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Criticism has been as regular as breakfast for Alastair Cook. He saved himself from becoming an "untenable" option as Test captain but the focus has now shifted to his one-day capabilities. With former players questioning if England have the composition to win a World Cup, Stephen Brenkley, in the Independent comes to the support of the embattled England captain
Cook's batting strike rate as captain is 81.89 runs per 100 balls, acceptable even by the era's standards. There seems to be a desire outside the selection room to pack the team with sluggers on the grounds that one or two are bound to come off. England may actually have it right as long as the totals to which they aspire are based on conditions on the day, not some statistical database. The plan is to backload the innings after a solid start with Joe Root, Morgan and Jos Buttler all scoring at a lick
In his time with Kenya, Aasif Karim has enjoyed some unforgettable highs, even if they were sprinkled between his team's struggle to cope in the international arena. Aditya Iyer of the Indian Express caught up with the former Kenya captain, who recalled his side's startling victory over West Indies in the 1996 World Cup, his ouster and subsequent retirement after the 1999 tournament and a surprise call-up for 2003 edition.
"I couldn't believe it. The same selector who had sacked me wanted me to be part of the World Cup team. I hadn't played a competitive match since 1999. But he was adamant," he says. Fast forward a couple of months and we meet our protagonist, wearing the green and red in Kingsmead. "There I was, too old to play cricket four years ago. Not only was I here, but Kenya had qualified for the semifinals of the World Cup," says Karim. "In front of me were the mighty Aussies. In a Super Sixes match. And behind me was a scoreboard that read: Karim: 8-6-3-3."
The schedule of all ICC events until 2023 was determined at the governing body's annual conference in London this June and Pakistan will not be hosting any during that period. Former ICC president Ehsan Mani, in the Express Tribune, criticises the PCB and its acceptance of this proposal, while urging the board to take the necessary steps to bring international cricket back to Pakistan
This development reflects the sad state of affairs within the PCB. The body has been dysfunctional and there has been no strategic planning or a roadmap to bring back international cricket to Pakistan. The bottomline is that no progress has been made since the tragic attack on the Sri Lankan team. They have basically adopted a hit-and-miss approach in asking various cricket boards to pity them and visit. This unprofessional attitude has put them in no-man's land.