his sense of humour.

  • Amjad Afridi on September 15, 2010, 16:38 GMT

    i think we are stupid enough that every single soul is doing to us what ever they want to and putting us in what ever they want and by reading a few comments here its clear that we always fall for a trap. the author might have tried a bit humour here which mostly he does and quite rightly so, but by saying Pakistaing have no fielding coach, its stupif of us to actually fall for this trap and like gentlemen just identify the mistake we started fighting with each other. so what if Afridi said something to Irfan? he is the God damn captain of the team. if he is not allowed to say something to the team then what the EF is he captain for? i dont think there is any captain on this earth, dead or alive, who was as much criticized as Ricky ponting by the same media but look at him where he stands now after getting the support from his own team/country/board and latter on media. what are we giving to our captain/team? bashing him for his acts which is fully given by the board? just relax guys

  • Ska on September 15, 2010, 16:19 GMT

    After reading this article, I was almost certain that there'd be at least one reply from Mr Hughes for all or some of the comments because each time an article as bizzare as this is written up a reply invariably follows. Waiting ...

  • Aadil on September 15, 2010, 16:07 GMT

    Hehehe. you did it again Mr. Andrew. Extremely boring article. Writing funny articles comes natural to someone; this article shows that you need to think about writing a humourous aricle again...

  • TimeBeing on September 15, 2010, 16:04 GMT

    Even if Ijaz ahmed is a ridiculous choice as a fielding coach but this article reveals your 'half-knowledge' (that Pak even has a fielding coach) Andrew.. & also.. that you need to learn more before just randomly picking up the pen and scribbling your thoughts. And that can be done easily, just start reading and observing a lil more. Good luck.

  • Jahangir Ahmed on September 15, 2010, 15:58 GMT

    Don't think moh. Irfan should've been brought into the national side to quick. What happen to people like iftikhar anjum and yasir arafat? They both are fimilar with english conditions both currently playing county there and performing really well. Makes no sense bringing someone who has barely played professional cricket over someone who has so much experience and is in good form. PCB management again fails.

  • Aijaz Ansari on September 15, 2010, 15:54 GMT

    Were you trying to be funny?

  • Raja Sher Yar on September 15, 2010, 15:33 GMT

    very good article, Mr Afridi should be as severe on the seniors who had an habit of dropping catches, and should not demoralized youngster who is playing only his second match, Mr afridi did not said anything when Shioab Akhtar drop a crucial catch of his bowling in first t20.

  • Shaks on September 15, 2010, 14:26 GMT

    Just a terrible team all round

  • hamzamalik on September 15, 2010, 13:41 GMT

    shafiq asad good performence

  • Anonymous on September 15, 2010, 13:06 GMT

    I don't understand what they know about cricket. Why they not bringing opener abdul raziq

  • baloch on September 15, 2010, 13:02 GMT

    its not fair pakistan.

  • sriram on September 15, 2010, 12:24 GMT

    sad article...

  • Fakhar Masood on September 15, 2010, 12:21 GMT

    Afridi's outburst at Irafan resembled Yousaf comments about Butt that he was lazy. I think no captain is worth his salt should openly criticize his teamates. Where was Afridi when Kamran, Aemer, Omer and many others were dropping catches left and right? I think fielding abillites can be improved but concenteration and reflexes are God given talents that people are born with. The best way to have a good fielding team is to recruit good fielders and drop poor fielders so that they don't hold their teams back. Fowad, Malik, Miandad, Younis and Afridi are good examples that a good fielder has to be good athlete as well. Yousaf, Akhtar, Butt, Denish are good examples of average athletes who have been the worst fieldes in the team. They can't be developed in to good ones. A coach can't make them catch the ball. They have to be born with good hands/grip otherwise it ain't gonna happen. Fakhar Masood Huntsville AL USA

  • Hassaan on September 15, 2010, 12:15 GMT

    "because the poor chap would by now be heavily sedated and occupying a padded cell in one of the nation’s more secure facilities for the terminally bewildered."

    hahahaha....owsum line....sums up the situation of Pak's fielding every bit...

  • sharat on September 15, 2010, 12:04 GMT

    super article mate! lover every bit.

  • khan on September 15, 2010, 11:14 GMT

    Seriously though, Ijaz ahmed is a ridiculous choice for a fielding coach

  • Ravi Kumar on September 15, 2010, 10:49 GMT

    Amazing Andy, Slapstick...You really know how to write and what to write...Way to Go...Kudos...

  • Shahzad on September 15, 2010, 10:31 GMT

    I think Mohammed irfan needs sometime to adjust in the international atmospahere.In international cricket you always have a pressure from the opposition and crowd.

  • FAISAL on September 15, 2010, 10:23 GMT

    Sorry to say, no research done......here... poor quality of blog..editor needs to take a note.who says paksitan does not have a fielding coach.........

  • anees on September 15, 2010, 10:15 GMT

    ejaz butt is not doing fair with his job

  • umar on September 15, 2010, 10:13 GMT

    One of the most easy task of the world to criticise the pakistan cricketers. I think rest of world have no other work to do. Okay thats fine If Pakistanis don't care about critics. People would be automatically quiet after some time like....... Oh God let the people gave some useful task. And I request all the people please mind your own business........

  • Swami on September 15, 2010, 9:55 GMT

    Boring when humour is desperately contrived.

  • yasir on September 15, 2010, 9:46 GMT

    damn! Andrew, you are funny my friend. Rather you really try hard to be funny. Guess u got carried away trying and forgot what poor Ijaz ahmed is doing for pakistan. Yes, as has already been pointed out, he is the current fielding coach.

  • Talha on September 15, 2010, 9:38 GMT

    u said it all Komal :P a big thumb down to the .... anyways forget it

  • krieket_fen on September 15, 2010, 9:36 GMT

    Isn't Page 2 supposed to be "Funny" or "Tongue-in-cheek" stuff? I think my proposals at our last budget meeting was funnier than this...Eish!

  • shah on September 15, 2010, 8:04 GMT

    soon we ll be having very good fielding coach but the question is who is gonna cahtach

  • molson on September 15, 2010, 7:53 GMT

    BTW, this same Ejaz Ahmed (Fielding coach) and Waqar Younus (Bowling coach)... both are tainted cricketers and were convicted internally by Pakistani Judge Justice (R) Qayyum for match fixing charges...talk about character

  • Dave on September 15, 2010, 7:51 GMT

    I am not sure why there are comments about the accuracy of Pakistan not having a fielding coach whilst not picking up the WIPB and WICB having officials called Tweedledum and Tweedledee. That ought to have been enough of a hint that this was a humerous article and not factual. Whilst I don't think Mr Hughes is very close to Mr Saltzman as a comedy cricket writer I think the intention was clear and this criticism is misplaced. An amusing article, Andrew.

  • Izz on September 15, 2010, 7:39 GMT

    Well, wikipedia says they don't have a fielding coach, and we all know wikipedia is never wrong.

  • Komal on September 15, 2010, 7:09 GMT

    Sorry but i guess sense of humour is God gifted and when you try 2 hav it , it looks quiet awkward same is for ur article after reading i said 2 myslef WTF. No research pakistan hav no fielding coach then ijaz ahmed is ??? N criticizing the weak is easy like WIPA . No comments after the cricket scandal and ICC caling indo pak to legalise betting ???????? It needs guts i guess sorry 2 ask you 4 that

  • Chinar Samant on September 15, 2010, 7:06 GMT

    'list of centrally subsidised failures'....awesome!!!

  • Shuja on September 15, 2010, 6:41 GMT

    Mr. Andrew, I'd like to correct you here if I may. Pakistan, actually does have a fielding coach in Ejaz Ahmed (ex-pakistan batsman).

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  • Shuja on September 15, 2010, 6:41 GMT

    Mr. Andrew, I'd like to correct you here if I may. Pakistan, actually does have a fielding coach in Ejaz Ahmed (ex-pakistan batsman).

  • Chinar Samant on September 15, 2010, 7:06 GMT

    'list of centrally subsidised failures'....awesome!!!

  • Komal on September 15, 2010, 7:09 GMT

    Sorry but i guess sense of humour is God gifted and when you try 2 hav it , it looks quiet awkward same is for ur article after reading i said 2 myslef WTF. No research pakistan hav no fielding coach then ijaz ahmed is ??? N criticizing the weak is easy like WIPA . No comments after the cricket scandal and ICC caling indo pak to legalise betting ???????? It needs guts i guess sorry 2 ask you 4 that

  • Izz on September 15, 2010, 7:39 GMT

    Well, wikipedia says they don't have a fielding coach, and we all know wikipedia is never wrong.

  • Dave on September 15, 2010, 7:51 GMT

    I am not sure why there are comments about the accuracy of Pakistan not having a fielding coach whilst not picking up the WIPB and WICB having officials called Tweedledum and Tweedledee. That ought to have been enough of a hint that this was a humerous article and not factual. Whilst I don't think Mr Hughes is very close to Mr Saltzman as a comedy cricket writer I think the intention was clear and this criticism is misplaced. An amusing article, Andrew.

  • molson on September 15, 2010, 7:53 GMT

    BTW, this same Ejaz Ahmed (Fielding coach) and Waqar Younus (Bowling coach)... both are tainted cricketers and were convicted internally by Pakistani Judge Justice (R) Qayyum for match fixing charges...talk about character

  • shah on September 15, 2010, 8:04 GMT

    soon we ll be having very good fielding coach but the question is who is gonna cahtach

  • krieket_fen on September 15, 2010, 9:36 GMT

    Isn't Page 2 supposed to be "Funny" or "Tongue-in-cheek" stuff? I think my proposals at our last budget meeting was funnier than this...Eish!

  • Talha on September 15, 2010, 9:38 GMT

    u said it all Komal :P a big thumb down to the .... anyways forget it

  • yasir on September 15, 2010, 9:46 GMT

    damn! Andrew, you are funny my friend. Rather you really try hard to be funny. Guess u got carried away trying and forgot what poor Ijaz ahmed is doing for pakistan. Yes, as has already been pointed out, he is the current fielding coach.