February 8, 2012

It’s all up to the PCB now

We know they can turn triumph into disaster
67

Saturday, 6th February While the cricket world is engrossed by a fascinating Test series in Dubai and the Commonwealth Bank ménage-a-trois is just warming up, into our consciousness barges the IPL, like a messenger in a ten-foot-tall peacock outfit interrupting a village wedding to announce via a solid-gold loudhailer that the Maharajah will be holding a bacchanalian orgy and concubine market at the Palace and all are invited.

Or to put it another way, it’s IPL auction time. As usual, some of the world’s finest cricketers were on offer at completely random prices, which is what makes this game show so entertaining. The eager contestants queue for their chance to give the Wheel Of Crazy Money a spin and see what wacky prizes they end up with. Vinay Kumar $1 million! Sunil Narine $700k! Somebody bought Mitchell Johnson! Crazy!

In keeping with IPL tradition, there were a few English bridesmaids, and we now look forward to another post-auction ritual: guessing which of the unsold Englishmen will be the first to declare (whilst wiping away a tear) that they never wanted to play in the thing anyway and that their first priority has always been international cricket/turning out for Nowhereshire/spending April decorating the spare room.

Monday, 6th February So, after a short but spectacular run, the England Test team’s touring show, Carry On Dubai is over. But if you’ve enjoyed their madcap mixture of clumsy footwork and hapless swiping, you’ll be pleased to know that the ECB has scheduled two more spin-themed farces later this year. Chaos In Colombo will open on March 26 and there are high hopes for the autumn production of Nonplussed In Nagpur.

Not all the reviews have been positive, but Andrew Strauss insists that England got better as the series went on and the stats back him up. They lost by a narrow 71 runs today, compared to a massive 72 last time and at this rate of improvement, they should finally be gaining the upper hand towards the end of the 2107-08 series.

Having already used up their stock of excuses, the English media have been a little short of plausible explanations for this unfortunate third outbreak of failure and so have fallen back on sniping about how slowly Azhar Ali bats, which is a little unfair. He may not be a dasher but the drowsiness induced by an Azhar innings is as nothing compared to the powerful sedative effect of a Cook-Trott partnership.

Anyway, enough of the losers, let’s talk about the winners, who are currently at the high point of the Pakistan Cricket Cycle, which is a bit like the economic cycle, or perhaps the life-cycle of the phoenix, and has four stages:

1. Chaos. 2. New captain harnesses the available abundance of talent to secure surprising triumph that promises much for the future of Pakistan cricket. 3. Someone does something silly. 4. Chaos.

At the moment it’s hard to see any of the players or coaching staff coming up with something silly, so I guess it’s over to you, PCB. There’s not a lot to work with, but maybe you could sack Misbah, appoint the Interior Minister’s nephew as opening batsman or even withdraw from the ICC? You’ll have your work cut out to turn this triumph into disaster, but I’m sure you can do it if you put your minds to it.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sean on February 15, 2012, 8:53 GMT

    Loved the ten foot toall peaocock announcement and the PCB life cycle - fantastic

  • sga on February 10, 2012, 22:40 GMT

    brilliant article! very hilarious :)

  • Arsalan Alam on February 10, 2012, 8:12 GMT

    "I guess it’s over to you, PCB. There’s not a lot to work with, but maybe you could sack Misbah, appoint the Interior Minister’s nephew as opening batsman or even withdraw from the ICC? You’ll have your work cut out to turn this triumph into disaster, but I’m sure you can do it if you put your minds to it. "

    Simply brilliant !!!

  • raja on February 10, 2012, 5:16 GMT

    Hi Andrew, this is Raja from CF. I laughed so much throughout this piece that if I'm hospitalised for anything that can be remotely attributed to this, I'm coming after you. ;-) This is one of your best!!! Keep writing, just love your sense of humour. Raja P.S: Posting this on Twitter and FB too.

  • Naila on February 10, 2012, 5:15 GMT

    lets hope that pakistan get stuck at no. 2 in the cricket cycle :)

  • Aftab Qureshi on February 9, 2012, 14:16 GMT

    Although Zaka Ashraf comes across as a sane person, PCB is capable of doing the "stupidest" of things at the "wrongest" of times. So, if something is to trigger chaos, it will most likely be replacing the interim coach just after he has had a remarkable run of success with this team. But never give up hope. May be, just may be, the PCB will not do such a mad thing.

  • Ali on February 9, 2012, 14:00 GMT

    now this is what I call a wonderful piece! cheers

  • Zeeshan on February 9, 2012, 12:40 GMT

    Hahaha.. awesome work dude! specially with that PCB's over-due silliness!

  • Osama Siddique on February 9, 2012, 11:32 GMT

    Your objectivity and wit is a very pleasant and welcome new addition. Excellent and very funny blogs. Keep up the great work

  • Zeeshan Zahid on February 9, 2012, 11:15 GMT

    haha.... very nice Article! Love it :)

  • Sean on February 15, 2012, 8:53 GMT

    Loved the ten foot toall peaocock announcement and the PCB life cycle - fantastic

  • sga on February 10, 2012, 22:40 GMT

    brilliant article! very hilarious :)

  • Arsalan Alam on February 10, 2012, 8:12 GMT

    "I guess it’s over to you, PCB. There’s not a lot to work with, but maybe you could sack Misbah, appoint the Interior Minister’s nephew as opening batsman or even withdraw from the ICC? You’ll have your work cut out to turn this triumph into disaster, but I’m sure you can do it if you put your minds to it. "

    Simply brilliant !!!

  • raja on February 10, 2012, 5:16 GMT

    Hi Andrew, this is Raja from CF. I laughed so much throughout this piece that if I'm hospitalised for anything that can be remotely attributed to this, I'm coming after you. ;-) This is one of your best!!! Keep writing, just love your sense of humour. Raja P.S: Posting this on Twitter and FB too.

  • Naila on February 10, 2012, 5:15 GMT

    lets hope that pakistan get stuck at no. 2 in the cricket cycle :)

  • Aftab Qureshi on February 9, 2012, 14:16 GMT

    Although Zaka Ashraf comes across as a sane person, PCB is capable of doing the "stupidest" of things at the "wrongest" of times. So, if something is to trigger chaos, it will most likely be replacing the interim coach just after he has had a remarkable run of success with this team. But never give up hope. May be, just may be, the PCB will not do such a mad thing.

  • Ali on February 9, 2012, 14:00 GMT

    now this is what I call a wonderful piece! cheers

  • Zeeshan on February 9, 2012, 12:40 GMT

    Hahaha.. awesome work dude! specially with that PCB's over-due silliness!

  • Osama Siddique on February 9, 2012, 11:32 GMT

    Your objectivity and wit is a very pleasant and welcome new addition. Excellent and very funny blogs. Keep up the great work

  • Zeeshan Zahid on February 9, 2012, 11:15 GMT

    haha.... very nice Article! Love it :)

  • Khalid on February 9, 2012, 11:07 GMT

    Hilarious :) Being a Pakistani supporter, I really want this to last for a while. Ajmal did try to spoil the party by giving interview in a foreign language but it is all up to the PCB to keep a check on its players and do all the things required for betterment of Pak cricket. There will be one or two players selected on the basis of their political affiliations (like Shoaib Malik included in the ODI/T20 squad at the last minute). Sadly this is part and parcel of the culture we live in.

  • Timir on February 9, 2012, 10:48 GMT

    - "turning out for Nowhereshire". That was classic mate. Always appreciated your pun.

  • Omar Ashraf on February 9, 2012, 9:20 GMT

    Magnificent , hillarious piece of writing

    Chaos In Colombo will open on March 26 and there are high hopes for the autumn production of Nonplussed In Nagpur.

  • Faruque Hossain on February 9, 2012, 8:56 GMT

    WOW, LOL. And i really agree with you andrew, Its the PCB who can make this triumph into disaster, and I am sure something will happen quickly. I have been following PAK team for many years and I must say I have never seen they playing as a team except now. There always been personal agendas inside the team. Hats-off for this team. But There are lots of BUT in this team. There batting is really bad, and this team will not be able to win in ENG/SAF/AUS untill they find 1 good oppener, 1 solid Middle order and finally a good Keeper with some Head!

  • saif on February 9, 2012, 8:30 GMT

    nice 1 andrew

  • AJ on February 9, 2012, 8:27 GMT

    Isn't pakistan cricket becoming a boring stuff since the great man left PCB. I heard that Ijaz Butt is getting ready to launch his own political party now and aim to become prime minister one day.

  • Amanullah Rabbani on February 9, 2012, 7:52 GMT

    I love you Andrew for this!!! Amazing one!!

  • Nuur Hasan on February 9, 2012, 7:31 GMT

    HILARIOUS!! Great job.

  • Farrukh Mujtaba on February 9, 2012, 7:02 GMT

    Just wonderful. Andrew Hughes you are THE MAN here.

  • Azeem on February 9, 2012, 6:54 GMT

    PCB chairman is already taking pot shots on the BCCI accusing them of trying to bankrupt neighbouring boards (BTW hes right on that count) and hinting that the Indians are afraid to face Pakistan. so lets see how it all turns out. Mohsin Khans impending removal as head coach could be the first sign of things to come

  • imran on February 9, 2012, 6:32 GMT

    You are a genious andrew.... crazy man ..!

  • Shariq Saeed on February 9, 2012, 6:22 GMT

    "appoint the Interior Minister’s nephew as opening batsman or even withdraw from the ICC?" Good sense of humour.............. and good theory of Life Cycle for Pakistan Cricket...

  • Raff on February 9, 2012, 6:17 GMT

    Hilarious!!!!

  • avishek on February 9, 2012, 4:50 GMT

    'which of the unsold Englishmen will be the first to declare (whilst wiping away a tear) that they never wanted to play in the thing anyway..'haha!!simply fabulous.england bashing has never been funnier!

  • Ali on February 9, 2012, 4:21 GMT

    "They lost by a narrow 71 runs today, compared to a massive 72 last time and at this rate of improvement, they should finally be gaining the upper hand towards the end of the 2107-08 series."

    Lol......they are not so miserable ......

  • Ali on February 9, 2012, 3:20 GMT

    Beautiful Writing..

  • ayaz on February 9, 2012, 3:16 GMT

    hahaha good one! actually PCB is upto it, ready to introduce a chaos. Whatmore appointment at this high time for the team would be nothing short of disaster. Though i hope PCB doesnt do that and continue with Mohsin, atleast till the players can tolerate him :p

  • Rukhman on February 9, 2012, 2:47 GMT

    Please spare a day or two without reminding all the -ve aspect of Pak cricket and let us enjoy what ever the success Pak team had in recent times. Thanks and best regards

  • Rana Mudassar Khan on February 9, 2012, 1:35 GMT

    funniest piece ever! Pakistan is never boring even with misbah at the helm and azhar ali in the middle order - we will conjure up new ways to make us exciting!

    Does ajmal's arm straighten 23.5 or 8 degrees? Does Bob Willis care? Will Botham leave the mother in law behind and do a charity walk from Karachi to Peshawer himself? Will Shoaib Malik get the minister for Beef to have a kind word for him in the Chairman of Selector's ears again?

    Will Bell take up Urdu/Punjabi lessons to come to terms with the doosra, teesra, chautha?

    Will the PCB manage to convince the ICC that Asif was stoned when he was talked into stepping over the line and therefore cannot be punished as he had no control over his actions?

    Will the BCCI blame the ISI for Ajmal's doosra and force the ICC to ensure Pakistan plays all its games in the Sahara Desert?

  • On-high on February 9, 2012, 1:15 GMT

    Just look at the excuses and winging by the English analysts/media. Staurday 6th feb and monday 6th feb hahaha. De-ja-vu

  • Jay on February 9, 2012, 0:33 GMT

    Saturday and Monday both 6th february OMG I AM IN AN IMAGINARY WORLD LOL

  • Sridhar on February 9, 2012, 0:05 GMT

    Brilliant - the description of the IPL auction had me rolling on the floor!

  • Usman Yusef on February 8, 2012, 19:13 GMT

    LOL - Loved it - great humour

  • Bilal Ahmad on February 8, 2012, 18:54 GMT

    Too good :D

  • sameer on February 8, 2012, 18:24 GMT

    "..Vinay Kumar $1 million! Sunil Narine $700k!.. "

    The only good aspect of IPL is that average players also have a go at making money. Otherwise, babus who never lifted a bat or thrown a ball were determining the fate.

    ''..They lost by a narrow 71 runs today, compared to a massive 72 last time and at this rate of improvement, they should finally be gaining the upper hand towards the end of the 2107-08 series..''

    love it!

    Good blog, I like your wity observations.

  • GenreX on February 8, 2012, 17:40 GMT

    PCB can't help anyone there..... unfortunately they let Ijaz Butt go!

  • Waqas roy on February 8, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    So true man! Loved it

  • Anas on February 8, 2012, 16:43 GMT

    PCB's turn buhahahahahahaha nice one Andrew

  • Musharraf on February 8, 2012, 16:25 GMT

    Great article, I always like ur articles, Its really funny about england's losing margin and about pcb...... hahahhahaha

  • Adam N on February 8, 2012, 16:11 GMT

    "There’s not a lot to work with, but maybe you could sack Misbah, appoint the Interior Minister’s nephew as opening batsman or even withdraw from the ICC? You’ll have your work cut out to turn this triumph into disaster, but I’m sure you can do it if you put your minds to it. "

    Classic!

  • Moo on February 8, 2012, 15:56 GMT

    So true its sad.

    PCB will fup. It is not an independent body and the only reason any order came about was because it was so thoroughly squeezed for any juice that there was no more money to be made at a level that would please Zardari. Now with some eye-balls back, there will be new drama and new hand picked relatives along with other sacks of cash floating about. What is so incredible is that we all know PCB was taking a cut of the betting profits - yet no heads really rolled there other than a lazy yawn.

    Take it as you will, but for all the talent in the world, even if you assume no ethical violations on part of the players, there are plenty of other crooks and absolutely mind-bogging inept folks destroying the game - including the whole IPL thing for India...

  • Romi on February 8, 2012, 15:32 GMT

    Hilarious!!! thanks!!!

  • Issam Ahmed on February 8, 2012, 15:25 GMT

    Great blog. You've been having a fine run of late.

  • Saddam on February 8, 2012, 14:56 GMT

    The comment related to Pakistan's cycle may be a bit hilarious but its very much close to reality. That has always been the case that Pakistan under every new captains plays a lot better and after few good months things start to get bad.

  • KMalik on February 8, 2012, 14:55 GMT

    Don't worry if not the team than PCB will come with something (anything nobody expect) which again throws the Pakistani cricket in Phoneix cycle next stage i.e. chaos.Have a faith.

  • Venu on February 8, 2012, 14:36 GMT

    How about Ajmal coming up with his 23.5 degree arm bend allowance? Now PCB has got something to fight the ICC with... ICC bans Ajmal from bowling, PCB backs the bowler, threatens to withdraw from ICC, & then unleashes a young mystery spinner, deadlier than Ajmal...

  • Prasad on February 8, 2012, 14:34 GMT

    LOL! you've outdone yourself this time. Love the article Andrew. Kudos! The cricket lifecycle was the best. My guess is the current Indian cricket lifecycle would be

    1. Lose overseas 2. Make crappy excuses instead of dropping underperforming players in the name of "faith and experience" 3. "Rest" some doddering irresponsible seniors, while taking on some doddering irresponsible juniors 4. Lose some more. In case, the opposition actually plays worse than we do and we win, point out how right we were all along. 5. Continue above process ad nauseam

  • Azhar Hussain on February 8, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    Thats why we Pakistanis are keeping our fingers crossed.....Ajmal tried it and thank God he missed....all our enemies are saying "Where is Butt when you need him" lol

  • bill iqbal on February 8, 2012, 14:30 GMT

    hilarious...

  • Raja Sekaran R on February 8, 2012, 13:55 GMT

    ROFL... One of the best article.. classy.. and funny too... U rock man...

  • javed qamer on February 8, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    You were not far off in saying someone will do something silly. Saeed Ajmal has done it. He gave a interview in which he said that ICC has allowed him a bend of 23 1/2 degrees.

    Javed virginia

  • Samboy jaman on February 8, 2012, 13:38 GMT

    Great job done by pakistani heroes...carry on..i love it..

  • Imran K on February 8, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    :) ....the cycle has started..... :) brilliant! article.

  • robi on February 8, 2012, 13:06 GMT

    I love it. After a long day's work I read it and broke into laughter so heartily that my colleagues peeped in to see if I am alright. Heartfelt thanks to the writer.

  • Jatin Chhabra on February 8, 2012, 12:59 GMT

    "They lost by a narrow 71 runs today, compared to a massive 72 last time ", "You’ll have your work cut out to turn this triumph into disaster, but I’m sure you can do it if you put your minds to it" and many more...

    Keep coming up Andy with such good ones....

  • Mike Cairns on February 8, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    Good analysis of Pakistan (cricket).

    But how come all you English guys try to write in riddles? In this 50+ lines of article, only the last 10 lines are related to the title of the article. And where do you get such words like bacchanalian, loudhailer. SHOWING OFF....trying to be another Navjot Sidhu?

  • Ahsan on February 8, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    Nowhereshire.. awesome!!!!

  • Rohan on February 8, 2012, 12:34 GMT

    insanely awesome blog..PCB's 4-point cycle was tooooooo good..

  • Faisal on February 8, 2012, 12:20 GMT

    Beautiful write-up; lovely prose and a fresh, endearing expression. Loved the sarcasm on PCB! Totally agree.

  • Siddhartha on February 8, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    lmao totally up to the PCB now to ruin the pakistan team. Maybe they'll pull over gul for dropping a catch. It's no big deal that he held up one end and bowled beautifully, we'll just sack him coz he misjudged that catch! But god bless this pakistan team we can do with atleast one team doing well in the subcontinent

  • Wakas on February 8, 2012, 10:39 GMT

    Although this article appears on page 2 but its true. Specially about english media's and PCB's creativity.

  • Imran on February 8, 2012, 10:32 GMT

    To be fair to Strauss, he does have a point. England struggled in the warm-up games and weren't convincing, and only narrowly avoided an innings defeat in the first test. They certainly did do better as a whole towards the end, but then, so did Pakistan. No doubt the underestimated Pakistan - perhaps they were anticipating some PCB shenanigans to help them that didn't materialise?

  • Nasir on February 8, 2012, 9:52 GMT

    Andrew! TBH I have quit reading other blogs here but your's is always a treat. Keep up the good work!

  • farhan on February 8, 2012, 9:27 GMT

    loll dis line sums it up "but I m sure you can do it if you put your mind to it". Brilliant

  • Imran on February 8, 2012, 9:26 GMT

    come on Andrew... stop trying to make a joke out the success of the Pakistan. Fine we've had more than our share of "doing something silly" and chaos but just for once can't the English press take defeat in the right spirit and stop trying to either point fingers at the opposition or trying to make meaningless jokes out of the result....

  • Sunil Jambekar on February 8, 2012, 6:34 GMT

    "They lost by a narrow 71 runs today, compared to a massive 72 last time and at this rate of improvement, they should finally be gaining the upper hand towards the end of the 2107-08 series."

    Ha ha ha ... fell off the chair laughing on this. Good one Andrew ...

  • zaib from lahore on February 8, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    great blog.i love you blogs . lets see what pcb has in her pocket to throw out :)

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  • zaib from lahore on February 8, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    great blog.i love you blogs . lets see what pcb has in her pocket to throw out :)

  • Sunil Jambekar on February 8, 2012, 6:34 GMT

    "They lost by a narrow 71 runs today, compared to a massive 72 last time and at this rate of improvement, they should finally be gaining the upper hand towards the end of the 2107-08 series."

    Ha ha ha ... fell off the chair laughing on this. Good one Andrew ...

  • Imran on February 8, 2012, 9:26 GMT

    come on Andrew... stop trying to make a joke out the success of the Pakistan. Fine we've had more than our share of "doing something silly" and chaos but just for once can't the English press take defeat in the right spirit and stop trying to either point fingers at the opposition or trying to make meaningless jokes out of the result....

  • farhan on February 8, 2012, 9:27 GMT

    loll dis line sums it up "but I m sure you can do it if you put your mind to it". Brilliant

  • Nasir on February 8, 2012, 9:52 GMT

    Andrew! TBH I have quit reading other blogs here but your's is always a treat. Keep up the good work!

  • Imran on February 8, 2012, 10:32 GMT

    To be fair to Strauss, he does have a point. England struggled in the warm-up games and weren't convincing, and only narrowly avoided an innings defeat in the first test. They certainly did do better as a whole towards the end, but then, so did Pakistan. No doubt the underestimated Pakistan - perhaps they were anticipating some PCB shenanigans to help them that didn't materialise?

  • Wakas on February 8, 2012, 10:39 GMT

    Although this article appears on page 2 but its true. Specially about english media's and PCB's creativity.

  • Siddhartha on February 8, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    lmao totally up to the PCB now to ruin the pakistan team. Maybe they'll pull over gul for dropping a catch. It's no big deal that he held up one end and bowled beautifully, we'll just sack him coz he misjudged that catch! But god bless this pakistan team we can do with atleast one team doing well in the subcontinent

  • Faisal on February 8, 2012, 12:20 GMT

    Beautiful write-up; lovely prose and a fresh, endearing expression. Loved the sarcasm on PCB! Totally agree.

  • Rohan on February 8, 2012, 12:34 GMT

    insanely awesome blog..PCB's 4-point cycle was tooooooo good..