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Cricket in Pakistan has a history of being tinted by ethnic and religious factors. Nadeem Paracha, in Dawn, presents a chronicle of curious selections, protests and regional rivalries, notably when a 24-year-old was appointed Pakistan captain.
Shortly before the series, Miandad was quoted by the press as saying that the senior players in the team were not co-operating with him. Majid Khan took offense and invited nine players to his home in Lahore and told them that he was going to refuse playing under Miandad. He said that Zaheer [Abbas] had agreed to do the same. The board decided to side with Miandad and he led a brand new team against the Lankans in the first Test of the series at Karachi's National Stadium.
In his column for Wisden India, Saurabh Somani pays tribute to former BCCI secretary Jaywant Lele, who died on Thursday, and recounts an evening spent with one of Indian cricket's most colourful characters, listening to anecdotes.
Over the course of conversation with Lele, it struck me that his yarns would best be enjoyed with a glass of whiskey, rum or whatever else your chosen poison was, sitting around a fire, and listening. He was a mine of information, he was enthralling, even occasionally amusing, and he forced you to be a good journalist, not reporting verbatim but sifting fact from fiction and getting dates and names right.
Australia legspinner, Fawad Ahmed's decision not to wear a beer-company sponsor's logo on his country shirt has sparked off a debate which has quickly moved beyond cricket and to touch upon larger issues of immigration and integration within the Australian society. A few have criticised Ahmed for his decision but as Malcolm Knox points out in the Sydney Morning Herald, the issue is not just about one player but about sport being open to changes within societies and cultures.
Whenever sports try to insulate themselves from change, they self-destruct. So let's imagine that a national symbol, such as the gold shirt Ahmed wears as an Australian one-day cricketer, does not impose a national character. Let's imagine that it's the wearer who changes the character of the shirt. In Ahmed's personal history, is there not the courage and durability we associate with a Hewitt (or a Dawn Fraser, a Herb Elliott, a Dennis Lillee, take your pick)? In his refusal to wear a VB logo, is there not something of that wilfulness that we like to call ''Australian''? In choosing to be here, rather than being born here, has he not already proved something?
Ahmed also finds support from Guardian writer, Joe Gorman who says his decision not wear the logo should be praised if Australia truly values moral conviction.
Having spent eight years of his life swinging a cricket ball for the Australian cricket team, Nathan Bracken has now set his sights on a different pitch: politics.
Bracken, who is Australia's second highest wicket-taker among left-arm quicks in ODIs, announced on his Twitter account on Sunday that he would be running as an independent in the Central Coast federal elections for the New South Wales seat of Dobell against former Labor MP Craig Thomson.
''I guess it got to the point where I didn't want to be the person that sits in the cafe saying 'oh jeez I wish I'd done this', or 'this should change','' Bracken said, according to Australian newspapers.
While he has Champions Trophy and World Cup medals in his kitty, Bracken remained wary about his chances of registering similar levels of success in the new arena immediately, while identifying youth unemployment and high school drop-out rates as among the issues that need addressing.
"I want to be somebody who gets out there and stands up and says let's try and change things, let's try and move things forward on the Central Coast for the betterment of the people who live here," Bracken, a 10-year resident of Central Coast, said.
Mani Khawaja insists criticism against Najam Sethi's appointment as interim president of the PCB is a sign of people wanting to stir things up. He says Pakistan cricket is in good hands, even if they are largely inexperienced in cricket administration, through a satirical blog entry in the Express Tribune.
With a deteriorating infrastructure that was failing to produce quality cricketing talent, mired in controversies and allegations of nepotism and sexual misconduct, a very capable and seasoned pair of hands was needed to steer the ship back into steady waters.
And that is why the current government went with Najam Sethi, a senior journalist with no prior experience in cricketing matters whatsoever