September 15, 2010

England

Fielding is important to Pakistan? Sez who?

Andrew Hughes
Mohammad Irfan was felled by cramps midway through his sixth over, England v Pakistan, 1st ODI, Chester-le-Street, September 10 2010
"Oi, will one of you help me out? His knee is jammed and won't bend"  © Getty Images
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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

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Posted by 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'.

Posted by 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

Posted by 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

Posted by 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!

Posted by 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?

Posted by 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?

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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

Posted by clivejw on (September 16, 2010, 0:19 GMT)

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

Posted by 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.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew Hughes
Andrew Hughes is a writer and avid cricket watcher who has always retained a healthy suspicion of professional sportsmen, and like any right-thinking person rates Neville Cardus more highly than Don Bradman. His latest book is available here and here @hughandrews73

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