Samir Chopra September 24, 2010

The summer that went bad

The tour began as a showcase of England's hospitality and Pakistan's desperately-in-need-of-a-showcase cricket
31

One of my favourite cartoons shows two couples sitting in a living room, on couches facing each other. The female half of one is saying to her spouse, "What do you mean 'we should get going'? We live here!" Yes, indeed, when guests overstay their welcome, things do get a little prickly.

I'm reminded of this cartoon as Pakistan's tour of England comes to an end. I doubt whether there has been any tour in the recent history of cricket, whose downward trajectory from the giddy heights of Mount FeelGood to Acrimony Canyon has been quite so steep. Like the desperately put-upon hosts in the cartoon above, England must have wanted the tour to end, and soon, even if it meant they would be the ones leaving (possibly to Spain, and not necessarily on a budget flight, to catch the end of the holiday season in Ibiza, where Jimmy Anderson could meet up with his many new friends).

The tour began as a showcase of England's hospitality and Pakistan's desperately-in-need-of-a-showcase cricket. It ended with talk of lawsuits and possible police complaints, and the Pakistani and English captains, both now safely ensconced at home, speaking of the stresses and strains they underwent, during the Summer Horribilis of 2010. No good deed, the English will ruefully note, goes unpunished.

Along the way, we had accusations of match-fixing, undercover stings, epic, unhinged rants by senior administrators, calls for suspending Pakistan (Nasser Hussain and Ian Botham being at least two of the worthies that have made this suggestion) and possible brawls in nets (the similarity to cage-fighting is uncanny, don't you think?). And that was all off the field. Cricket, a staid sport? I think not.

In the midst of these quasi-facetious ramblings, a serious note must be struck. Plenty of damage has been done to cricket. Weeks after the initial allegations of spot-fixing, we are no closer to knowing what, so to speak, went down. A bright and exciting talent like Mohammed Amir in whose praise I penned a paean in these very pages has earned the tag of "cheater." And another cricketing country has been placed in the slot marked "Severely Dysfunctional", rendering speculation about the future of international cricket an even more depressing exercise than before.

My hope in the past, when confronted by a depressing turn of affairs in cricket, has been to hope that a good Test match will show up and take care of everything. I still have faith in that regard, for Australia have landed on Indian shores. And despite the depressing lack of pre-match press-conference sledging from Ricky Ponting, the series promises to deliver some thrills and spills. Of course, there are only two Tests, and they will occur at times that could not possibly be worse for this East Coast resident. Still, I'll take them and hunker down. The alternative is to read more about Pakistani outrage and English counter-outrage. And that option scarcely bears thinking about.

Samir Chopra lives in Brooklyn and teaches Philosophy at the City University of New York. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • mark rufus.t on October 8, 2010, 7:49 GMT

    its a great feeling to see a test match to come so closely n end in the manner it did in mohali . a huge credit is to be given to vvs n zaheer for the match winning performance.but one should not forget the contribution of young ishant without whose contribution indi would have lost ..

  • Faheem on October 6, 2010, 8:05 GMT

    faheem from dubai... pak will bounce back .... amir and asif will make a pair like Ws of 90s and we will start rocking again ... sorry guys but india's good period of last 5/6 years gonna end :) believe me ... they even can't find any good fast bowler who can take 200 wickets and keep playing :) .. their fast bowler remian fast for 2/3 serieses and then bacome seamers :)

  • Taimur Khan on October 5, 2010, 10:00 GMT

    Jai Jai Shiv Shankar...!!! Ala mansoor, lets support cricket not jockey against each other's countries. Nationality is accident of birth but cricket is our passion. We all want to see smith, kallis, ponting & hussy, shoaib, amir, zaheer, styn, anderson, bond, flintoff, the great tendulkar, laxman, dravid, sehwag, gambhir, vettorri, murli etc. in action. All of us remember waugh's grit, hanif and gavaskar's tenacity, inzi's amazing winning record as a batter, viv's class and bradman's unique gifts. All of us remember imran & Sobers, botham, hadlee, kapil, & miller, benaud etc. as special talents we were privellaged to enjoy captains like brearly, lloyd, ian chappel and even jardine have added fascinating chapters to cricket lore. Pakistan cricket has given some of the most exciting games to cricket. does anyone believe they were all fixed games? is there anyone more grieved at apkistan fixing allegations than the shortchanged pakistani fan? Please support us to support cricket!

  • Form Script on October 5, 2010, 9:09 GMT

    It took me a long time to search online, only your site explain the fully details, bookmarked and thanks again.

    - Laura

  • Mohsan Ali on October 3, 2010, 4:52 GMT

    @ Shankar.... I appreciate that you look at things from the both ends of the spectrum (being in Indian) and that's how it should be. I support pakistan cricket but at the same time I also find Indian cricket to be very interesting. Its just that some countries have their ups and downs and at the moment Pakistan is just in turmoil as a whole, not just the cricket itself.

  • Anonymous on October 2, 2010, 10:08 GMT

    niceeeeeeeeeeeeeeee@ shankar

  • Syed Mansoor on September 29, 2010, 10:02 GMT

    well first of all a special thanks to shankar for understanding our (Pakistan's) position in this situation. look India, south Africa, Srilanka and many other talented nations faced the same allegations in different games. but they as a nation came up and now they are in a new horizon. Pakistan will also come up (inshallah), you just have to support cricket not a nation. Ihsan Mani's era india had a firm support in ICC matters but now as India is in driving seat, we (Pakistani's) hope for the same support as well..

  • Shankar Indiancricketfan on September 28, 2010, 18:18 GMT

    Rachit - Firstly your argument is dwindling between fixing/cheating claims and India's current test cricket rating. You have to come with a coherent argument. I am an avid lover of Pakistan cricket but they are going through a crisis because of poor management. But I see that everyone is trying to feast on them. That happened for decades to India until India became strong and now i see how dare England/Australia put allegations on India for anything which is even true.

    Let me refresh your memory - Rachit "bad apple"

    Indian captain Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja banned for fixing in 2000. Rahul Dravid banned for tampering in Australia for putting gum substance on the ball - caught on camera. Prahakar banned for fixing when he blew whistle on his team mates who were involved in fixing as well Indian Women Cricket Team Sex and fixing scandals

  • Saad Saleem Malik on September 28, 2010, 8:45 GMT

    i hope the wickets assist the bowlers as well as the batsmen. Test cricket between India and Aussies is always a delight provided the pitch doesn't spoil everything with 800 a side draws

  • rachit on September 28, 2010, 8:07 GMT

    well...for all those pak "fans" (i wud prefer the phase "blind followers"), a flat track draw is anyday prefered to an exciting yet fixed match! u say that all nations against pak...well, not without reason...where else wud u get retirements by the dozen by the same guys (now even shahid is saying he might come back for the tests!!)...where else wud u see a dim witted player (amazingly, now captaining the side) first get caught on camera scruffing the pitch with his spikes...and then (in the biggest LOL moment in sports history) actually BITE into the ball!! there is video recorded evidence of the cheats within ur team. as far as the hostility against india, guys pls look at the rankings since the last 5 yrs...we hv always been in the top 3, and now at 1...has pak touched anything beyond 4 or 5? any reaction/presumption is based on perception...and perception comes from experience...pak has a history of cheats...HENCE its all against one...the one rotten apple

  • mark rufus.t on October 8, 2010, 7:49 GMT

    its a great feeling to see a test match to come so closely n end in the manner it did in mohali . a huge credit is to be given to vvs n zaheer for the match winning performance.but one should not forget the contribution of young ishant without whose contribution indi would have lost ..

  • Faheem on October 6, 2010, 8:05 GMT

    faheem from dubai... pak will bounce back .... amir and asif will make a pair like Ws of 90s and we will start rocking again ... sorry guys but india's good period of last 5/6 years gonna end :) believe me ... they even can't find any good fast bowler who can take 200 wickets and keep playing :) .. their fast bowler remian fast for 2/3 serieses and then bacome seamers :)

  • Taimur Khan on October 5, 2010, 10:00 GMT

    Jai Jai Shiv Shankar...!!! Ala mansoor, lets support cricket not jockey against each other's countries. Nationality is accident of birth but cricket is our passion. We all want to see smith, kallis, ponting & hussy, shoaib, amir, zaheer, styn, anderson, bond, flintoff, the great tendulkar, laxman, dravid, sehwag, gambhir, vettorri, murli etc. in action. All of us remember waugh's grit, hanif and gavaskar's tenacity, inzi's amazing winning record as a batter, viv's class and bradman's unique gifts. All of us remember imran & Sobers, botham, hadlee, kapil, & miller, benaud etc. as special talents we were privellaged to enjoy captains like brearly, lloyd, ian chappel and even jardine have added fascinating chapters to cricket lore. Pakistan cricket has given some of the most exciting games to cricket. does anyone believe they were all fixed games? is there anyone more grieved at apkistan fixing allegations than the shortchanged pakistani fan? Please support us to support cricket!

  • Form Script on October 5, 2010, 9:09 GMT

    It took me a long time to search online, only your site explain the fully details, bookmarked and thanks again.

    - Laura

  • Mohsan Ali on October 3, 2010, 4:52 GMT

    @ Shankar.... I appreciate that you look at things from the both ends of the spectrum (being in Indian) and that's how it should be. I support pakistan cricket but at the same time I also find Indian cricket to be very interesting. Its just that some countries have their ups and downs and at the moment Pakistan is just in turmoil as a whole, not just the cricket itself.

  • Anonymous on October 2, 2010, 10:08 GMT

    niceeeeeeeeeeeeeeee@ shankar

  • Syed Mansoor on September 29, 2010, 10:02 GMT

    well first of all a special thanks to shankar for understanding our (Pakistan's) position in this situation. look India, south Africa, Srilanka and many other talented nations faced the same allegations in different games. but they as a nation came up and now they are in a new horizon. Pakistan will also come up (inshallah), you just have to support cricket not a nation. Ihsan Mani's era india had a firm support in ICC matters but now as India is in driving seat, we (Pakistani's) hope for the same support as well..

  • Shankar Indiancricketfan on September 28, 2010, 18:18 GMT

    Rachit - Firstly your argument is dwindling between fixing/cheating claims and India's current test cricket rating. You have to come with a coherent argument. I am an avid lover of Pakistan cricket but they are going through a crisis because of poor management. But I see that everyone is trying to feast on them. That happened for decades to India until India became strong and now i see how dare England/Australia put allegations on India for anything which is even true.

    Let me refresh your memory - Rachit "bad apple"

    Indian captain Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja banned for fixing in 2000. Rahul Dravid banned for tampering in Australia for putting gum substance on the ball - caught on camera. Prahakar banned for fixing when he blew whistle on his team mates who were involved in fixing as well Indian Women Cricket Team Sex and fixing scandals

  • Saad Saleem Malik on September 28, 2010, 8:45 GMT

    i hope the wickets assist the bowlers as well as the batsmen. Test cricket between India and Aussies is always a delight provided the pitch doesn't spoil everything with 800 a side draws

  • rachit on September 28, 2010, 8:07 GMT

    well...for all those pak "fans" (i wud prefer the phase "blind followers"), a flat track draw is anyday prefered to an exciting yet fixed match! u say that all nations against pak...well, not without reason...where else wud u get retirements by the dozen by the same guys (now even shahid is saying he might come back for the tests!!)...where else wud u see a dim witted player (amazingly, now captaining the side) first get caught on camera scruffing the pitch with his spikes...and then (in the biggest LOL moment in sports history) actually BITE into the ball!! there is video recorded evidence of the cheats within ur team. as far as the hostility against india, guys pls look at the rankings since the last 5 yrs...we hv always been in the top 3, and now at 1...has pak touched anything beyond 4 or 5? any reaction/presumption is based on perception...and perception comes from experience...pak has a history of cheats...HENCE its all against one...the one rotten apple

  • Sehr Sheikh on September 27, 2010, 20:51 GMT

    It is extremely nice of England to provide its home surface for Pakistan games. But I tell you that when there is trouble at home, everyone tries to take advantage.

    There are spot fixers and dirty players every where and we have cases which come out here and there every once in a while. This is not a problem with just Pakistan cricket. But curently they are the weakest to defend themseleves.

    The whole episode - English Newspapers conspiring & luring some cricketers (which I agree were bad apples) into spot fixing. Talks of banning Pakistan, Illegal videos of Hameed, When Pakistan eventually managed to win a game - claims of fixing without any share of evidence. Tampering claims by SUN by just showing images (which do not tell the full story) .... was all testing.

    When bookie conversation in Dubai (not on record) makes a one day international questionable, why can't English players/game be investigated from a bookie talk - how come their reputation cannot be questioned??

  • Kool Kat on September 27, 2010, 17:20 GMT

    @WaterBuffalo : Stay in the water...why come up on land and see flat wicket cricket. Perhaps you like your cricket fixed...

  • Hibs on September 27, 2010, 16:03 GMT

    I am sorry to say but its a case of 'All against One', why its just one country who is the villain? India is the epicentre of cricketing corruption, and yet nothing against any indian player, team or even a club. Are they all saints? England has been against Pakistan eversince Pakistan started beating England, and winning series. So much we used to hear about the ball tempering by Waseem and Waqar, and a lot of people regarded them as the worst cheaters, today the same English media refers to them as the 'Legends'.I dont want to say anything about India in relation to Pakistan, however history will not judge England kindly too.

  • Hibs on September 27, 2010, 15:55 GMT

    I am sorry to say but its a case of 'All against One', why its just one country who is the villain? India is the epicentre of cricketing corruption, and yet nothing against any indian player, team or even a club. Are they all saints? England has been against Pakistan eversince Pakistan started beating England, and winning series. So much we used to hear about the ball tempering by Waseem and Waqar, and a lot of people regarded them as the worst cheaters, today the same English media refers to them as the 'Legends'. I dont want to say anything about India in relation to Pakisatan, history will not judge England kindly too.

  • Anonymous on September 27, 2010, 13:02 GMT

    @Samer Chopra: You are absolutely right, aus vs india matches realy entertain...wats the hell are you talking about chopra,on dead wickets australia would make 700 and india would also do the same in 5 days...and match would b tied...hahaha its realy a good contest

  • Jibs on September 27, 2010, 10:59 GMT

    Dear Mr. Chopra,

    What is the point of this article ? Enough mud has been (perhaps rightly) slung in Pakistani faces this summer so far already. Its all cooling down a bit, everyone is having a chance to reflect on things, and the investigations must be nearing their conclusion now. So why must you stir things up again ? You journalists must show a responsible side to your work and not always try to stir up inflammable emotions. Please don't be surprised if you are swarmed with hate-mail now; and then don't blame the perpetrators, for you caused the flare up in the first instance.

    I wonder who the senior editor at Cricinfo is, these pointless and needless articles must pass through saner eyes before being published.

  • Unit on September 27, 2010, 4:54 GMT

    @ Salman ...... That's why Amir, Ajmal and Akhtar allowed Harbhajan/Raina to hit sixes in Asia cup so that Indian fans could tune in to watch the final ?

    No one would do this for FREE, that's for sure. At least, they could have refused to deal when playing India and have given a chance to Pakistani fans to enjoy. :)

  • Ahsan on September 26, 2010, 23:11 GMT

    @Noor, I hope the ECB does go forward with the lawsuit because it was very gracious in inviting Pakistan for not only a bilateral series, but also a neutral one in the aftermath of the Lahore attacks. As for the British media, one cannot blame them for exposing Pakistan cricket for what it is. And if Ijaz Butt has concrete evidence to support his allegations, then he too should bring it forward. Otherwise, he deserves to be humiliated publicly.

  • Aniruddha on September 26, 2010, 14:25 GMT

    Nice article Samir. I doubt if the ICC can do anything because of all the technical and legal hassles invlolved. The silver lining is,Pakistan as a nation will continue to shoot itself in the foot at every given opportunity. I think it is a better bet to wait for Dubai series for them to dig themselves in a bigger hole than expecting the ICC to come up with anything substantial. If Pakistan is banned, this circus will end and I am afraid I am thorougly enjoying this and will miss Pakistan. So long live Pakistan cricket and entertain us (Indians) in their own uniwue way. Love to see Pakistanis support Australia in the upcoming Ashes. Now that Darrel Hair has called them cheats they will find it tough to support someone for a while. Afganistan might be a good bet. A team which is ranked 7th in the world can only find comfort in pulling others down. Matter of time before they come up with another ball chewer/fixer/tamperer/Butt-er.

  • Rauf on September 26, 2010, 12:12 GMT

    Looks like cricinfo writers will continue to ride and wear out this "tainted-trio bandwagon" to make it a backdrop to anything they write.

    Give it up guys, joke is over now, English summer has come to an end. Both teams have gone to their respective homes. We may have some excitement again if Harbajan decides to slap one of his teammates or open his big mouth during the upcoming Aus series else it will be a battle of batsmen on dead pitches... Yawn!

  • Javed kashmiri on September 26, 2010, 1:28 GMT

    Agreed to you some extent but i would say this summer has more thrill than a number of others. One day the ausses are out for 80 odd with some exceptional bowling and other day you see you are loosing the plot with mediocre bating skills. One day you earn praise from legends of cricket and other day u are at the centre stage of match fixing ghost. Young cricketers should not be thrown to the world of fame but they should be taught to absorb the pressure of it, be it aamirs, umars, asifs, kohlis, sharmas or mendis. Some evaporated to money and some lost their skills

  • Rohit Jaishankar on September 26, 2010, 1:04 GMT

    @ waterbuffalo and the rest of your ilk - The last 14 matches between Ind & Aus in India have produced just 2 draws. One of those ended in a draw because no play was possible on the last day. In any account, a high scoring draw is better than results on demand ala Pakistan.

  • Noor on September 25, 2010, 23:26 GMT

    Its was very sad that the recent Eng V Pak series should have been a great series, with Aamir, Mohd Asif and Omar Gul bowling against a good England's batting producing exciting low scoring mathches but alas things went terribly wrong after some stupid betting scandals by the Pak players. Pakistan has knack of producing controversy against England and that was one of my fear before the series began. Unfortunately Pakistan's management has been weak and corrupted and when the Pak players do anything illegal,instead of punishing the culprits they go into denial mode despite overwhelming evidences against the players.

    In order to remove rotten apples from the barrel one must clean the barrel first for contamination otherwise removing few bad apples is not going to clean Pakistan's cricket.

  • Vaseem Siddiqi on September 25, 2010, 17:23 GMT

    There may have been problems off the cricket field but the cricket itself was superb. At times this young Pakistani and inexperienced side did struggle in England given the fact number of their players had not played in English conditions before. Drawing the test series against Australia and winning a test against England at the Oval shows potential of this young Pakistan team. In fact if they had fielded better the result in the test series against England may have been different. Aussies were convincingly beaten in the two T20 internationals and although Pakistan did not do so well against England (world champions and loss of three key players) in the two T20s they played outstanding cricket in the 5 ODIs. In my opinion they actually played better and England only managed to win the series because of the blunders of the umpires. I totally agree with the comments of waterbuffalo and I rather have repeat of summer cricket in England.

  • waterbuffalo on September 25, 2010, 4:39 GMT

    At least Pakistan can bowl even with a second string attack of Akhtar and Razzaq, the english crying about not wanting to play just shows the kind of 'men' they are, would Greig and Boycott have acted like this present bunch did? No, they would have destroyed Pakistan just to prove a point, as for India -Australia, have fun watching 2 high scoring draws on flat , dead wickets, both teams will score 600, if that is your idea of fun and entertainment, go for it.

  • Salman on September 24, 2010, 22:14 GMT

    How many indians would watch cricket regularly if the Aussies beat them all the time? And what do you wager is the real chance of the likes of Praveen Kumar, Ojha, Harbajhan, Zaheer Khan, and Ishant Sharma bowling out a team such as the Aussies in the REAL world? There is too much money in cricket to be lost if things happened like they are supposed to. So while India has over a billion cricket crazy fans, quite a bit of cricket will be fixed.

    And how many Indians do you think will tune in to watch the champions league final given that there is an Indian team playing it??? :)

  • Ganpathy on September 24, 2010, 21:20 GMT

    I hope we have better pitches and a good crowd turns up.. I believe its high time the BCCI decides on its test venues and give test matches only to those ones... anyways, I agree with you sameer on the fact that all we need is a good test match to set the ball rolling again...

  • Noor on September 24, 2010, 20:06 GMT

    The SUN newspaper says Ijah Butt must say sorry or else we (ECB)will sue. What a load of all rubbish. ECB will not sue even if fat arse Butt refused to apologized. It would cost ECB 1 million pound to fight this case and the evidences is not that strong. I dare the Sun (gutter newspaper) or the ECB will sue Butt all empty threats by the Sun and ECB, if I were Butt I would say go sue me "Make my day"

  • Faraz Qadri on September 24, 2010, 16:46 GMT

    Dear Samir, Please dont take it as offensive, however i always find your articles very very biased. Cricket is a wonderful sport and it must be watched with being biased. you have a gift of writing please use it wisely..

  • Mohan on September 24, 2010, 15:57 GMT

    "The alternative is to read more about Pakistani outrage and English counter-outrage."

    No, you have the alternative of watching a wonderful tournament going on in South Africa right now. Go Bangalore!

    Death to nation vs nation cricket!

  • Mohammad Asad on September 24, 2010, 14:10 GMT

    Mohammad Asad from USA....

    It reminds me a song from Veer Zara 'ye desh hai mera ...' I am Bangladeshi and proud of Hindustani Hospitality !!! it's a culture .. kind of religion ...... to receive guest cordially... serve with heart......

    NOT LIKE ...........'favourite cartoon shows 2 couples sitting in living room.............'

    By the way, they never dare to do this (what they have done with Pak) with India because of Indian strong cric. management & powerful media.

    Hoping to watch a nice India vs Aus series ...

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Mohammad Asad on September 24, 2010, 14:10 GMT

    Mohammad Asad from USA....

    It reminds me a song from Veer Zara 'ye desh hai mera ...' I am Bangladeshi and proud of Hindustani Hospitality !!! it's a culture .. kind of religion ...... to receive guest cordially... serve with heart......

    NOT LIKE ...........'favourite cartoon shows 2 couples sitting in living room.............'

    By the way, they never dare to do this (what they have done with Pak) with India because of Indian strong cric. management & powerful media.

    Hoping to watch a nice India vs Aus series ...

  • Mohan on September 24, 2010, 15:57 GMT

    "The alternative is to read more about Pakistani outrage and English counter-outrage."

    No, you have the alternative of watching a wonderful tournament going on in South Africa right now. Go Bangalore!

    Death to nation vs nation cricket!

  • Faraz Qadri on September 24, 2010, 16:46 GMT

    Dear Samir, Please dont take it as offensive, however i always find your articles very very biased. Cricket is a wonderful sport and it must be watched with being biased. you have a gift of writing please use it wisely..

  • Noor on September 24, 2010, 20:06 GMT

    The SUN newspaper says Ijah Butt must say sorry or else we (ECB)will sue. What a load of all rubbish. ECB will not sue even if fat arse Butt refused to apologized. It would cost ECB 1 million pound to fight this case and the evidences is not that strong. I dare the Sun (gutter newspaper) or the ECB will sue Butt all empty threats by the Sun and ECB, if I were Butt I would say go sue me "Make my day"

  • Ganpathy on September 24, 2010, 21:20 GMT

    I hope we have better pitches and a good crowd turns up.. I believe its high time the BCCI decides on its test venues and give test matches only to those ones... anyways, I agree with you sameer on the fact that all we need is a good test match to set the ball rolling again...

  • Salman on September 24, 2010, 22:14 GMT

    How many indians would watch cricket regularly if the Aussies beat them all the time? And what do you wager is the real chance of the likes of Praveen Kumar, Ojha, Harbajhan, Zaheer Khan, and Ishant Sharma bowling out a team such as the Aussies in the REAL world? There is too much money in cricket to be lost if things happened like they are supposed to. So while India has over a billion cricket crazy fans, quite a bit of cricket will be fixed.

    And how many Indians do you think will tune in to watch the champions league final given that there is an Indian team playing it??? :)

  • waterbuffalo on September 25, 2010, 4:39 GMT

    At least Pakistan can bowl even with a second string attack of Akhtar and Razzaq, the english crying about not wanting to play just shows the kind of 'men' they are, would Greig and Boycott have acted like this present bunch did? No, they would have destroyed Pakistan just to prove a point, as for India -Australia, have fun watching 2 high scoring draws on flat , dead wickets, both teams will score 600, if that is your idea of fun and entertainment, go for it.

  • Vaseem Siddiqi on September 25, 2010, 17:23 GMT

    There may have been problems off the cricket field but the cricket itself was superb. At times this young Pakistani and inexperienced side did struggle in England given the fact number of their players had not played in English conditions before. Drawing the test series against Australia and winning a test against England at the Oval shows potential of this young Pakistan team. In fact if they had fielded better the result in the test series against England may have been different. Aussies were convincingly beaten in the two T20 internationals and although Pakistan did not do so well against England (world champions and loss of three key players) in the two T20s they played outstanding cricket in the 5 ODIs. In my opinion they actually played better and England only managed to win the series because of the blunders of the umpires. I totally agree with the comments of waterbuffalo and I rather have repeat of summer cricket in England.

  • Noor on September 25, 2010, 23:26 GMT

    Its was very sad that the recent Eng V Pak series should have been a great series, with Aamir, Mohd Asif and Omar Gul bowling against a good England's batting producing exciting low scoring mathches but alas things went terribly wrong after some stupid betting scandals by the Pak players. Pakistan has knack of producing controversy against England and that was one of my fear before the series began. Unfortunately Pakistan's management has been weak and corrupted and when the Pak players do anything illegal,instead of punishing the culprits they go into denial mode despite overwhelming evidences against the players.

    In order to remove rotten apples from the barrel one must clean the barrel first for contamination otherwise removing few bad apples is not going to clean Pakistan's cricket.

  • Rohit Jaishankar on September 26, 2010, 1:04 GMT

    @ waterbuffalo and the rest of your ilk - The last 14 matches between Ind & Aus in India have produced just 2 draws. One of those ended in a draw because no play was possible on the last day. In any account, a high scoring draw is better than results on demand ala Pakistan.