Pakistan cricket April 20, 2012

Flogged, beaten, dead

We await with trepidation any further attempt to resurrect Bangladesh's tour of Pakistan. What do you do with a horse that has been flogged, beaten, and is already dead?
25

We await with trepidation any further attempt to resurrect Bangladesh's tour of Pakistan. What do you do with a horse that has been flogged, beaten, and is already dead? This tour isn't toast, it's dog food.

You might have interpreted the length of Bangladesh's proposed visit in two ways. It was either a sensible staged return of international cricket to Pakistan or an indication of Bangladesh's reluctant enthusiasm for the trip. Either way, the PCB and Mustafa Kamal would have accelerated their agendas in the air-conditioned corridors of the ICC. The PCB would hail the return of international cricket to Pakistan, and Kamal would sleep easier over his nomination as the ICC's next vice-president.

Asian cricket is a blemished landscape. Afghanistan is rising, perhaps Bangladesh has risen. Pakistan and Sri Lanka remain flawed but compelling. Above the rush for survival and glory, India rules the skies with power, wealth, captivating personality, and myopic lens that distorts vision.

In general, a bad process produces a bad outcome. Bangladesh's agreement to tour, we discover, was devoid of process except the decision-making process inside Kamal's head. Bangladesh's administrators were perplexed, players were reluctant, a coach stepped down, and a court order prevented the tour from going ahead as planned. Only in Asia; cricket is a metaphor for life, all the chaos, absurdity, and passion thrown in.

Meanwhile, the PCB is to be praised for its desire to return international cricket to Pakistan but this result must not come at all costs. The PCB has always seemed too desperate to make this tour a reality. If the circumstances don't allow, why force it? A weekend break by Bangladesh will be symbolism alone, a trivial argument in the forlorn battles to entice visits by England, Australia, and India.

India has little need for Pakistan or its players. Don't listen to the words, observe the deeds. As short-sighted as the Indian approach is, for let's be clear a successful tour by India would instantly banish many of the barriers that rise like demons to prevent international cricket in Pakistan, it's the realpolitik of international cricket.

Pakistan's strategy is clear albeit painful. Build a thriving cricket culture that strengthens domestic cricket, making it a spectacle for supporters, and build relationships with other cricket boards especially in Asia and independent of India to further Pakistan's international cricket, not superficial alignments as with Kamal but deep bonds. This isn't a short-term agenda. It requires graft, commitment, and an eye for the long game.

The power of Indian cricket, and the power of its whims, is unlikely to be eroded. This is a tragedy because many India fans despair as much with the policies of its cricket board as many outsiders do. Again, this is the Asian way; we get the rulers we don't deserve. Ironically, the demographic view is that only Asia will be able to challenge India, and that challenge is necessary to bring balance to the skewed world of international cricket.

The rest of Asia must challenge its mighty neighbour; an important service for the future health of international cricket. The current plight of Pakistan cricket can be a catalyst to make that future a reality. There can be safety in numbers. It's either that or the Asian nations can look forward to a lifetime of scraps charmingly served at the high table of Indian cricket.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • hussain on May 12, 2012, 16:59 GMT

    Misbah should set aside himself from captaining ODI squad.We acknowledge his performances in ODI,s but his age is the biggest factor. He is not going to ascend from this stage anymore.He can contribute towards cricket by playing test cricket only. He should concentrate on tests. Make long term changes. Any failure in ODI,s will push him close towards dumping him in the same manner as most of our well known cricketers.

  • akb on May 12, 2012, 12:08 GMT

    Its good to see that most of the players in the national circuit performing well, will get chance to play for their country in 1 way or the other.

  • hus on May 12, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    PCB is persisting with its policy of showing door to the cricket stalwarts.The coming T20 cup is considered to be Afridi,s last. It would have been a great send off to him if he was appointed capt of the team. Especially when you say that Hafeez is not a long term capt but he will be playing alongside Misbah to help Pak cricket. What a nonsense.

  • shahnawaz on May 5, 2012, 21:48 GMT

    yess.. pakistan should watch the future series.

  • hus on May 5, 2012, 2:01 GMT

    Some people are never considered as perfect cricketers to suite all the formats of the game. Afridi ,Imran Nazir despite showing brilliance during their carriers fall in the same category. According to the GOP, Afridi would have been as effective in test matches as in ODI,s & T20. His performance in tests speaks for him but he is wise enough to know his short comings. He opted out of test cricket & fair enough. He was an ODI player right from the begining & with the passage of time has become more a T20 player rather than an ODI player.Very few players with sheer talent can specialise in the T20 version of cricket. It will be an injustice not to mention Gayle.

  • akb on May 5, 2012, 1:33 GMT

    T20 has hurried things up in cricket.It has brought cricket very close to baseball.On one hand it is considered as a game of the young while on the other hand senior cricketers can use it as continuation of their hobby after retirement. Apart from fielding,seniors can stand the vigours of the game because of the shortness of the format. Anybody can bat/bowl few overs. But the fact is that leaving the pump & show aside, T20 is not going to help cricket in the long run. It has tampered with the basic infra structure of the game.

  • khalil on May 4, 2012, 11:43 GMT

    IPL has already lost much of it,s initial glitter. A lot of retired or near retirement players & with so many unknown faces in the teams speak by itself.

  • hussain on May 4, 2012, 11:38 GMT

    Pak was the only team who can throw an open challange to India in cricket. India would not like to be humiliated by losing to Pak after having so much say in world cricket because of its financial position. Rather it is trying to reduce Pak cricket to ashes by hitting hard to cut off finances to PCB ,be it through cancellation of FTP,s or preventing other teams,s visit to Pak by asserting its financial status. It,s clear from its attitude towards Pak cricket that anybody, be it Pak umpires, Pak players on visas from other countries, coaches or Pak commentators, all are eligible for IPL but for Pak Cricket team players. Isn,t it ? But this situation is not going to last long. Pak is due to bounce back on the cricket scene with a bang.

  • haseeb on May 1, 2012, 10:00 GMT

    pakistan should push for revoking bangladesh's test status

  • Zeeshan on April 28, 2012, 15:56 GMT

    I think that, now the sensible thing for us to focus on our next tour to SL . forgot about everything and perform well . Win in that way the best teams of the world want to play with us .........

  • hussain on May 12, 2012, 16:59 GMT

    Misbah should set aside himself from captaining ODI squad.We acknowledge his performances in ODI,s but his age is the biggest factor. He is not going to ascend from this stage anymore.He can contribute towards cricket by playing test cricket only. He should concentrate on tests. Make long term changes. Any failure in ODI,s will push him close towards dumping him in the same manner as most of our well known cricketers.

  • akb on May 12, 2012, 12:08 GMT

    Its good to see that most of the players in the national circuit performing well, will get chance to play for their country in 1 way or the other.

  • hus on May 12, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    PCB is persisting with its policy of showing door to the cricket stalwarts.The coming T20 cup is considered to be Afridi,s last. It would have been a great send off to him if he was appointed capt of the team. Especially when you say that Hafeez is not a long term capt but he will be playing alongside Misbah to help Pak cricket. What a nonsense.

  • shahnawaz on May 5, 2012, 21:48 GMT

    yess.. pakistan should watch the future series.

  • hus on May 5, 2012, 2:01 GMT

    Some people are never considered as perfect cricketers to suite all the formats of the game. Afridi ,Imran Nazir despite showing brilliance during their carriers fall in the same category. According to the GOP, Afridi would have been as effective in test matches as in ODI,s & T20. His performance in tests speaks for him but he is wise enough to know his short comings. He opted out of test cricket & fair enough. He was an ODI player right from the begining & with the passage of time has become more a T20 player rather than an ODI player.Very few players with sheer talent can specialise in the T20 version of cricket. It will be an injustice not to mention Gayle.

  • akb on May 5, 2012, 1:33 GMT

    T20 has hurried things up in cricket.It has brought cricket very close to baseball.On one hand it is considered as a game of the young while on the other hand senior cricketers can use it as continuation of their hobby after retirement. Apart from fielding,seniors can stand the vigours of the game because of the shortness of the format. Anybody can bat/bowl few overs. But the fact is that leaving the pump & show aside, T20 is not going to help cricket in the long run. It has tampered with the basic infra structure of the game.

  • khalil on May 4, 2012, 11:43 GMT

    IPL has already lost much of it,s initial glitter. A lot of retired or near retirement players & with so many unknown faces in the teams speak by itself.

  • hussain on May 4, 2012, 11:38 GMT

    Pak was the only team who can throw an open challange to India in cricket. India would not like to be humiliated by losing to Pak after having so much say in world cricket because of its financial position. Rather it is trying to reduce Pak cricket to ashes by hitting hard to cut off finances to PCB ,be it through cancellation of FTP,s or preventing other teams,s visit to Pak by asserting its financial status. It,s clear from its attitude towards Pak cricket that anybody, be it Pak umpires, Pak players on visas from other countries, coaches or Pak commentators, all are eligible for IPL but for Pak Cricket team players. Isn,t it ? But this situation is not going to last long. Pak is due to bounce back on the cricket scene with a bang.

  • haseeb on May 1, 2012, 10:00 GMT

    pakistan should push for revoking bangladesh's test status

  • Zeeshan on April 28, 2012, 15:56 GMT

    I think that, now the sensible thing for us to focus on our next tour to SL . forgot about everything and perform well . Win in that way the best teams of the world want to play with us .........

  • Rahul on April 28, 2012, 13:58 GMT

    Kamran your views seems to be too biased. If u think its going to be Asia vs BCCI. BCCI does have some rotten tomatoes but it doesn't rule away the fact its willing to play with Pakistan - that's a cash bonanza irrespective of the team's performance on field, but its surrounded by political barriers which no BCCI official would dare to touch, keeping the sensitivity at the check. PAK must come out of illusion that BCCI is a barrier to them, its not going to take domestic cricket anywhere. Pak is no short of sponsors so start a league which could attract players from countries such as Afghanistan, Zimbabwe at the first, if they are going to play with out fear gradually cricket will start getting back into Pakistan. Everything needs proper planning & proper security backup for that, another attack near a cricket infrastructure will totally destroy pak's option of hoping for a match. Let the best happen to Pakistan and its cricket, from an Indian.

  • Zia on April 25, 2012, 16:44 GMT

    Not sure I agree with you , Kamran. Pakistan vs. India matches are the most watched ever. The fever, the hype, the drama are all unparallelled. Can Indian cricket do without it? Yes. But so can it if it were not to play against England, or SA. No one country absolutely needs the other. But that is not the point. The point is how much it will gain from playing the other. In case of Pakistan vs. India the answer is clear. That is what the fans want to watch. Would they want to watch Afridi play in the IPL? I have not doubts he would be one of the most watched.

  • Irfan on April 23, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    Finally some sensible people are reading this blog! Pakistan needs to do what's best for them. Unfortunatly lack of vision, planning and a clear understanding between short and long term goals will impede this process. Above, people like Shahid, Hussain and Rauf get it. First is to realize that India is the big kahuna here in this pond, even if little fish gotten together will not be able to hurt her but will be vice versa. Let's get out of this negative mind set. Let's improve your own product while constantly trying to garner relationship with other nations of the region. Fact that you will need help in thia ascend goes without saying but the million dollar question is who will come? BCB just showed their colors. That leaves Sri Lanka, a country more or less mired in same kind of organizational strife as Pakistan. Yes they have been bitten by us but with patience and tact I am sure they can be won. So the key would be not a trip by India but by Sri Lanka.

  • Qamruzzama Khan on April 23, 2012, 13:10 GMT

    Well said sir, I am an Indian, but thoroughly agrre with your views and there are many of us like me in INDIA...and your line "India has little need for Pakistan or its players. Don't listen to the words, observe the deeds. As short-sighted as the Indian approach is, for let's be clear a successful tour by India would instantly banish many of the barriers that rise like demons to prevent international cricket in Pakistan, it's the realpolitik of international cricket." is wonderful and a true statement.

  • Gokul on April 22, 2012, 14:18 GMT

    The author has not explained how India or the BCCI is to be blamed for Bangladesh not touring Pak.

  • Rauf on April 22, 2012, 10:15 GMT

    Learn from the Chinese. Be patient, don't get emotional, improve yourself and good things will eventually come your way.

    PCB must not try to force the issue. If others don't want to visit then be patient, let the time be right and everything will fall back in place. Pakistan has talent which is the biggest asset in the long run. For far too long PCB has been a client board to serve BCCI. It hasn't gotten Pakistan anywhere. Quite the contrary actually. Nothing stays forever. Security situation in Pakistan is so low that only way is up now. Wait it out. Build yourself and then India would be begging Pakistan for a tour not the other way around.

    PCB should independently have good relations with every board NOT based on some Asian vs Western group logic. Have good relations with CA, ECB and CSA. Why to have bad relation with them just because Pakistan is in Asia. What has Asian boards done for PCB for it to be so subservient to them. Every man for himself is the way to go.

  • saleem on April 22, 2012, 8:12 GMT

    Pakistan's famous poet Allama Iqbal once said:

    "Khudi ko buland kar itan - kay her taqdir say pehlay - khuda banday say khud poochay kay bata teri razaa kya hai?"

    "Raise your standard so high in rank that God Himself asks the person before granting him anything, to tell, 'what he wants?"

    We Pakistanis need to literally follow the advice of our great poet, then the world will come to our footsteps and we won't need to beg them for bread crumbs! Especially to Bangladesh and India.

    Right now, Pakistan is sooo weak that regardless of great quality of Pakistani cricketers and sportsmen, world just doesn't care about it. First, we need to build ourselves strong and then you will see who won't come to Pakistan. Until then it's a futile exercise I'm afraid.

    It is also the duty of our cricketers to remain upbeat and confident - as they are one of the best in the world of cricket. They must protect their talent and innovations in bowling and NOT give it away for free as W's did in the past

  • PK on April 22, 2012, 6:26 GMT

    It has become a fashion to blame India for your own wrong doings. Today international cricket is not being played in Pakistan because they failed to protect a visiting team and one country which can bring international cricket back in Pakistan is India only if decides to tour Pakistan. Soon other countries will follow the trend. So rather than blaming India, Pakistan should try to improve relations with India and stop day dreaming that a group of countries can reduce India's dominance in world cricket because India generates 70% of revenue in world cricket alone....

  • Sarah on April 22, 2012, 2:31 GMT

    I agree with Mushtaq, it wouldnt be much of a precedent for other, better teams to come although there would be a small symbolic sense of contentment for ourselves that we tried.

  • Mushtaq on April 21, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    I still cannot understand why PCB was so insistent on spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on hosting a second tier team. Pakistan would have gained no additional credence even if it had won by a million runs, and no foreign teams would have signed up to travel to Pakistan even if the tour had gone of without a hitch.

  • hussain on April 21, 2012, 7:56 GMT

    Apart from FTP, Pak should play overseas cricket against quality oppositions. It will help Pak to be in cotention for the best side in the world of cricket. T20 cricket is never going to help our cricket survival rather it will produce a bunch of cricketers,who will perform in bits & pieces. Afridi though has over 7000 runs & nearly 350 wickets but can we consider him to compete at different levels of cricket with consistency. It,s a ?

  • hus on April 21, 2012, 7:42 GMT

    Concentrate on SL tour ,we have a lot more cricket to play.It may not only be BAN who has acted hand in glove. But we hope for the best for us so that ,s the reason of our disapointment.

  • khalil on April 21, 2012, 7:37 GMT

    Come on Pak. Just forget it. BAN coming or not not coming,take it as normal. We are desperate to bring cricket to our country & cricket will come to PAK one day but we should take cricket as a game. Don,t try to win the hearts rather than the game. We did the same on the last series against India in Pak. A team who has lost 30 out of 31 games to Pak have some reason in not coming.

  • Shahid on April 21, 2012, 1:44 GMT

    The only thing which can challenge indian dominance in cricket is some thing relatively bigger in T20. A combined league of Sirilanka, Pakistan with some thing in Shanghai and Dubai could be as big as it could be thought of. That is so if China had three players of minor county level combined with 7 top foriegn players making a playing eleven in Shanghai, Afghanistan with base in Dubai and teams from SL and Pakistan. T20 is a such an formate that it can very fast become a darling of any public if promoted in a right way. I think future belongs to T20 as most of the fund are going to be generated in this formate.

  • asad on April 20, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    Great piece, and analysis. Some quarters might not find it pleasant, but that is how reality is, no? I was, though, expecting it to develop further, but nevertheless i found it nice reflection of current scenario.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • asad on April 20, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    Great piece, and analysis. Some quarters might not find it pleasant, but that is how reality is, no? I was, though, expecting it to develop further, but nevertheless i found it nice reflection of current scenario.

  • Shahid on April 21, 2012, 1:44 GMT

    The only thing which can challenge indian dominance in cricket is some thing relatively bigger in T20. A combined league of Sirilanka, Pakistan with some thing in Shanghai and Dubai could be as big as it could be thought of. That is so if China had three players of minor county level combined with 7 top foriegn players making a playing eleven in Shanghai, Afghanistan with base in Dubai and teams from SL and Pakistan. T20 is a such an formate that it can very fast become a darling of any public if promoted in a right way. I think future belongs to T20 as most of the fund are going to be generated in this formate.

  • khalil on April 21, 2012, 7:37 GMT

    Come on Pak. Just forget it. BAN coming or not not coming,take it as normal. We are desperate to bring cricket to our country & cricket will come to PAK one day but we should take cricket as a game. Don,t try to win the hearts rather than the game. We did the same on the last series against India in Pak. A team who has lost 30 out of 31 games to Pak have some reason in not coming.

  • hus on April 21, 2012, 7:42 GMT

    Concentrate on SL tour ,we have a lot more cricket to play.It may not only be BAN who has acted hand in glove. But we hope for the best for us so that ,s the reason of our disapointment.

  • hussain on April 21, 2012, 7:56 GMT

    Apart from FTP, Pak should play overseas cricket against quality oppositions. It will help Pak to be in cotention for the best side in the world of cricket. T20 cricket is never going to help our cricket survival rather it will produce a bunch of cricketers,who will perform in bits & pieces. Afridi though has over 7000 runs & nearly 350 wickets but can we consider him to compete at different levels of cricket with consistency. It,s a ?

  • Mushtaq on April 21, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    I still cannot understand why PCB was so insistent on spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on hosting a second tier team. Pakistan would have gained no additional credence even if it had won by a million runs, and no foreign teams would have signed up to travel to Pakistan even if the tour had gone of without a hitch.

  • Sarah on April 22, 2012, 2:31 GMT

    I agree with Mushtaq, it wouldnt be much of a precedent for other, better teams to come although there would be a small symbolic sense of contentment for ourselves that we tried.

  • PK on April 22, 2012, 6:26 GMT

    It has become a fashion to blame India for your own wrong doings. Today international cricket is not being played in Pakistan because they failed to protect a visiting team and one country which can bring international cricket back in Pakistan is India only if decides to tour Pakistan. Soon other countries will follow the trend. So rather than blaming India, Pakistan should try to improve relations with India and stop day dreaming that a group of countries can reduce India's dominance in world cricket because India generates 70% of revenue in world cricket alone....

  • saleem on April 22, 2012, 8:12 GMT

    Pakistan's famous poet Allama Iqbal once said:

    "Khudi ko buland kar itan - kay her taqdir say pehlay - khuda banday say khud poochay kay bata teri razaa kya hai?"

    "Raise your standard so high in rank that God Himself asks the person before granting him anything, to tell, 'what he wants?"

    We Pakistanis need to literally follow the advice of our great poet, then the world will come to our footsteps and we won't need to beg them for bread crumbs! Especially to Bangladesh and India.

    Right now, Pakistan is sooo weak that regardless of great quality of Pakistani cricketers and sportsmen, world just doesn't care about it. First, we need to build ourselves strong and then you will see who won't come to Pakistan. Until then it's a futile exercise I'm afraid.

    It is also the duty of our cricketers to remain upbeat and confident - as they are one of the best in the world of cricket. They must protect their talent and innovations in bowling and NOT give it away for free as W's did in the past

  • Rauf on April 22, 2012, 10:15 GMT

    Learn from the Chinese. Be patient, don't get emotional, improve yourself and good things will eventually come your way.

    PCB must not try to force the issue. If others don't want to visit then be patient, let the time be right and everything will fall back in place. Pakistan has talent which is the biggest asset in the long run. For far too long PCB has been a client board to serve BCCI. It hasn't gotten Pakistan anywhere. Quite the contrary actually. Nothing stays forever. Security situation in Pakistan is so low that only way is up now. Wait it out. Build yourself and then India would be begging Pakistan for a tour not the other way around.

    PCB should independently have good relations with every board NOT based on some Asian vs Western group logic. Have good relations with CA, ECB and CSA. Why to have bad relation with them just because Pakistan is in Asia. What has Asian boards done for PCB for it to be so subservient to them. Every man for himself is the way to go.