August 16, 2010

There's more to Pakistan than Punjab and Karachi

Karachi may have a genuine gripe about being sidelined in terms of national selection at the moment - but that's how the rest of country has felt forever
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A batsman from Karachi and a bowler from Punjab and that's your lot. For years this has been the truth of Pakistan cricket. On this has been built the Lahore-Karachi tale, a healthy, productive rivalry when times are good and a crippling divide when days are bad.

It has been around probably forever, though it first picked up some heat during the late 60s, when Karachi's Hanif Mohammad and Lahore's Saeed Ahmed (both born in pre-partition India incidentally) slugged it out for the captaincy. Not coincidentally, Pakistan was struggling.

Its most visible face came in the days of Imran Khan and Javed Miandad, days in which it became clear how much good and damage can be done by the tensions, egos, talents, friction and cooperation of two cities. They are actually two schools of thought. The roles are defined. The groans come from Karachi, where little excuse is needed to be a victim. Lahore simply carries on with the unconcern of the entitled.

The more Pakistan fails, the louder becomes this dispute. No one cares, after all, that the XI that won the 1992 World Cup final had nine players from Punjab (five from Lahore, but Karachiites will lump all of Punjab together to strengthen their case) and two from Karachi. The break-up of the XI that drew with West Indies in 1987-88 was usually of seven players from Punjab and four from Karachi.

Bad times are at hand again and so Karachi's belated outburst about the selection of the Test squad for the tour to England. Fourteen members of the 17-man squad are from Punjab, eight from Lahore alone. Tanvir Ahmed is the only Karachiite left. If neither Yasir Hameed nor Tanvir makes the cut in the next XI, the entire side will be from Punjab. That will be the first time ever in Pakistan's 351 Tests that the entire side is from one province. And if Tanvir doesn't replace Umar Gul, it will be the first Pakistan Test side ever to not have a single player from Karachi. To boot, David Dwyer's endearing Sydney drawl is the only non-Punjabi voice to be heard among the coaching and management staff.

Two points to consider. The immediate one is the Karachi gripe of bias and a lack of merit in selection. Many questions have been flung the way of cricket's governors, some more answerable than others. Why is Mohammad Sami not in, especially after that Sydney morning burst? Answer: Because, surely, he is Mohammad Sami, of 34 Tests, 84 wickets, and a 50-plus average. Where is Faisal Iqbal? Presumably somewhere near where a man with four fifties in his last 14 Tests (average 24) might be. The point nobody in Karachi raises is of the role Shahid Afridi, presently the city's most popular son, played in picking this squad.

In 58 years as a Test nation not a single player from Balochistan has represented Pakistan. Not a single Test player has come from the vast, forgotten interiors of Sind that surround Karachi. Not one even from Hyderabad

Others are tougher. How does Shoaib Malik, for example, after nine years of not convincing anyone that he can play Tests, continue to deny Fawad Alam an opportunity in the middle order? What sin has Sarfraz Ahmed committed? Having been Kamran Akmal's understudy for three years, he was given one Test, where he dropped no chances, and is now not even in the Pakistan A side. Did Danish Kaneria deserve to be dumped from the squad altogether after one poor Test? If so, then jettison as well the keeper who has missed 17 chances off him alone over 24 Tests. And try as they might, still nobody has a convincing theory as to why Wahab Riaz is in this Test squad. If you chuck in the cases of Khurram Manzoor (77 in Hobart in his last Test innings), Khalid Latif (averaging 46 as opener over the last four domestic seasons, with 11 hundreds but zero Test calls) and Asad Shafiq (this season's top scorer in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy), a certain Karachi fury is understandable.

But consider the second point, of far graver concern. The great conceit of the two great cities is to act as if nothing exists beyond them, that the roughly 150 million people outside don't matter.

In 58 years as a Test nation not a single player from Balochistan - the largest province area-wise - has represented Pakistan. Not a single Test player has come from the vast, forgotten interiors of Sind that surround Karachi. Not one even from Hyderabad, where much more depends on Azeem Ghumman, Pakistan's Under-19 and now A team captain, than anyone can imagine. Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (formerly NWFP) has produced barely a handful.

Of Pakistan's 18 centrally contracted players, only one is from outside Punjab or Karachi. Of the 19 stipend contracts, given to future stars, 15 are to players from Karachi and Punjab. In the U-19 team that finished runners-up in the World Cup earlier this year, 12 of the 15 were from Punjab and Karachi. Of the country's 200 Test players, a fraction under half come from either the cultural or commercial capital. What Karachi feels now and will feel this week if Tanvir doesn't play, the rest of the country has felt forever.

That a team comprising representatives from more than one province - or one province and the biggest city - cannot be produced in a country this big is damning not just of the current administration but a whole line of them, from the very first. This is how limited the spread of the biggest, most fabulous, most lucrative and most glamorous game, the only game that matters apparently, has actually been in this land.

The lazy, long-held assumption is that there is neither the talent nor the inclination for cricket in a lot of these areas. (In Balochistan, for example, football and hockey are popular.) The same was once said of East Pakistan. Nearly 40 years on, I know which top six I'd rather have. The truth is, no administration has been able or willing to put in place any serious, sustainable development plan for areas beyond these two. No infrastructure has been developed, facilities are poor, and access to the game remains difficult. The curse of modern Pakistan - the security situation in Balochistan and the north-west - has not helped.

It is admirable that players such as Mohammad Zahid and Mohammad Irfan from places as obscure as Gaggu Mandi, or Mohammad Amir from Gujjar Khan, can be found. Cities such as Faisalabad and Sialkot, and smaller satellites such as Sheikhupura, are contributing to the Pakistan side. This is good; cricket, it suggests, is the one grand equaliser in a country of great disparity. But it is not nearly enough because this is also a land of great diversity.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Toescrusher on | August 25, 2010, 15:28 GMT

    To subedar486: Has it ever happened that ten players were selected from Karachi? I think you need to understand the meaning of "what's goes around, comes around" Selection of ten players from one province without merit is racism period! Any one equates racism to "what's goes around comes around" dwells in racist mentality and it will destroy cricket in Pakistan just like it has done to Field Hockey! By the way just FYI cricket setup in Pakistan starting from Senator, PCB Chief, Secretaries, other officials; if vast majority of them are not from Punjab then Punjab can barely manage four players on merit in the playing eleven. You have played first class cricket great job but keep in mind cricket is the table talk in Karachi Pakistan and people have ample knowledge & understanding about this subject that it can surprise you!

    LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST ICC PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW RACISM TO FLURISH IN PAKISTAN CRICKET, BECAUSE OF THIS RACISM CRICKET IS BLEEDING IN PAKISTAN.

  • POSTED BY dmqi on | August 19, 2010, 18:35 GMT

    Good article. Here are some data of partisan attitude by the Pak rulers ( civil/military/sports). From East Pakistan(now Bangladesh), there was no test player till 1970, very poor representation in Civil service and specially in the defense forces. You all know the results. Now Bangladesh can possibly play competitive cricket with the current pak team. If you do not give equal opportunity to all, how can you see the ability from all corners. Pak cricket has always been controlled by a selected group and fairness was not there at all. Malik and Kamran and Farhat are the prime examples, that these players were given repeated chances after dozens of failures whereas Younus,Yasir Hamid and Fuad Alam and many others are not getting chances. See the result of the 3rd test with Yusuf and Hamid included. Would not 2 more replacement make it a much better team? Why that was not done? Because crazy PCB and selectors. Get rid of them ASAP and you can be the champion with the talents you have.

  • POSTED BY EXRampage on | August 18, 2010, 20:11 GMT

    @pccb. How the in the world can we get akrams and waqars from karachi if cricketers from karachi are not given a chance....Ridiculous..Everybody remembers Imran Khan's grudge against Javed Miandad when he declared the pakistani innings in the 1982 test against india when Javed Miandad was 280* not out and he was in such fantastic form in that match that he could have scored 400 if he continued to bat...Why is Fawad Alam not getting a chance...Just because he is from Karachi??With a test average of 41.66 and ODI average of 40.87..Look at Umar amin's average who is from Punjab..His average is 12.37..His high score is 33...Look at Azhar Ali (from Lahore) has an average 21.5...Azhar ALI and Umar Amin have talent but Fawad Alam is better than both of them but still he is not given a chance..Asad Shafiq from Karachi has an List A and First Class average of 43.7 and 38.33..But he is not given as many opportunities compared to Umar Amin....

  • POSTED BY Humanoids on | August 18, 2010, 18:08 GMT

    Well we in sub continent are best at none but brilliant at one "complain" rather than finding a solution, we run to blame!

    Pakistan should have 5 domestic teams, namely Punjab, Sind, Baluchistan, Kashmir/Northern areas and Pukhtunkhuwa (i call it Pakhtunkhuwa since the name Khyber-Pakhtunkhuwa sounds ridiculous- )

    Under these provincial teams headed by businessmen/business should be clubs. These teams should pick players from these clubs. The National team picked from 5 provincial teams. Now here u have club cricket fighting hard to make a name, provincial teams pick players on open auction for the season and you have the best talent out. Now the opponents of this simplified idea talk about poverty and departments helping cricketers. So much so that Tauseef played domestic cricket for so long that his son used to come pick him up (kidding). Departments should own clubs have shares in provincial teams and it should be privatized so the stake holders do not succumb to favoritism.

  • POSTED BY smjr on | August 18, 2010, 17:15 GMT

    This is a very touchy article but we need not to shy away from this. Cricket is the most likeable and most coverable game by media in Pakistan. I agree that Squash produced great players from KPK province, Snookers, Boxing and recently athelete from Karachi, Hockey players from mix of Karachi and Punjab, Tennis players from Punjab. In cricket Punjab produced fast bowlers abundantly of pace and quality. In cricket it has been seen recently that quality talented players from Karachi especially batsman were given very few chances and they were kick away from team after one or two failures. Average players from Karachi like Faisal Iqbal, Sami, Shahzaib were selected and tried too often despite failures. While batsman from Punjab are given repeated chances despite failures of themselves and Pakistan losing test matches. So the uproar from Karachi seems genuine on this aspect (batting) and wicketkeeping. I dont think Karachitis will protest in bowlng department as merit prevails there.

  • POSTED BY on | August 18, 2010, 14:01 GMT

    I can not disagree more. There should be no quota system. But instead there should be a transparent selection system. It should not have a hint of biased decisions. Apart from this I see no juice in this story. If someone is from Lahore or Karachi should not be the reason for their selection simple, it should be what they are/will offer to the team. We still think like tribal ppl,our, us, me, mine etc nonsense. We are Pakistanis and should think like one.

  • POSTED BY mirshehzad on | August 18, 2010, 6:14 GMT

    @pakistaniblood. I strongly support your arguments.There must be Quota plus Merit system, otherwise these allegation continuously haunt PCB. Remember if you suppress somthing it will explode ultimately........

  • POSTED BY Hass777 on | August 18, 2010, 1:05 GMT

    I feel for Fawad Alam I think he is not 20/20 player, but his Test average is 41 in 3 test and 40 in 17 One Day And his domestic average is 50 plus . I don't knw how the hell he is not in the team .I think in all the young lot he got far better technique & have temperament to play test . Y including Yousuf i knw he is a fine player but he not fit i rather have Younis i think he can play another for 2 year and he take catch. Imagin Yousuf score 50 and drop Petersen Twice . Can some one explain y Younis band still existence.

  • POSTED BY MirzaSaheb on | August 17, 2010, 23:45 GMT

    Dear Nuur. When certain patterns are openly apparent it is only natural that they will get pointed out especially if they are consistently not delivering and still being maintained. And it is not merely a matter of a city whining, if you or anyone for that matter is truly honest they should themselves point out such patterns regardless of affiliations. For that matter Karachi's population of between 15-20 million is more than Blch'stan's entire pop. and equal to the entire KP's pop of around 17 million(wikipedia). So if not a single person from that city finds his way into the national squad there has to be an issue. The make up of the board tells the story. Chairman- Lahore Punjab Manager- Lhr Captain-Lhr VCapt-Lhr Coach#1- Burewala Punjab Coach#2 Lhr Coach#3 Lhr As a natural consequence the selection of the team follows a particular pattern as well. But still no one would have a gripe if they would deliver. Fawad Alam! Century on debut under pressure and not worthy? Come on brother

  • POSTED BY on | August 17, 2010, 23:07 GMT

    It's not only Pakistan, the issue can be seen elsewhere. For e.g, India and Australia. There is always a debate when players are picked from NSW or Victoria. For instance, Usman Khuwaja made through to the national team ahead of others simply he represented NSW. I myself am from NSW and was delighted on his inclusion but that's not the point. I don't agree with the Quota system. Look at South Africa, they lost players like Kevin Petterson. I think they should fix the system of favourtism. You can't ignore these politics, it's only this time they are very apparent.

    I agree Azhar Ali and Umer Amin had no chance if they didn't know Salman Butt. Same can be said about Imran Farhat, Shoaib Malik and Kamran Akmal. Cricket is their job, I don't know how many chances do you get at your workplace if you keep making crucial mistakes.

  • POSTED BY Toescrusher on | August 25, 2010, 15:28 GMT

    To subedar486: Has it ever happened that ten players were selected from Karachi? I think you need to understand the meaning of "what's goes around, comes around" Selection of ten players from one province without merit is racism period! Any one equates racism to "what's goes around comes around" dwells in racist mentality and it will destroy cricket in Pakistan just like it has done to Field Hockey! By the way just FYI cricket setup in Pakistan starting from Senator, PCB Chief, Secretaries, other officials; if vast majority of them are not from Punjab then Punjab can barely manage four players on merit in the playing eleven. You have played first class cricket great job but keep in mind cricket is the table talk in Karachi Pakistan and people have ample knowledge & understanding about this subject that it can surprise you!

    LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST ICC PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW RACISM TO FLURISH IN PAKISTAN CRICKET, BECAUSE OF THIS RACISM CRICKET IS BLEEDING IN PAKISTAN.

  • POSTED BY dmqi on | August 19, 2010, 18:35 GMT

    Good article. Here are some data of partisan attitude by the Pak rulers ( civil/military/sports). From East Pakistan(now Bangladesh), there was no test player till 1970, very poor representation in Civil service and specially in the defense forces. You all know the results. Now Bangladesh can possibly play competitive cricket with the current pak team. If you do not give equal opportunity to all, how can you see the ability from all corners. Pak cricket has always been controlled by a selected group and fairness was not there at all. Malik and Kamran and Farhat are the prime examples, that these players were given repeated chances after dozens of failures whereas Younus,Yasir Hamid and Fuad Alam and many others are not getting chances. See the result of the 3rd test with Yusuf and Hamid included. Would not 2 more replacement make it a much better team? Why that was not done? Because crazy PCB and selectors. Get rid of them ASAP and you can be the champion with the talents you have.

  • POSTED BY EXRampage on | August 18, 2010, 20:11 GMT

    @pccb. How the in the world can we get akrams and waqars from karachi if cricketers from karachi are not given a chance....Ridiculous..Everybody remembers Imran Khan's grudge against Javed Miandad when he declared the pakistani innings in the 1982 test against india when Javed Miandad was 280* not out and he was in such fantastic form in that match that he could have scored 400 if he continued to bat...Why is Fawad Alam not getting a chance...Just because he is from Karachi??With a test average of 41.66 and ODI average of 40.87..Look at Umar amin's average who is from Punjab..His average is 12.37..His high score is 33...Look at Azhar Ali (from Lahore) has an average 21.5...Azhar ALI and Umar Amin have talent but Fawad Alam is better than both of them but still he is not given a chance..Asad Shafiq from Karachi has an List A and First Class average of 43.7 and 38.33..But he is not given as many opportunities compared to Umar Amin....

  • POSTED BY Humanoids on | August 18, 2010, 18:08 GMT

    Well we in sub continent are best at none but brilliant at one "complain" rather than finding a solution, we run to blame!

    Pakistan should have 5 domestic teams, namely Punjab, Sind, Baluchistan, Kashmir/Northern areas and Pukhtunkhuwa (i call it Pakhtunkhuwa since the name Khyber-Pakhtunkhuwa sounds ridiculous- )

    Under these provincial teams headed by businessmen/business should be clubs. These teams should pick players from these clubs. The National team picked from 5 provincial teams. Now here u have club cricket fighting hard to make a name, provincial teams pick players on open auction for the season and you have the best talent out. Now the opponents of this simplified idea talk about poverty and departments helping cricketers. So much so that Tauseef played domestic cricket for so long that his son used to come pick him up (kidding). Departments should own clubs have shares in provincial teams and it should be privatized so the stake holders do not succumb to favoritism.

  • POSTED BY smjr on | August 18, 2010, 17:15 GMT

    This is a very touchy article but we need not to shy away from this. Cricket is the most likeable and most coverable game by media in Pakistan. I agree that Squash produced great players from KPK province, Snookers, Boxing and recently athelete from Karachi, Hockey players from mix of Karachi and Punjab, Tennis players from Punjab. In cricket Punjab produced fast bowlers abundantly of pace and quality. In cricket it has been seen recently that quality talented players from Karachi especially batsman were given very few chances and they were kick away from team after one or two failures. Average players from Karachi like Faisal Iqbal, Sami, Shahzaib were selected and tried too often despite failures. While batsman from Punjab are given repeated chances despite failures of themselves and Pakistan losing test matches. So the uproar from Karachi seems genuine on this aspect (batting) and wicketkeeping. I dont think Karachitis will protest in bowlng department as merit prevails there.

  • POSTED BY on | August 18, 2010, 14:01 GMT

    I can not disagree more. There should be no quota system. But instead there should be a transparent selection system. It should not have a hint of biased decisions. Apart from this I see no juice in this story. If someone is from Lahore or Karachi should not be the reason for their selection simple, it should be what they are/will offer to the team. We still think like tribal ppl,our, us, me, mine etc nonsense. We are Pakistanis and should think like one.

  • POSTED BY mirshehzad on | August 18, 2010, 6:14 GMT

    @pakistaniblood. I strongly support your arguments.There must be Quota plus Merit system, otherwise these allegation continuously haunt PCB. Remember if you suppress somthing it will explode ultimately........

  • POSTED BY Hass777 on | August 18, 2010, 1:05 GMT

    I feel for Fawad Alam I think he is not 20/20 player, but his Test average is 41 in 3 test and 40 in 17 One Day And his domestic average is 50 plus . I don't knw how the hell he is not in the team .I think in all the young lot he got far better technique & have temperament to play test . Y including Yousuf i knw he is a fine player but he not fit i rather have Younis i think he can play another for 2 year and he take catch. Imagin Yousuf score 50 and drop Petersen Twice . Can some one explain y Younis band still existence.

  • POSTED BY MirzaSaheb on | August 17, 2010, 23:45 GMT

    Dear Nuur. When certain patterns are openly apparent it is only natural that they will get pointed out especially if they are consistently not delivering and still being maintained. And it is not merely a matter of a city whining, if you or anyone for that matter is truly honest they should themselves point out such patterns regardless of affiliations. For that matter Karachi's population of between 15-20 million is more than Blch'stan's entire pop. and equal to the entire KP's pop of around 17 million(wikipedia). So if not a single person from that city finds his way into the national squad there has to be an issue. The make up of the board tells the story. Chairman- Lahore Punjab Manager- Lhr Captain-Lhr VCapt-Lhr Coach#1- Burewala Punjab Coach#2 Lhr Coach#3 Lhr As a natural consequence the selection of the team follows a particular pattern as well. But still no one would have a gripe if they would deliver. Fawad Alam! Century on debut under pressure and not worthy? Come on brother

  • POSTED BY on | August 17, 2010, 23:07 GMT

    It's not only Pakistan, the issue can be seen elsewhere. For e.g, India and Australia. There is always a debate when players are picked from NSW or Victoria. For instance, Usman Khuwaja made through to the national team ahead of others simply he represented NSW. I myself am from NSW and was delighted on his inclusion but that's not the point. I don't agree with the Quota system. Look at South Africa, they lost players like Kevin Petterson. I think they should fix the system of favourtism. You can't ignore these politics, it's only this time they are very apparent.

    I agree Azhar Ali and Umer Amin had no chance if they didn't know Salman Butt. Same can be said about Imran Farhat, Shoaib Malik and Kamran Akmal. Cricket is their job, I don't know how many chances do you get at your workplace if you keep making crucial mistakes.

  • POSTED BY pccb on | August 17, 2010, 21:01 GMT

    WELL I AM ALSO A KARACHIITE,BUT THE FACT IS THAT PUNJAB HAS CONTRIBUTED HEAVILY IN THE SUCCESS OF PAKISTAN CRICKET IN EVERY FORMAT OF TH GAME.NOT ONLY THAT PUNJAB HAS NOT ONLY PRODUCED PAKISTAN'S GREAT CRICKETERS, IN FACT WORLD'S CRICKET ICONS IN THE FORM OF GREAT FAST BOWLERS AND ALLROUNDERS SUCH AS GREAT IMRAN KHAN,WASIM AKRAM.WAQAR,SHOAIB,AND NOT TO FORGET GREAT SPINNERS SUCH AS ABDUL QADIR,SAQLAIN AND MUSHTAQ AHMED.NOT ONLY THIS PUNJAB IS ALSO PROVIDING PAKISTAN WITH A GREAT YOUNG FAST BOWLERS IN A SPAN OF EVERY 1 OR 2 YEARS.IN 2005 M.ASIF,2007 SOHAIL TANVIR AND 2009 M.AMIR AND THE STORY WILL CONTINUE.APART FROM THAT WHAT OUR FELLOW KARACHIITES ARE PROTESTING ,IS NOT JUSTIFIABLE TO GRATER EXTENT AS FAR AS THE INCLUSION OF M.SAMI,KHURAM MANZOOR AND EVEN KHALID LATIF IS CONCERNED.BECAUSE M.SAMI IS A CLUB BOWLER WITH A SHAMELESS AVG OF 50+ WHICH IS EVEN WORST THAN A PART TIMER.KHURAM WAS GIVEN CONSECUTIVE CHANCES IN 4 TESTS ON EASY CONDITIONS WHERE HE FAILED TO DELIVER

  • POSTED BY farazzubair on | August 17, 2010, 18:49 GMT

    I have heard enough of this debate! Osman I couldnt believe that you would go to this to write an article, if we cannot unite them , why divide them. Its ok if people groan about the issue, but the matter goes to the next level when it is publicized. I know you need to write articles but that means if you dont find a subject you will create a debate, just because you want to write something! True there are other areas in pakistan and PCB should do something about them , you could have put them that way, but why unnecessarily raise an issue when it hasnt caught hot waters!

  • POSTED BY jokistan on | August 17, 2010, 17:55 GMT

    What did the Karachi player do in the series in New Zealand and Australia? Faisal Iqbal couldn't handle bounce, Khalid Latif was disappointing. Sami has been playing since 2001 and his level is still rookie. Umar Gul, Mohammad Asif, Sohail Tanvir and Mohammad Aamer came after him and made their names. Sami is still hopeless, just good for Lahore Badshahs. There isn't any Karachi player who deserves to be in, Fawad Alam is only god for tests as he's the new Asif Mujtaba. Its how you perform in the ground that matters. Sarfraz Ahmed was in the team for a year, what did he do? Salman took one test and made his mark as a keeper. Karachi should start producing some good cricketers like Basit Ali and Rashid Latif first before whinning.

  • POSTED BY haroonalvi on | August 17, 2010, 17:20 GMT

    @ Hassaan Qureshi: Get your reading glasses on before reading my comment. I said PUNJAB + KARACHI = 70 % of Pakistani population................NOT KARACHI + LAHORE

  • POSTED BY Toescrusher on | August 17, 2010, 15:04 GMT

    It is a very systematic game plan to keep deserving players of other regions of Pakistan particularly Karachi away from International cricket. This policy was followed by Kardar, Imran, Akram, Inzi and now the present Punjab XI. We Karachiites are protesting because this racism has damaged Pakistan cricket badly Punjab needs to wakeup after all how long Punjab will keep on pampering players like Shoeb Malik, Imran Farhat, Wahab Raiz, Keeper Kamran & the unfit Mulla from Raiwind. Salman Butt is wrong when he said "We will be world beaters" Butt should know we can never be world beaters with the team selected with the racist mentality. If merit has any meaning then Younus, Asim, Hasan Raza, Sami must be part of Pakistan XI. Punjab needs to get out of this mentality that meaning of Pakistan is Punjab & the meaning of Islam is Punjab it is not going to work in 21st Century if Punjab keep on forcing this policy I am afraid we will completely destroy our cricket & the other institutions.

  • POSTED BY Fantabulous_Sohaib on | August 17, 2010, 13:31 GMT

    To answer Nuur, the KCCA and Karachites are indeed protesting on the overall selection, if you can't see that then I can't help you ! The fact remains that there are a number of players from Karachi that are unjustly ignored just like Yasir Hameed mertis selection but is kept out ! It all comes under overall bad selection for the national team. If Khurram Manzoor is a horrible batsman then what are Umar Amin Salman Butt and Imran Farhat correct me if I am wrong but they are no Bradmans either! Khurram given a fair chance...7 Test Matches as compared to say Imran Farhat's 37 please talk sense man !

  • POSTED BY mirzatan.tanveer on | August 17, 2010, 13:21 GMT

    I do not agree with this contraversary about selection.But would lnt here that why selectors ignore merit.For example let us take selection of players like Slaman Butt which is difficult to justify his selection. Enough is enough Mr Butt Provided him time to learn cricket .But he failed to justify his selection .Now his performance is below standard even he does not qualify to represent club team with his present perforformance .Now thanks to his uncle Ejaz buttw promotted him to replace Afridi.This is unfair.Another selection is Kamran Akmal and so on. Finaly we need to repalce Ejaz Butt and his friends Yaver Saeed and Waseem Bari. Bari is Government servant and drawing Hundred of Thousands of Rupees salary and Parks from PIA as well as cricket Board which is wrong .In to protect cricket in Pakistan .Selectors should select team on merit basis instead of favourtism or influnced by others for selection.

  • POSTED BY UNIVERSAL_CRICKETER on | August 17, 2010, 12:21 GMT

    Its Punjabi vs Sindhi & punjabis are known to favour their own brazenly.See what punjabi general Zia did to sindhi leader Bhutto & the rivalry between mohajir Musharaff & punjabi Sharif. The only one who can bring senses to the punjabi arrogance are the Pasthuns of peshawar.

  • POSTED BY reality_check on | August 17, 2010, 10:53 GMT

    @smjr: Let's have 100% Karachi representation and see if we can win a match. Same can be said about 100% Lahore represented team. When a majority Punjab represented team won the T20 then everyone jumped on the celebratory bandwagon but when same team looses a few matches then suddenly Punjab vs Karachi stuff comes out in the open. Is PCB incompetent, YES. Is current team very weak irrespective of player domicile, YES. Do Malik and Farhat deserve to be in the team, NO. Do Sami deserve to be in the team, NO. Can two debutants from Karachi be any better then two debutants from Punjab, who knows. Is Sarfraz a better WK/BM then Kamran or Haider, look up the stats. Does Umar Akmal deserve a spot on test side, not yet but in shorter formats yes. I believe PCB selectors do select players based on merit (mostly)... they are just not very good at selection business which is why we are in this mess. Last time I checked, both MY and YK were non-Karachiites and look at what PCB has done to them.

  • POSTED BY reality_check on | August 17, 2010, 10:22 GMT

    @KarachiBoy: "I say dissolve the PCB (Punjab Cricket Board) and start a Pakistan Cricket Board." Maybe you should use the same vigour to tell fellow cricket fans from a certain political party in Karachi to stop waving their party flags to represent Pakistan during international tournaments and start waving Pakistani flag instead. You can refer to cricinfo archives about an article published about some fans waving the MQM flags during a Pak match in CT2009 South Africa instead of Pakistani flag.

  • POSTED BY reality_check on | August 17, 2010, 10:10 GMT

    @realredbaron: It seems like common sense is lacking in some karachiites to think that all evil comes out from north of Karachi in general and Punjab in particular and BTW... these are only some karachiites who think that. My questions are perfectly valid to cancel out any notion that there must be some grand Punjabi conspiracy against the people from Karachi. Is PCB admin incompetent, YES. Do some players don't deserve a spot on the team, YES. Has PCB left out some good players irrespective of their domicile, YES. But to link this to some nameless/faceless Punjabi conspiracy against Karachi is ludicrous at best. My question about squash... maybe Punjabis should start jumping up and down and accuse Pak squash selection cmte for being biased against Lahore. The simple fact is that there is no interest in squash for kids growing up in Punjab and that is that. Other rhetorical questions were just to prove my point which oviously you failed to pick up on.

  • POSTED BY on | August 17, 2010, 9:29 GMT

    Finally, and I repeat, FINALLY someone brought up this issue on a mainstream level. I commend Osman for bringing this controversial issue because, as much as the "ministers" want to hide it, let's face it: this has been going on for 63 years now. Maybe because they get the most business from Punjab, or for some other reason, Karachi has traditionally been sidelined from international cricket. It's not about Karachi being sidelined, really, it's about being biased towards a city. That city could be any city. If I were the chief selector, and the best 15 in a squad were coincidentally coming from Punjab, or any other province for argument's sake, I would be the first one to approve it. But in this current situation, it is obvious that there are many players in Karachi who are better than some of players from Punjab currently in the squad but all they can do is call it tough luck. How was Muhammad Hafeez recalled so many times, but Yasir Hameed never given a second chance. Pathetic!

  • POSTED BY on | August 17, 2010, 9:01 GMT

    @ Rizzo : (Continued) : ohh and Fawad Alam - On a Placid Pitch while facing Srilnka's Spin Machine it was him and Y.Khan that made triple figures in karachi 2008 - In Aus 2009 he'd been brought back after 1st test where's our beloved Imran Farhat is still scavenging. That apart I dont hear any names suggested or options presented just again can only hear BLA BLA BLA . P.S : Yes Sammi in Australia (2004 & 2009) TC

  • POSTED BY on | August 17, 2010, 9:00 GMT

    @ rizzo(Rizwan) :) common sense is not common which is quite evident from your response Malik's replacement plz read the article carefully :"Khurram Manzoor (77 in Hobart in his last Test innings), Khalid Latif (averaging 46 as opener over the last four domestic seasons, with 11 hundreds but zero Test calls) and Asad Shafiq (this season's top scorer in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy), a certain Karachi fury is understandable."- Comparing some one to our last great batsman on the basis of some "Wham-Bam" action does not fully do justice to the person being compared too, I think its in our (Pakistani) DNA to take extreme approach 'had too go' means for this series or untill time he can develop his temprament as he's still a young talented player."Sami...LOL": funny enough him and asif were the one's in sydney who serverd that match to our batting line up in a platter, yes indeed that sami or else if u've got a better choice with similar experience and pace feel free to let us know.

  • POSTED BY on | August 17, 2010, 8:50 GMT

    Every time fair enough chance had been given to players from other regions and this tym Karachi being ignored isnt a fair enough decision... Selectors and the chairman of pcb shud be axed for making such decision

  • POSTED BY on | August 17, 2010, 7:58 GMT

    i don't know why Paki media and international media is just trying to highlight this issu why they are taking it like that only punjab XI is playing it is Pakistan's 11 as far as this this thing is concern why any balochi player is not played test cricet from pakistan it is matter of fact if anyone who vist Balochistan he will know that Balchi people not like cricet to much while Punbab produce more plyaers bcz of population factor.......! I think it does not matter if all the players play from sind or Punjab ....... the thing which is matter is this wheather they deserve or not.....????????? while i think International media or Paki media like Geo( a channel of jews and Hindus) always want to creat a factor of ignorance in other parts of the countery so that more Bangladash can b created.......!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!No body rise question on india where alot of regions of country even not have single stadium all parts of india are ignored except punjab delhi mumbai kulcata etc.!

  • POSTED BY Revington on | August 17, 2010, 7:45 GMT

    Usman not one of your finest works. I believe you like most of the posters on this article are missing the point. I wonder what crime have the leading domestice performers such as blank and blank who have averages above 50 and scored 1000 runs each. I do not want to name names for fear of being accused of putting their names forward. Suffice it to say if you look up the records of the last year you will see who they are. Why have first class cricket then? Abolish it all together. What incentive do the lads have when failures such as umar amin (5oo runs) and Azhar ali are picked even after repeated failures.

    It is not so much about Sind and Punjab. I believe that the best performers of the countries domestic circuit need to be picked. I agree faisal iqbal should not be picked. But Sami in English conditions might prove to be a handful.

    It is plain to see for any neutral observer that Kamran Akmal in addition to Shoaib Malik are pulling the strings. Almost laughable really.

  • POSTED BY revolution12 on | August 17, 2010, 6:48 GMT

    Sorry to say many contradictions in the article!!

    Article starts with notion as if this is going on deliberately (may be true in some individual cases, but its every where) but at the end, author himself identifies the fallys leading to this situation

  • POSTED BY Riz.Khan on | August 17, 2010, 6:29 GMT

    @Daniel_Cartwright : agree with u faisal iqbal is parchi of mama ji; what do u think about imran farhat son in law of selector ilyas; salman butt has sur name butt; akmal brothers do u forget what did umar do in australia when kamran drop from team he declared himself as unfit blackmail the team management; @daniel do u follow cricket match? shoaib malik in new zealand in slip cordon he just not drop a catch but he come in line of ball & at last moment let it go for 4 & new zealand won match. plz plz get out of bias policies is there anyone want to know from where asif, amir & gul belongs to their performances are good enough. there is no place for players whose averages less than 45 in test butt, farhat, umar akmal, azhar , amin all have less than 40 select players for their performances not their cities & provinces

  • POSTED BY Toescrusher on | August 17, 2010, 5:10 GMT

    It is a very systematic game plan to keep deserving players of other regions of Pakistan partially Karachi away from International cricket. This policy was followed by Kardar, Imran, Akram, Inzi and now the present Punjab XI. We Karachiites are protesting because this racism has damaged Pakistan cricket badly Punjab needs to wakeup after all how long Punjab will keep on pampering players like Shoeb Malik, Imran Farhat, Wahab Raiz, Keeper Kamran Akmal & the unfit Mulla from Raiwind. Salman Butt is wrong when he said "We will be world beaters" Butt should know we can never be world beaters with the team selected with the racist mentality. If merit has any meaning then Younus, Asim, Hasan Raza, Sami must be part of Pakistan XI. Punjab needs to get out of this mentality that meaning of Pakistan is Punjab & the meaning of Islam is Punjab it is not going to work in 21st Century if Punjab keep on forcing this policy I am afraid we will completely destroy our cricket & the other institutions.

  • POSTED BY on | August 17, 2010, 4:49 GMT

    I agree fully with Muhammad Shuja Faseeh, this shameless bias goes on. player after player from karachi has been wasted and player after player from punjab has wasted countless opportunities given to them. Anyone who says otherwise is either blind or a bigot. By the way, is it the same Muhammad Shuja who I know?

  • POSTED BY lethalbouncer on | August 17, 2010, 3:07 GMT

    Unfortunately this relates to more than merely a Karachi-Lahore rivarly. A good starting point is to acknowledge the extent to which Punjabi chauvinism affects all institutions in Pakistan- the military, the police, Parliament, state-run enterprise etc Punjab (65% of the population of the country) displaying the greatest nepotism and provincialism does not do wonders for creating a national identity. It is but natural that the same crises one sees in running the state are present in the team with the same dominant theme of provincialism. Why is Fawad Alam not ever given a fair chance despite great averages across all formats? Why were players like Asim Kamal and Hasan Raza never given a decent chance? Why did the team have such a big issue with Younis Khan when he is a thorough gentleman? Why is every member of the team management Punjabi? Why do players like Umer Amin who have averages in the teens have such an assured placed. The answers are obvious.

  • POSTED BY Shah-Ji on | August 17, 2010, 2:42 GMT

    Mr Naqvi I do not know any cricketer personally. I have just seen them on TV and read about their performances on internet and paper magzines. On the basis of true observations ,and keeping in mind that wicketkeeper should be graded by his keeping abilities .Your brothers buddy do not miss a chance. Which is very rare ,and is considedred as best Keeper by experts like Rashid Latif/Bari/Zaheer Abbas .I do not belong to Karachi or Lahore,My opinions are in true love of Pakistan and Pak cricket.I belong to Pindi and believe that Umar Amin like Imran Farhat does not belong to the league of best batsman in the country.

  • POSTED BY on | August 17, 2010, 2:35 GMT

    To put things in perspective:

    Karachi's population: 11,774,000 (13th largest city in the world) Lahore's populatoin: 6,030,000 (37th largest city in the world)

    Someone should do a follow-up on a comparison of India's biggest cities to player selections. That would be interesting.

  • POSTED BY on | August 17, 2010, 1:55 GMT

    First of Punjab is not just a province. It is almost 60% of Pakistan. In the rest 40% pathans living in KP and karachi are also very talented and physicaly strong. Karachites in the past gave Pakistan some very good batsmen and are still capable of provding good batsmen but they never produced good fast bowlers. I am expecting some good pakhtoon fast bowlers and good karachites batsmen in future. As far as Balouchistan is concerned it has only 5% of population and that to living in very remote areas. I am sorry to say that interior sindh dont have any talent.

  • POSTED BY A.D. on | August 17, 2010, 0:28 GMT

    Definitely, it is about players like Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal given repeated chances whereas Karachi players like Asim Kamal, Khalid Latif are banished after one bad innings. For very long, from 80s onwards PCB has wasted great talent from Karachi like Basit Ali who probably deserved to play for Pakistan earlier than 93 and others, over the years, lot from Karachi has reduced thru time. Soon, there wont be any Karachi players to select and then you'll get tussles between Northern Punjab and Southern Punjab on display. Punjabistan when losing will come back accusing each other, the game will become more enjoyable off the field. Even now talent like Mohammad Irfan[tallest bowler in the world] and a true talent was ignored, and Wahab Riaz[after giving special help to Shafqat Rana] got selected instead. Recently comcluded Sri Lanka series, Shoaib Akhtar was forced on the side by Ijaz Butt and again Mohammed Irfan was put in reserve lot. Favoritism will hurt them no matter what.

  • POSTED BY smjr on | August 16, 2010, 23:31 GMT

    Dear Nuur. It is strange to see that you are not acccepting facts. You have never heard and will never heard of Rawalpindi , Lahore or Multan Cricket association protesting their deserving players because after all there are 13 plyers (out of 17) are from Punjab in cricket team and incidently the above mentioned cities are in Punjab. On the other hand voicing concern about not giving chances to deserving players from these cities is the headache of the cricket association or even players from these cities. You cant say that some one from Karachi like Fawad Alam (just played 3 test) who holds national record of debut century overseas have test average of 40, first class averge of 55 should not be in the team. Why you are not saying same thing about Malik, Umar Akmal, Butt Farhat, Amin and Azhar. Khurum Manzoor has played well in his last test at Hobart why he is dropped and why repeated chances were given to Umar Akmal, Kamran Akmal, Malik, Amin, Azhar despite failures.

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 23:27 GMT

    You present a valid point, Osman; yet, why is it necessary at the expense of players from Karachi? Why can't the number from Lahore be reduced? The cases of (supposedly) failed cricketers from Karachi, that you cite, is also weak. For example, Faisal Iqbal, how many continuous tests has he played compared to Shoaib Malik, and at how many different batting positions? Sami's bowling in Australia showed that he has matured, yet he didn't deserve a chance? There IS a deep rooted bias against Karachi. If you'd like to do some digging, pull out the Daily Jang panel interview done with Majid Khan and some others; MJ clearly siad that there was no room/need for players from Karachi, because they play on cement pitches. This interview was done right after the series in India under Asif Iqbal. Which reminds me of two other players from Karachi, whose careers were destroyed by the Punjabi supremacist lobby: Iqbal Qasim, Anil Dalpat and Sikander Bakht.

  • POSTED BY mueenhameed on | August 16, 2010, 23:27 GMT

    Hopeless article....Osman has been my favourite writer but this article reminds me Bengali protest while Pak team was touring Uk in 1971. These people protested out side cricket stadium in England that their "talent" was being ignored by selection committee. And we all know After "INDEPENDENCE" how many years their team took to get recognition from ICC and still they are "helping" many batsmen of the world to "improve" their test batting average. Now another Bangla Desh is in making (God forbid) . .Mohammad Sami & Danish Kaneria have got fair chance in test matches and their average in test is over 50 runs per wicket(Sami) and 34.79 (Danish). Now look at other PUNJABI bowler...Mohammad Asif has taken 102 in 21 test matches. Mohammad Amir is being appreciated by every one in the cricket world. Please always support fair selection & not on the basis of cities. Though Z. Haider played remarkably in second innings but he too dropped 3 catches. Kindly support Kamran Akmal for Oval test.

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 23:13 GMT

    I don't understand why there has been so much discretion between the provinces. Should it matter if the whole team is from Punjab. We are not Punjabis, Sindhis, Balochi or Pathans. We are Pakistanis. So a Pakistani born wherever in the country, if has the ability should be chosen to represent the Pakistani team. And i don't care if no one is selected frm Karachi in the next match unless there are no Pakistanis playing in the team. Stop this quota system. Selection should be based on merit. That's all. We should all be united. And stop this regional support. Instead feel proud for our fellow countrymen playing in the team. This outcry from the Karachi Cricket Association is nonsense. We should follow Quaid's teachings. Leave this Pathan, Punjabi, Sindhi e.t.c. And be PAKISTANIS.

  • POSTED BY BoomBoomAdnan on | August 16, 2010, 22:54 GMT

    I thought most of the selctors were from karachi. isn't mohsin khan from karachi? y isnt anybody complaining about him? only fawad alam deserves a spot in the team . i always hear people from karachi talking about faisal iqbal give me a break!! the guy is averaging 26 after like 26 tests. just bec he is related to javed miandad doesnt mean he plays like him

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 21:51 GMT

    Problem is not Punjab or Karachi, it is the management. Management is vision-less, inept and without any democratic culture. PCB needs a democratic constitution where management is elected from various supporting organization. An imbecile President has appointed a even more imbecile PCB President and because of their ego's they are ruining the country and Pakistan's Cricket. Except for Fawad Alam, I really do not believe anyone else deserves a chance in Pakistan A Team lest to say of the Senior Team. On a bigger note, People of Karachi made this a part of their life to complain about be being treated unfairly. I think it is more politics than reality, all the different factions of MQM thrive on this notion and therefore they control Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur with an iron vice.

  • POSTED BY Cric_Analyzer on | August 16, 2010, 20:45 GMT

    To Nuur, you have answered your own question. Its highlighted more in case of Karachi becuuse it happends more to us. Hardly a single player from Punjab is hard done by. As someone said, even a mediocer performance or average can win them a place in the national side, while players from Karachi have to wait till their late 20s and early 30s to get in, and that too only to get along the tour and probably get 1 or 2 chances before being dropped. It surely is about Pakistan for us Karachiites. We all love players from Punjab and elsewhere (Wasim, Waqar, Saqlain etc.) provided they deserve to be loved and respected through their performances. Please dont expect us to respect PARCHIS like shoaib malik, umar ameen, azhar ali and company. Also I wonder why do us Karachiites have to prove our patriotism even after 60 years of independance? As AQ Khan fittingly said in one the recent interviews, "I am still not accepted as son of the soil, still considered a Muhajir"

  • POSTED BY ToTellUTheTruth on | August 16, 2010, 20:34 GMT

    Please send those unwanted pakistani fast bowlers anytime to India via the Kashmir route. Batsman can go to Afghanistan. Problem solved. They will be crossing the border with cricket bats and balls rather than AK47s. I think they will be welcomed warmly into India.

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 20:17 GMT

    I hav a question. Is there any role of SHAHID AFRIDI in the neglection of karachi players for pakistani team

  • POSTED BY AhmadSaleem on | August 16, 2010, 20:11 GMT

    @Hassaan Qureshi. Haroonalvi said that the combined population of Karachi and Punjab(not Karachi and Lahore) is 70 % of whole country`s population which is right. I think you got it wrong.

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 19:29 GMT

    cricket is not popular in BALOCHISTAN AND SINDH because we find it boring.other than that this game doesn't got much to play when u compare it to football,it is only surviving on karachi and lahore.even then there is no player in football team of pakistan from SINDH and BALOCHISTAN,its political not structural problem.

  • POSTED BY Me_A_Gemini on | August 16, 2010, 19:07 GMT

    Interesting debate surely... I am not surprised of listening to this traditional discussion which could be heard anywhere in Pakistan when the people of these two areas are discussed. I think everyone should be quite wise enough by now that it is not the matter of talent of the people belonging to a particular area; it is the matter of the way things are managed in not only cricket but also in all areas of business in Pakistan. It is the matter of who is ruling the country at the moment. One thing I would like to mention which should be observed by everyone is that players who come from Karachi are not always the true representative of Karachi city; they actually belong to different parts of Pakistan like Afridi, Younis etc.

  • POSTED BY 4thelement on | August 16, 2010, 19:02 GMT

    @ Rizzo: For Gods sake; dont compare Umar Akmal wid Inzi. Great Article!!! just 2 days after the independence day. No doubt there always has been biasness and prejudice on the basis of linguistics in Pakistan. As the case when several of the muslims (who actually did the most in order to get freedom from the Britishers) migrated to Pakistan from India were not treated as they shud have been. The seperation of east Pakistan is also an example and this kill of merit is the ultimate reason for the chaos state of the country. There are various examples in cricket as well such as Rashid Latif, Basit Ali, Javed Miandad, etc. Nowadays Cricket no more is a game played in Karachi (to be honest) with same attitude, Karachities have got to do various other things than just playing cricket this may be the reason for less players from Karachi appearing at the international scene. Despite the fact i wud say the selection of Azhar Ali, Imran Farhat, Kamran, Malik and Umar Amin is extremely doubtful.

  • POSTED BY pakistaniblood on | August 16, 2010, 18:51 GMT

    There is clear favouritism in selection and result is destruction. While Imran and Salman continued to miserably fail against England and Australia Yasir Hameed was readily available back up and was totally ignored. While Rafatullah Mohmand was selected in 16 before Lahore test few years back Inzamam said no he cannot take pressure and what pressure Hafeez was taking. Hardly ever crossed 5 in 50 one dayers, but was still playing and finally we saw Inzamam loosing so many matches as Captain in final yrs. My suggestion always is Quota plus Merit. First distribute positions on Quota and then select on merit from those locations. So if balochistan has 2 in 16 both will always be from there. Today we have 30 avg in tests an this is the lowest average only at par with that of Bangladesh. PCB was just keen to make Salman Captain for many yrs whether he deserved it or not. Pak need Younis and not Ijaz Butt and if Ijaz is in the way he should voluntarily resign and let Younis come in.

  • POSTED BY fus786 on | August 16, 2010, 18:46 GMT

    Intentionally or unintentionally, this has been going on for so many year, and not only in cricket, but in all the team sports. The problem is that we are not willing to accept this as a problem. Face it , this is happening. But the bigger problem is not that karachi is not represented, but as stated in the article, in 60 yrs we have done nothing to improve sports infrastructure in other places, excluding Punjab and Karachi. For ppl who don't agree to it then just go and look at the composition Baluchistan Bears http://www.cricinfo.com/pakdomestic-09/content/current/squad/455068.html

    In the whole team one or two people are from Baluchistan, rest from Punjab...and then we complain why ppl in Baluchsitan feel deprived??? Sad..the reason why cricket or matter of fact the whole country in this state is because we never gave chance to Merit or provided facilities to the backward areas.

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 18:36 GMT

    Thank you for finally raising this extremely essential issue for Pakistan cricket right now, Osman. I don't at all mind Lahore/Punjab players being in majority, but the problem we all have is there should be equal and fair chances for everyone, only then will merit be valued. What the heck have Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Imran Farhat, etc etc have done with countless chances? Why do hopeless players like these keep getting chances again and again? Why don't good players from Karachi like Fawad, Asad, etc etc get even a decent CHANCE? Look, if you're gonna play players from Lahore, not a problem, but make sure you don't repeadtely give hopeless chances again and again and stick to failures, instead of doing the right thing of giving equal and fair chances to talents from Karachi, Peshawar, Multan, etc.

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 18:26 GMT

    Funny that first Osman ignites the fire by writing that "Karachi may have a genuine gripe about being sidelined in terms of national selection at the moment" and later water it down by comparing NWFP. Balochistan, and other small cities. Its completely irreleivant More Pujai in Police, More Punjabi in Defence Force, More Punjabi in Railway, More Punjabi in Airline, More Punjabi in USA, More Pujabi in UK....truth is "THEY ARE JUST MORE" Punjab Population 81 Millions Karachi Population 18 Millions Is it that hard to work out why there are more infact LOT more Punjabis? C'mon Karachi minorities and KCCA wake to this fact. Mr. Osman please find out how many Players from Karachi are currently enlisted in Naiza Bazi, Polo or Buzkashi. (Thats what they play in NWFP and Balochistan, Cricket is not their game). How can we think oustside the square when in Pakistan there are only CLOSE CIRCLES

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 17:21 GMT

    Some of the more important facts have also been missed out in this article. What about the captain (31 Caps, Batting Avg: 30.6 Are you serious?)? Imran Farhat (37, 32.9), Shoaib Malik (32, 33.4)? Nonetheless, what is more apparent is the fact that a player from Karachi needs to have an outstanding record to warrant a place in the team (Fawad Alam First Class Avg: 56) whereas if you are from Lahore (or Punjab) you only need to have a mediocre record to secure a place (Most recently: Uman Amin Bat Avg: 37, Azhar Ali: 38). Even Karachi's discarded keeper Sarfraz Ahmed has a better First Class Bat Avg of 43. Lastly, there must be something that Karachi must have been producing the last 55 yrs to have won 18 Quaid-e-Azam Trophies (More trophies than all the Punjab teams combined, let alone Lahore with a mere 4 titles). This is not to say that Punjab doesn't have the talent but that they know they don't need the titles to be selected because they have the Ijaz Butts!

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 17:07 GMT

    @ Riz.Khan, my point was solely to suggest comparison of a city and province is wrong and basically highlights exact mentality of people from Karachi. Lahore is not equal to Punjab nor Punjab is equal to Lahore. So comparison should have been sindh vs punjab or karachi vs lahore

  • POSTED BY sri1ram on | August 16, 2010, 16:57 GMT

    Yet another reason why for most of Pakistan, it is Punjabistan that dominates. You need to have a representative unit with merit, if you want nationalistic feelings from all quarters. In India, it was the other way around till the nineties. Merit many a time, used to take a backseat to state representation!! But with foreign coaches and their weight in the selection process, the role of merit has been largely restored in Indian cricket. You don't see Mumbai and Hyderabad dominating all the time due to superior training facilities, MRF has put Tamil Nadu on the map, Baroda is there. For Pakistan, I would say use central grants to create facilities first in other places and you will see the results in 5-10 years.

  • POSTED BY Nuur on | August 16, 2010, 16:54 GMT

    Ive never seen any city highlighting the issue so much and making it all abt Karachi rather than Pakistan. Only Karachites whine like this. I've never heard players from Lahore or Rawalpindi say that they are being overlooked. Its a stupid article on more stupid issue. Fawad Alam? are you guys kidding me?, he shouldnt be playing in the A side as well...Kharam Manzur is simply a horrible batsman, with a poor technique, he has been given fair amount of chances. The only two people who I believe are hard done by are: Kaneria and Khalid Latif, but this happens in Pakistan e.g Taufiq Omar is not in the team, why?. so I have something to say to Karachites: STOP WHINING WHINNERS AND MOVE ON, its about Pakistan, pick 11 players from Rahim Yar Khan for all I care, they must deliver, if u guys are protesting than dont protest on Karachi selection, protest on the selection overall.

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 16:51 GMT

    Mr. Samiuddin there are far more things to worry about in Baluchistan and other less developed areas of Pakistan than just cricket academies. The major reason why those areas don't produce any test players is because of the relative lack of interest in cricket. But the selection process of Pakistan Test team has always been biased sometimes more than other. A players if selected from Karachi has 10 times more pressure on him to perform because he knows that he might not get another chance but the same player from Lahore or Punjab has more leeway which ultimately affects the performance and the end result is Pakistan cricket suffers and the state in which the team is right now is the result of hardcore politics in the PCB setup. How can someone with more than 30 tests caps and averaging barely 30 runs as a top order batsmen still have a place in any test team other than Bangladesh and Zimbabwe (no offence) much less being the captain of the team?

  • POSTED BY KAIRAVA on | August 16, 2010, 16:50 GMT

    Unbelievable....!!!! The biggest state in Pakistan has not been represented in Pakistani International Cricket squad for nearly 60 years...????

  • POSTED BY subedar486 on | August 16, 2010, 16:47 GMT

    Pakistan Cricket is full of stories of discrimination, bias and so on. I was a first class cricketer in mid 70s. Played for Hyderabad, Pakistan Universities and got selected in Sind team under capatin Zaheer Abbas. Other players were Javed Miandad, Mohsin Khan, Sikander Bakht, Liaqat Ali, Qasim Umar. I was a class opening batsman and had scored more runs during the Quaid e Azam trophy than some players. Out of 4 matches in Pentangular matches in Lahore, I was not given a chance in a single match. When it came time for my chance, players who were noteven selected in the team were called overnight from Karachi to play. Now, that's pure discrimination by Karachi Manager. Now they are crying about discrimination against their talent. What goes around certainly comes around dear Karachiites. I was selected when javed Miandad was a bowler and I scored more runs than Qasim Omar. I left playing Cricket after that. I was selected by Pakistan's great wicket keeper Squadron Leader Imtiaz Ahmed.

  • POSTED BY Behind_the_Wicket on | August 16, 2010, 16:22 GMT

    I am very surprised at this column , Mr. Osman also trying to give some air to this " PAKISTAN V KARACHI issue. Danish Kanaria was off color in this series therefore he was dropped and Saeed Ajmal played , You see , Whats happened ? He got 5 wickets. I am also not happy about Hasan Raza , I personally did n,t see him how he bowls. Shoaib Malik is not better than Fawad Alam I accept it but my dear 1st of all we are Pakistani and then Punjabi ,Sindhi or Balochi. What is this nonsense ? SARFRAZ AHMAD, ASAD SHAFIQ , KHURAM MANZOR , We have seen these players already, no one is top class .

  • POSTED BY AhmadSaleem on | August 16, 2010, 16:22 GMT

    Well, the case of Asad Shafiq and Fawad Alam is genuine while other guys like Sami and Faisal Iqbal are given way too many chances. Asim Kamal may have better technique, temperament and test record but what is his performance in recent first class matches? Asad and Fawad should be given a chance in place of Amin and Malik. At the end, I must say that I never mind whole XI from one region if they are best available.

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 16:21 GMT

    @haroonalvi...dude get YOUR facts straight hahaha Karachi and Lahore do not by FAR represent 70% of the population of Pakistan, you've neglected pretty much the entire country. Karachi's populations last I checked was at 18.5 million and Lahore's population is around 10 million or so out of a total population of 170 million+ so doing the simple math you can see it's far less than 70% it is a legitimate concern that there is not fair representation from all corners of the country beyond the 2 big centres. as Osman pointed out there have never been any proper cricket centres made beyond these 2. we're lucky enough to have a couple other stadiums to use for international matches when they were here, but entire centres should be created around these stadiums like Sialkot's Jinnah Stiadium, Hyderabad's Niaz Stadium, get something in Quetta, Balochistan, that way people in the neighbouring regions of those cities can all compete and have facilities to use

  • POSTED BY KarachiBoy on | August 16, 2010, 16:10 GMT

    I say dissolve the PCB (Punjab Cricket Board) and start a Pakistan Cricket Board. Surely you'll see improvement.

  • POSTED BY Toescrusher on | August 16, 2010, 15:50 GMT

    Ramiz has only two centuries in his long Test carrier but Qasim Umer was dropped with two double centuries in a very short carrier? We know Umer was far better player than Ramiz. Ramiz kept on getting chances even when he was not able to through from the boundary later he became captain? Now we know how Inzi became captain? Such discriminations kept Pakistan away from the services of deserving players like Umer. How many Test Basit played? Aftab Blooch? Taslim Arif? Amin Lakhani? Atiq urRehman?.. Present & planed discriminations against Karachi - Younus, Hasan Raza, Asim, Fawad, Faisal they are all better batsmen than the current batsmen from Lahore. If Lahore had produce batsmen like Hanif, Javed, Zahir, Mushtaq, Asif, Taslim, Saeed, Basit, Mohsin.. Then there is no objection the objection is Lahore pushing non deserving players & standing firm this support should be for the deserving players of Karachi such support will end discrimination & bring the healthy revelry with the cities.

  • POSTED BY smjr on | August 16, 2010, 15:10 GMT

    For Ali Sial sahib: Your observation lacks imagination. Giilchrist, Boucher, Dhoni are magnificent wicketkeeper and also brilliant batsman. Their first job is keeping batting is a bonus for them. I cant see Dhoni, Boucher and Gilchrist in their team had they dropped catches and missed stumpings as done by Akmal on regular basis. Sarfraz is good keeper than Akmal and Zulqarnain. You cant put Malik and Fawad under same box, Malik has been playing for almost more than 9 year, has played more than 30 test averaging 34, however Fawad is young played just 3 test averaging 40 in test and 55 in first class matches. Malik was given continuously chances in test by PCB and Tour management despite complete failure. You may compere Fawad with Malik, only if Fawad is allowed by Pro-Lahori management to play more than 30 test. The protest of Karachiites seems to be genuine now. Rather the blue eyed boy of Lahore Umar Akmal should not be in the test team as he is complete flop in his last 10 innings

  • POSTED BY Yassar on | August 16, 2010, 14:59 GMT

    I think this article highlights a serious worry for Pakistan and maybe one of the reasons why we have been inconsistent over the years. Pakistan is only second to India in regards to cricket popularity and potential market size out of the cricket playing nations. So why then are only exploiting potentially two cities of Lahore & Karachi. Reason i think is simple and that is because like everything else in the country there is a lack of planning, grass roots development and extremely poor administration. Karachi and Punjab have cricketing centres or infrastructure set up, what the administration should be doing now is making the infrastructure and set ups in the other provinces as strong. This will in turn provide the domestic circuit more competition thus improving the quality of cricket and that will lead to a more competitive and stronger national team. The sad thing is it's not a impossible or that a difficult task to undertake but the lack of competence renders this impossible

  • POSTED BY rizzo on | August 16, 2010, 14:49 GMT

    @ Xeishan Cidique (zeshan siddique) you make me laugh with your arrogance yet VERY little sense... 1) Malik shoud be replaced by...? you ever thought maybe there ISNT a queue of players with great technique/ability/tempremant etc...he's just the best out of a bad bunch , 2) Bring in Yasir Hameed...i dont mind Hameed..but i got a huge deja vu 3) Get Sami in as Gul's replacement LOL thats just funny...Sami? LOL 6) Umar Akmal sorry but the guy doesn't seems to have any temperament - dont know if u remember a young sensation called Inzamam...who had a disastrous 1st tour of England in '92...you'd have probably got rid of him aswell. 7) AND FINALLY- Fawad Alam...he's probably made a few runs on dead pitches against mediocre bowlers....after a poor 1st innings you'l probably want his head aswell.. I thing i do agree with is bout the ppl comming out with a whole lotta bla bla bla... you know anyone zeshan? p.s. Sami...LOL

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 14:49 GMT

    i do not think area matter in cricket in first class circut there is always a balochistan team and might be players playing from banks but dnt think there is enough talent to play international if players like aamir can make there way to international cricket y cant others doing hardwork is the best option. If we even include those karachi players u mention but still ratio remains in favour of punjab... punjab's there city level teams lahore, faisalabad and sialkot providing enough talent on the other hand its only karachi.... i will never mind to see some players like khalid latif khurram in the team karachi is also a football type area boys like football but in punjab the craze for cricket no other province can match it...

  • POSTED BY haroonalvi on | August 16, 2010, 14:45 GMT

    @ Everyone: before commenting, get your facts right. Punjab + Karachi means 70 percent of Pakistani population. What else do you expect ?

  • POSTED BY SamiSaayer on | August 16, 2010, 14:44 GMT

    brings back a question of asim kamal. especially when we talk about temperament. another karachiite who is not even in consideration. also, i think hasan raza probably has matured up enough to deserve another chance at international cricket with a 49 first class average. he was sent for it very prematurely.

  • POSTED BY AbbasJ on | August 16, 2010, 14:34 GMT

    Dear Brother Asif Sial, We really wish that we dont have any ethinic biasing and we should elect the team on the merit only. But the way the team has been selected by mr. Butt is in front of us. You compared Srafraz with Adam Gilchrist, Mark Boucher, Kumar Sangakara,M.S Dhoni, Mccullum etc. But you didnt compare Kamran with those why?? For any WK its necessary to be 100% Keeper and if not then he should be out. If Kamran is getting chances then why Sarfaraz is not getting chances? Similarly if Shoeb Malik has got chances for 9 years then why Fawwad, Latif, Asim Kamal and other can not get chances? Reason is simle they are not ..... from ....

    During the above discussion we have missed one more Karachi Player Asim Kamal....We have dropped him why???

  • POSTED BY realredbaron on | August 16, 2010, 14:17 GMT

    @reality_check,Usman's as wise as he has always been,and that is one of the wisest of the cricinfo writers.What bothers me is your rantings which reminds me of the 200 yrs old British racist theories and how those theories have corrupted the minds of some subcontinental people who don't use their brain too often.Your questions are outrageous and idiotic to say the least.Small part of NWFP produces the best squash players because in that part of NWFP,Squash enjoys unparalleled interest that lacks in other parts of the country.Cricket's popular in all parts of the country.Punjab doesn't produce the best fast bowlers.There some good ones from NWFP.Comparing mangoes with cricketers is a sign of sick mentality.I didn't understand what does Karachi being financial center have to do with Lahore dominating national selection?The military is dominated by NWFP & Punjab because some ignorant men from those places still believe in British martial theory that was proven wrong by Bengalis 40 yrs ago

  • POSTED BY kolumum on | August 16, 2010, 14:09 GMT

    I think that this problem is always with the periphery of the team. Take the case of India (i can think back since 1969) where the core was fairly representative and was entirely due to the talent. The peripheral players were often given the raw deal. We would have bizarre selections like Ashok Mankad, Narasimha Rao, Malhotra, Parsanna. Players like Ramesh Saxena, T.E.Srinivasan will never get a look in (Remember V.V Kumar, Shivalhar, and Goel?). The same problem seems to be there in Pakistan. I think in Pakistan there is substantial bad selection and quite frankly a paucity of talent. The talented ones are Yousuf and Younis Khan. Not these other names. With these three supeb fast bowlers ( i still feel sad about the Sydney result) and these two batsmen you have a fine core. At present you do not. Recalling Afridi was just like having Greg Chappel as coach of India again.

  • POSTED BY M_H_K on | August 16, 2010, 13:59 GMT

    You select the team among the best available in the country. True, sometimes captain,coach and selection committee's selected players don't come upto expectations but its not fair to point the finger at their honesty and fairness. Its not 60s and 70s where the national cricket team was selected only from Lahore and Karachi. Today the game is spread over all over the country. So a lot of players will come from smaller towns and villages. KCCA think that their players should be in the national team, I think only Asad Shafique should be given chance b/c of his domestic performance.None of other players, mentioned by KCCA, deserves a place in the national team. At the end, its not the birth right of players from Karachi, Lahore or anyother city to be in the national team. There are a lot of players, who could not get the chance b/c they didn't have the backing of powerful associations like LCCA and KCCA. If one province is producing better players then those players should play for country

  • POSTED BY smjr on | August 16, 2010, 13:41 GMT

    Come on yar (reality_check) you go beyond proportion. What you stated is all truth and on merit and nobody dare to question or even dislike it. The matter is that the merit is not observed in selection of Pakistani Players (especially batsman) the result is quite obvious that we are losing test after test and showing no fightback. We have lost 9 test out of 13 test played since wining T-20 World Cup and won only 2 test one against Newzealand quite well but need a miracle against Aust.This has caused disgrace to our nation. Unfortunately there is group from Lahore and adjoining cities who are a wishfull thinkers in the team and tour managment who did what they likes. Poor Ejaz Butt, is an otherwise good person, who is now in the buckle of these players and has no where to go. I have seen people of Lahore and Punjab they are most obedient and met with open heart. Only there are few who are not professionals and when they attain power they used it for thier advantage thereby ending merit

  • POSTED BY usman_nile1994 on | August 16, 2010, 13:00 GMT

    I am Karachiite and i agree with your point that Mohammad Sami and Faisal Iqbal do not deserve place in the team. From Karachi i think Sarfraz Ahmed Asad Shafiq Fawad Alam (tests only) Khurram Manzoor and Khalid Latif should be given chances. But there is also a lad who is more deserved Naved Yasin(Multan). He should also be given a chance. My point is that selection should be on merit not on provinces. If all best players are from Punjab then select them. But merit should be first. Players like Shoaib Malik Kamran Akmal (in tests) Danish Kaneria Imran Farhat are not playing because of merit. The youngsters Azhar Ali and Umar Amin are also not deserve places. There are better young batsmen than these

  • POSTED BY smjr on | August 16, 2010, 12:40 GMT

    This is the most eye catching article on cricinfo giving a deep insight of Paksitan cricket and showing its lateral views. The Pro Lahori says that please do not put such articles and it will put them shame and pro Karchities and people of provinces other than Punjab will advocate this article. But I think there should be merit in selection of players if the team is selected on merit than atleast they would give fight in test matches and would not loose easily. All this started when 5 or 6 playes did not want to play under Younus Khan in Dubai and incidently they all belongs to Lahore city or to say Province of Punjab. You can't sack captain who has won you world T-20 Cup and in Sri Lanka he batted quite well in second test until this group of players let the team down. Actually the group of playes are low performers in test and want to get their hold in the team, likes player power and unfortunately thay all belongs to Province of Punjab thats why there is hue and cry all over

  • POSTED BY cric-rock on | August 16, 2010, 12:33 GMT

    Dear Osman,

    In pointing out the deprivation of other parts of the country, did you conveniently ignore AJK? Neither Kamran Abbassi nor you cared to mention that forgotten area.

    I read a comment the other day: Kashmir does not have talent. Did the poster notice that Kashmir has NO REPRESENTATION in pentangular or other domestic tournaments?

  • POSTED BY pakposse on | August 16, 2010, 12:23 GMT

    @TheRealRockNRolla: You don't seem to get it. The writer is actually suggesting, albeit in an understated manner, that Mohammad Sami did not deserve to be selected. Read that sentence again.

  • POSTED BY smjr on | August 16, 2010, 11:55 GMT

    I am surprised to see the coments of Mr. Naeem Hussain labelling Karachitis as blackmailer. In fact if you look the article by Mr. Osman Sallahudin, it is quite true and in fact it is a white mail. This is obviously the mental attitude of Pro Lahore people reflecting an un-sporting, cheap attitude towards people of other provinces in order to cover their follies and the real truth. I am not defending players from Karachi but if merit prevails than players such as Khurram Manzoor, Asim Kamal, Fawad Alam and Khalid Latif should be in the test team. People say that technique of Khurram Manzoor and Khalid latif is not good but have scored abundantly in domestic circuit and they should be given repeated chances as given to Amin, Azhar, Malik, Umar, Butt and Farhat all of them has poor technique in Test, thats why we never cross 300 in the last 8 innings. Umer Akmal the Lahori blue eyed boy has test average of 33 in 20 innings, lacks temprament he only good in T-20. He is a junior Afridi

  • POSTED BY KiwiRocker- on | August 16, 2010, 11:49 GMT

    Indian Boy- Mate, When India will produce a fast bowler then come and write silly comments and jokes. India has had a great run where? India has lost last series in Pakistan, South Africa, drew in Sri Lanka. Got hammered by Australia in India? Do not be fooled by non sensical ICC ratings.!India generally loses in first round of all major tournaments..Yes Yes they won a T20 but so did Pakistan and England...

    Back to main topic, I agree with Osman. A well balanced article. I do not believe there is any intentional bias about Karachi players but yes there are questionable selections in the current team. Khurram Manzoor, Fawad has to be in the team. May I also remind a fighter named Asim Kamal who scored eight fifties in 12 test matches including scores in Australia and India, He is still around....! He is type of batsman just what Pakistan needs.! Sarfraz also needs to be keeper. I am tired of these Akmal Borthers.! There is a lot of hype and talk but no action...Please drop them!

  • POSTED BY Maximus_107 on | August 16, 2010, 11:38 GMT

    Karachiites feel agreived because they have suffered a lot of injustice over the years. Just looking at the current squad, UmarAmin and Azhar Ali were ridiculous choices, given that Asad Shafiq and Naved Yasin were the highest run scorers in the domestic season. The board are wasting Fawad Alam's talent - he could be the key to our side and Khurram manzoor looked as solid as any batsmen in the current side in Hobart (his last test). The quality of Imran Farhat (too defensive), Umar Akmal (no temperament for test cricket), Shoaib Malik (no form or technique, but also a bad influence in the dressing room) and the edgy Salman Butt (too eager to play the outside off) should be questioned. I am all in favour of bringing younsters in, but this is always done with the help of experience. You should not sent these youngsters in at key batting positions - what a ridiculously immature attitude to building a team without a solid foundation of Mohammed Yousuf or Younis Khan.

  • POSTED BY reality_check on | August 16, 2010, 11:33 GMT

    @TheRealRockNRolla: You seem to be a big fan of Sami then please can you mention one inning (apart from that one inning in Sydney where even my grandmother could swing a tennis ball in those conditions) where Sami performed as well? As a matter of fact, he was creamed in the 2nd inning of the same match which apparently he dished on the platter. You can't compare him with Aamir or Asif or Gul. Sami has just got pace and usually serve up half volleys which gets spanked on regular basis by any mediocre batsman. See his average of 50.

  • POSTED BY smjr on | August 16, 2010, 11:15 GMT

    I thank Mr. Osman for putting this article. I think this article is quite valid, an aye opener, keeping in view our downslide in Test cricket. It is quite true that most of the players (batsman) got into current side due to administration of PCB and Tour managment all belongs to Lahore and its adjoining ities. Malik,Kamran Akmal, Farhat, Azhar, Amin, Butt did not deserved to be in the test team their average in test are below 35. You cant win test matches with top six batsman having average of below 35. Secondly since the tour managment and PCB mnagmeent all belongs to Punjab so they have a soft hands on batsman belonging to Punjab. They were given more chances in test despite lot of failures. I am not advocating for Karachi but crux of the matter is that there is no merit. Fawad (average above 40 in Test) just tried in 3 test. Asim Kamal (average near 40 in test) is overlooked for the last few years and also Khalid latif was tried in only 3 or 4 inings in one dayers.

  • POSTED BY reality_check on | August 16, 2010, 11:14 GMT

    Comon Usman... I thought you were wiser then falling into this "Lahore vs Karachi" stuff. Leave that to politicians while you concentrate on cricket. Now that you have brought out the anomaly of players from Punjab dominating the cricket team, maybe you can explain some other anomalies as well. Q) How come only one small town in KP (NWFP) produced few of the best squash players in the world? Q) Why only punjab produces the best fast bowling talent? Q) Why do best mangoes in Pakistan come from Sind? Q) Why is Karachi called the Financial capital of Pakistan and not Lahore. Q) Why is Pakistan military mostly dominated by men from Punjab and NWFP? Q) Why .... fill in your blanks? So you see Usman... there is not always some big conspiracy behind everything. Most of the time, the simplest explanation is usually the correct one.

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 10:48 GMT

    Its got nothing to do with your ethnic background but everythig to do with your exposure. By this I mean players from Karachi and Lahore are more exposed to cricket culture, hence their ability to get where they want to. As far as Karachi and Lahore is concerned the writer forgot that Mohammed Sadiq; Mohammed Mushtaq and Mohammed Hanif all came from Karachi, and so did Javed Miandad and his nephew. Its the sub-continental culture to use the backdoor to get ahead. There are more Punjabis in Pakistan than Sindhi's, Muhajirs, Balouch and Pathans put together, hence the disparity. Its like me complaining that everywhere I go in the States, all I see is white people. You know where I am going, and for God's sake lets not make this into some sort of Punjabi conspiracy, we have enough problems on our plate.

  • POSTED BY Gizza on | August 16, 2010, 10:35 GMT

    EVERY team has regionalism or biases in the past. India is biased towards Bombay/Mumbai and a lesser extent to South India (just look at how underrated Kapil Dev and Sehwag are compared to Gavaskar and Tendulkar, even Chappelli has alluded to this). The Windies used to favour Afro-Caribs, specifically Barbadians over the other islands. England favour Yorkshire, Lancashire and the London area.

    South Africa very early on kept the team to the British-origin. Then they accepted Afrikaaners but we all know about the apartheid. Sri Lanka favours Colombo-based cricketers (but isn't that biased when it comes to Sinhalese-Tamil suprisingly). Pakehas dominate the Kiwi team but this is also cultural (Maoris prefer Rugby). The game in Zimbabwe spread to rural areas late and Sylhetis always say they are underrepresented in the Bangladesh side.

    NSW form most of the Aussie side and the Vics get jealous. They need to accept that a larger stadium doesn't make your state produce better cricketers.

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 10:17 GMT

    All I hear from people is BLA BLA BLA BLA... take your emotional caps off and put on the one's with a lable of "Common Sense".... yes 1) Malik shoud be replaced by one who's more suited/capble then him he's just a waste of space and time in test cricket, 2) Get rid of farhat bring in Yasir Hameed, 3) Get Sami in as Gul's replacement, 4) Get Younis Khan in for Azhar/Amin I'd prefer Azhar as amin can bowl a bit, 5) Kamran Akmal He's got to goo now how many times are we going to go through this phase again and again just because of the fact that he cant keep ! Zulqarnain/Sarfarz Ahmed should be kept with the team, 6) Umar Akmal sorry but the guy doesn't seems to have any temperament for Test cricket at all he's got to goo, 7) AND FINALLY we need a guy to bat at No#3 because none of these Khaalifa's would bat there soo this is where Fawad Alam comes in Karachiets - Lahooriets - Paindoo's - Daggay's none of this is going work unless some one with a level headed approach steps inn.

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 10:05 GMT

    well its right..dat KHI n LHR isn't da whole pakistan,but da issue iz dat,being da largest two cities of Pakistan is both of them are playing their role ....n da ans. wud be definitely no....even dare iz a hell of injustice occuring in these two cities in selection criteria..sum of neglected cream talent is....SOHAIB BIN NASIR(KHI),AHMAD SHAZAD(LHR),NASIR JAMSHAID(LHR),FAWAD ALAM(KHI)....some other seasoned n shining domestic n international players from other part of country....RAFFATULLAH MAHMAND(KPK),NAVEED YASIN(MULTAN),M.HAFEEZ(SARGODHA...much better replacement of S.MALIK in all formats),MANSOR AMJAD( SIALKOT),ABDUR RAHMAAN(SIALKOT),SOHAIL TANVIR(RWP...MUCH BETTER DEN WAHAB RIAZ),M.TALHA(FSBD),HAFIZ KHALID(SIALKOT...wkt keepr batsman,ICL player)....these all players have forgotten...da list iz very long..they deserve desperately...also to put consideration on BALUCHISTAN,interior SINDH and ever neglected SOUTHERN PUNJAB who has given us pearls like INZI(MUL),W YOUNIS,MUSH AHMAD.

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 9:56 GMT

    With due respect, This article has got no weightage in itself. What if Balochistan's players are not competent enough today to play International Cricket? Have you ever seen some local matches in these areas? Majority of them go for Football or Boxing. What if Kamran Akmal and Zulqarnain Haider are better (way better) batsman than Sarfaraz Ahmad?. In today's cricket it is not enough to be a good wicket-keeper only. You are supposed to be a good batsman too. Adam Gilchrist, Mark Boucher, Kumar Sangakara,M.S Dhoni, Mccullum, you must be faimiliar with these names. Does Sarfaraz Ahmad fit in here? Comparing Shoaib Malik and Fawad Alam is useless as both do not deserve to play for Pakistan. Many better players can be opted. Cricket has nothing to do with locations. If domestic structure of Pakistani Cricket promotes regional cricket only then you can see representatives from all over. Alot more can be said here but honestly it ll be useless. Mr. Osman! I am disappointed.........

  • POSTED BY Daniel_Cartwright on | August 16, 2010, 9:37 GMT

    @ India_boy

    did USA protect the border to allow the Punjabis in India enough time to be recognized for the national side?

  • POSTED BY Daniel_Cartwright on | August 16, 2010, 9:28 GMT

    YESS OSMAN BHAI..YEH CHEEZE..I read the first two paragraphs and am happy enough to not have to read the rest. Karachiites need to stop whining, produce talent then whine. I agree Fawad Alam and apna Steeltown ka Younis Khan should be in the squad, but who gave Faisal Iqbal any right to even enter a stadium to watch? Mama Ji does not own PCB unfortunately nor is he coach anymore for sifarish. There is no place for Sarfraz Ahmed in the team, nor is there for Kamran Akmal with the surfacing of Haider, see I am modest :P. And people who are opposing or suggesting "replacements" for the youngsters are so narrow minded and have no concern about the future of Pakistan cricket, only huge egos. Faisal Iqbals exclusion is the best thing ever, Mama Ji already shows he could careless about the welfare of the country by giving his daughter to the son of coward who halts half the development of the country from overseas let alone caring for Pakistan cricket. This is sad and pathetic.

  • POSTED BY FaisalAsghar on | August 16, 2010, 9:11 GMT

    this article of yours is absolutely ridiculous and senseless....why would you want to come up with stats like such??? does this help the game??? i dont mind having all the players from Sindh, Punjab or Baluchistan or any other province or city or village!!!...key should be merit driven selection. i suggest you come up with an article highlighting player contacts and relationships next time!!!

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 9:08 GMT

    I feel --------------------------------------- this article was basically written to highlight the injustice done to cricket talent from places like Balouchistan, Kheber Pakhtun khaw, Sindh and ALSO smaller cities of Punjab, But what i see that people are still arguing each other for ONLY karachi and lahore !! What i conclude is that it is not just PCB or selectors.. it is all of us. We, ALL of us are biased wid others. dont know when our nation ll change! when it ll learn to be honest and equal wid every1.. the teachings that we all should follow if we are really claim to be muslim!! but we are no way near islam or any honesty. just pathetic. period.

  • POSTED BY Bari_Manchester on | August 16, 2010, 9:07 GMT

    Hi, I think it should not matter if all the playing 11 is from Karachi or Lahore. I don't care as long as they were selected on merit. I see Pakistan as a big family home and really it doesn't matter which brother plays, rich or poor. Please don't try to put more divisions as Pakistan Cricket is already suffering enough. Thanks.

  • POSTED BY India_boy on | August 16, 2010, 9:05 GMT

    continued.......... while a few others have been north Indians,such as raina,dhoni etc.When India won the WC in '83, most valuable players were Punjabis, such as Kapil Dev, indias only WC winning captain, Mohinder amaranth, man of the match in the finals and man of the series of the WC.even today all the Indian boxers hail from Haryana and Punjab.India has become no.1 test side due to the attitude and aggression brought in by North Indian players(considred to have a lot of punajbi influence), earlier we were simply good when there was all Mumbai and south Indians influence, we have become the best now that we have mostly north Indian players…so for Pakistan its not abt Karachi or sindh or Lahore, its more about discipline and passion to play for ur country that is required…

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 9:04 GMT

    I feel this article was basically written to highlight the injustice done to cricket talent from places like Baluchistan, Khyber Pakhtun khaw, Sindh and ALSO smaller cities of Punjab, But what i see is that people are STILL arguing each other for ONLY karachi and lahore !! What i conclude is that it is not just PCB or selectors.. it is all of us. We, ALL of us are biased with others. dont know when our nation ll change! when it ll learn to be honest and equal wid every1.. the teachings that we all should follow if we are really claim to be Muslim!! but we are no way near Islam or any honesty. just pathetic. period.

  • POSTED BY India_boy on | August 16, 2010, 8:57 GMT

    why dont u guys take china's help ??? they can make the team for u guys apart from giving trainin to them in Xinjiang or smwhere :) just kidding, jokes apart, i wonder evry single day as of why and wht the hell are imran farhat,kamran akmal,shoaib malik doing in the team ???? no seriously...why r they in the team??? they wudnt qualify for bangaldesh team either... Id much rather have imran nazir or Yasser hameed in the team as they were far more technically correct batsmen apart from being good fielders. As far as Punjab is concerned, India has had a great success story.India has done exceedingly well when Punjabis have played for them, India were an undisputed champions in hockey and won 8 gold medals when there were 9 punjab players out of 11 in the team.india's lone gold medallist in Olympics, Abhinav Bindra,is a Punjabi, Indian team has had a great run in the last 10 years since Sehwag(half Punjabi), Gambhir, Harbhajn singh, Yuvraj Singh, Ashish Nehra etc appeared on screen

  • POSTED BY Nrao786 on | August 16, 2010, 8:49 GMT

    I think the whole argument of Lahore or Karachi is useless and too exhaustive.

    We should focus on bringing in a democratic process into the PCB and removing any Presidency patronage from cricket. Its pathetic to think the President is more than a honorary figure! What did Zia, Benazir, Nawaz Sharif, Musharraf or Zardari (presently) know about cricket??

    If the PCB presidency is floated on voting lines between the different associations - it would reduce the unbridled autocratic rules from the likes of Ijaz Butt. The administration would be answerable for its actions and be more conscious of the decisions it makes.....knowing their position is not beyond re-approach.

    Contrary to what people say, Afridi did have a strong voice in the current squad selection to only abandon it! Fawad should always be in the Pak squad for any format.....Malik should be dropped and K Akmal only to play as a reserve keeper - Haider should be given an extended run....he's the closest thing to Moin K.

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 8:35 GMT

    That a team comprising representatives from more than one province - or one province and the biggest city - cannot be produced in a country this big is damning not just of the current administration but a whole line of them, from the very first. This is how limited the spread of the biggest, most fabulous, most lucrative and most glamorous game, the only game that matters apparently, has actually been in this land.

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 8:31 GMT

    @ shah Jee

    U cant count domestic performances on international level coz if you have done so you never even had a chance to speak about Waseem Waqar and Inzi who were selected without much DC. International Cricket is a level above & player needs to raise the game to serviv. Sarfaraz Ahmed: Al though he is my younger brother's best buddy i dont think he is going to make it to the team coz Zulqarnain has announced himself as a replacement for Kamran Akmal and m happy with it . Khurram Manzoor: Avg 29 in 7 Matches certainly not better then Butt and farhat. Asad Shafiq: Hands down this guy needs to be in the team. Muhammad Sami: has a dismal performance in the T20 Cup just before the tour. Tanveer Ahmed: He is with the team n i hope he plays the third test in place of Umer gul: Danish Kaneria: a five for against the leg Spin prone kiwi side and no remarkable performance in ten test before. Khalid Latif:avg in Odi 29 including 64 against zimbabwe and 6 in T20s and a gaint in domestic cric

  • POSTED BY nonpaki on | August 16, 2010, 8:28 GMT

    I am not a Pakistani but a staunch supporter of Pakistan cricket and am not in this politics of cricket. however i feel Abdulrazzak, younis Khurram, Fawad, Sarfraz and Tanvir should be given a chance. Said Ajmal did a good job in the spinners dept. May be Abdul Qadir's should train some youngsters with his specialties

  • POSTED BY oawaraah on | August 16, 2010, 8:25 GMT

    Absolutely agree with Anas Rais's comment i.e "Fawad alam shud be givn a chance for sure, younis god knows whats happenin wit him nd ejaz butt..khurram manzoor, khalid latif do not hve the technique or talent for test cricket also lets move on frm faisal iqbals case he was given enough chancess..they shud wrk on alam's technique a little bit and they will be good. sami??? come on 50 average ?? leave him aswel.. get rid of farhat bring in hameed nd tanvir for gul"

  • POSTED BY shah2009 on | August 16, 2010, 8:24 GMT

    The most important question which writer didnt mention intentionally is the selection of Younis Khan. YK would definately be in the team had he belongs to Lahore or Punjab.

  • POSTED BY Shaz1976 on | August 16, 2010, 8:10 GMT

    I wanted to comment on which players should be in and out of the team, but reading both this article and Kamram Abbasi's on Pakspin, I wish to make another comment instead. As with every facet of life in Pakistan, there seems to be NO mention of Azad Kashmir (AK). Pakistan have claimed a share, have fought wars with India and relationships remain tense as a result of AK. Pakistan continues to use many of the resources of AK to sustain itself, yet AK and the people of AK are treated as third class citizens in all walks of life in Pakistan. We have a stadium in Mirpur so there is no reason why AK couldn't have a first class team for domestic cricket. During this England tour most of the Pakistan support will hail from AK, go on Osman have a walk around the stadiums and check. What about overseas Pakistanis, who have also been ignored. England have started to give Asian players a chance, but I'm sure if they were given a chance they'd represent Pakistan instead.

  • POSTED BY ejsiddiqui on | August 16, 2010, 8:03 GMT

    Apart from one inning in Sydney, has Sami proved his worth in another innings during last season.

    80% of time Sami fails and leak too many runs.

  • POSTED BY Faraz99 on | August 16, 2010, 8:01 GMT

    Osman--thx for your great article, since birth i have seen we are just face descreminative behave from Lahore & Karachi, even i belong to Hyderabad which is 5th largest city of PK, but we have nothing to say about our city....v,sad for us since PK birth we have been descriminated.... Mr.naeem may be belong to Punjab so he suports the selection process. I am 100% sure if PCB stop this descriminative behave for all interior sindh.Baluchistan & KP PK team can be UNBEATABLE... some times we feel may be PK just lost beacause of injustice...ALLAH never favors injustice.. thx I am really grateful to you Mr.Osman atleast some one regonize that Lahore & Karachi are not only Paksitan....

  • POSTED BY ejsiddiqui on | August 16, 2010, 7:59 GMT

    Good points Osman, but this not our main problem. I don't mind where the player is from as long as he is best.

    Pakistan team should have 11 best Pakistanis no matter from which city, province or other demographic they belong.

    All of the players mentioned in the article have got there due chances especially Sami. He gives too much runs and take too few wickets.

    Aamir Sajjad, Naveed Yasir and Asad Shafiq are top 3 in our domestic circuit. They should be considered in team no matter from where they belong as long as they are Pakistani.

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 7:56 GMT

    The cases of Khurram Manzoor and Fawad Alam are absolutely extraordinary. Fawad Alam scored a huge hundred against Sri Lanka, and should have been in the squad without doubt.

    Khurram Manzoor scored a 90+ score against Sri Lanka, and a 70+ score against Australia, yet finds himself out of the side. Where is the logic in that?

    It doesn't make sense why Umar Amin and Azhar Ali have been put into the squad when Khurram and Fawad Alam have paid their dues, and are more deserved of an extended run.

    I am sorry, but the regional bias is obvious.

    I still don't understand why Saeed Anwar wasn't picked for the 1992 world cup.

    And guys like Shoaib Mohmmad and Asif Mujtaba have also been treated unfairly in the past.

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 7:47 GMT

    This is jusy BS. I know many players in Pakistan team have some kind back up from either other players or political people. To me only people who desrve to be in the team are M. Yosuf, Younis Khan, M Amir, Saeed Ajmal, Umer Gul. Rest are all just there because Yawar saeed wants them to be there or Ijaz Butt backed them. There is so much talent in Pakistan but because of political issues Pakistan can never come up. Also, I dont think there should be any rift between Lahore and Karachi, because most of the players play or reside in these cities and belong to some other places. Players should be selected on merit and performance but not by favourtism.

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 7:46 GMT

    I agree with Naeem that whats in the heaven name is the objective of this article anyway, is the author seeking help from United States of America to interfere? its not about Punjab vs Karachi, its about blessed against the poor, as people with political links come forward and the talented suffers, its only lack of infrastructure and administration, the whole Pakistan needs a revolution not just cricket, what do you expect from world's most corrupt patron's attorney to do anyway for the well being of cricket where the don't bother humanity itself?

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 7:40 GMT

    @naeemhussain please don't compare players with punjab vs karachi ..but its fact selectors always ignores karachi players ..first of all ASIM KAMAL have good temperament and good test cricket technique why shoaib malik is there ..?? why give chance imran farhat and salman butt multiple time against the karachi players don't give chances its true pubjab are not play fair deal with other provinces that's reason killing of pubjabis in balouchistan ...

  • POSTED BY fadooo on | August 16, 2010, 7:27 GMT

    To naeemhussain below, dude cricinfo offers statsguru...atleast make the effort to check your claims. Check out sarfraz's first class record. And the one catch that sarfraz dropped was much harder than the catches akmal and zulqurnain dropped, it wasnt even a chance, it was a a very thick edge that no wicketkeeper could be expected to hold on to. Also who are we to judge how khurram manzoor's technique is ? At the end of the day its the performance that matters. That he was the highest scorer for pakistan in the second innings at hobart, which proved to be his last test, not good enough ? If technique is all that matters, then simon katich, sehwag etc would not be allowed to play test cricket.

  • POSTED BY mirshehzad on | August 16, 2010, 7:11 GMT

    @waseemsarwar "Punjab is much more talented than Sindh" these comments should be removed. I am afraid these will ignite the ethnic hatred.

  • POSTED BY SUKhan on | August 16, 2010, 7:10 GMT

    What happened to "if you want to play for Pakistan, you have to leave your Karachi/Lahore/Peshawar-ethnicity behind and play as a Pakistani". (a line adapted from a foreign film)

  • POSTED BY mirshehzad on | August 16, 2010, 6:52 GMT

    @Faisal Mashood Afridi. You think he(asim kamal) is useless!!!!! Then what about Imran Farhat, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Kamran Akmal and Salman Butt??????

    Compare his (Asim) average in tests with rest of the other junk...... Asim: http://www.cricinfo.com/pakistan/content/player/39041.html

    Kamran:http://www.cricinfo.com/pakistan/content/player/41028.html Imran: http://www.cricinfo.com/pakistan/content/player/40582.html Salman: http://www.cricinfo.com/pakistan/content/player/42683.html Omar: http://www.cricinfo.com/pakistan/content/player/317273.html Shoaib: http://www.cricinfo.com/pakistan/content/player/42657.html

    This is utterly bias attitude of PCB. These policies will not only damage the cricket but can also fuel ethnic hatred. Look at the average of Fawad alam even he is better than any of the above one. http://www.cricinfo.com/pakistan/content/player/40250.html

  • POSTED BY amit1807kuwait on | August 16, 2010, 6:31 GMT

    Just wondering - a) why did it take so long for someone to enlighten us about the composition of Pakistan's squad; and b) not sure what the objective of this article is, does the author seek help from USA to get the team composition correct?

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 6:23 GMT

    Fawad alam shud be givn a chance for sure, younis god knows whats happenin wit him nd ejaz butt..khurram manzoor, khalid latif do not hve the technique or talent for test cricket also lets move on frm faisal iqbals case he was given enough chancess..they shud wrk on alam's technique a little bit and they will be good. sami??? come on 50 average ?? leave him aswel.. get rid of farhat bring in hameed nd tanvir for gul

  • POSTED BY naeemhussain on | August 16, 2010, 6:18 GMT

    The writer offered very foolish arguments it is nothing but black mailing Karachitis are expert of.Both Khurruum Manzoor and Khalid Latif have no bating technique at all.Sarfraz Ahmed dropped catch in his very first match and also he is not the best wicketkeeper of Pakistan the best wicketkeeper is Gulraiz Saddaf from Multan.It is true that Shoiab Malik do not deserve to be in the team but the substitute KCA suggests Faisal Iqbal is below average player who has scored only one hundred in 26 test matches.How Karachitis say that Faisal should be in the team when his performance is worst than Shoib Malik.Anothe thing when was the last time Karachitis criticized Mohammad Sammi bad performance ....never the most in impressive fast bowler ever in the history of Pakistan cricket.Yes there is bias in selection but that bias is against the quality players of Punjab.I challenge the whole Karachi to show one batsman of Umer Akmal quality.

  • POSTED BY Riz.Khan on | August 16, 2010, 6:10 GMT

    @ Hassan Mushtaq: 1. salman butt 2. imran farhat 3. kamran akmal 4. umar akmal 5. zulqarnain haider 6. wahab riaz 7. azhar ali from population of 10 million select 7 players & from population of 18.5 million selecting just 2 all are crap, they don't deserve any place in test team give chance only on merit not the city or province base. kamran akmal drop not only catches also big part in losing matches. salman but is not able to score more than 10 in 4 innings just think as a pakistani

  • POSTED BY mk49_van on | August 16, 2010, 6:06 GMT

    Ouch. And I thought regional cricketing politics in India was bad......

  • POSTED BY thisisfun on | August 16, 2010, 5:59 GMT

    Is it rather the fault with the structure of domestic cricket in Pakistan than the selection committee that we do not groom cricketers from Baluchistan or KP or Interior Sindh?

    Is it possible that good cricketers are sighted only when they migrate to big cities from smaller ones?

  • POSTED BY Shah-Ji on | August 16, 2010, 5:45 GMT

    Karachi won the championship . As per Naqvi no one deserve a place. Sami blasted the Aussies Sami won championship what else to prove ,change the name to Sami Butt

    Kamran Drop 17 catches missed 5 ST chance on Kaneria bowling Kamran batt ave 17 outside Sub Cont Danish dropped altogather from team Kamran became VC

    Sarfraz never missed a chance. No No , No not competent

    Fawad /Khrram/Latif FC ave 50+ No Good Azhar Imran & Co FC Ave 26 Excellent. Future Viv

    Akmals/amin/ Farhat Catch Droppers Exc Sarfraz/Fawad/ Shafiq/Sami/Latif Best fielders, it is not a criteria

    Ilyas supports Farhat as his Famous Son in Law ,Naqvi Saheb You are the second in whole country

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 5:21 GMT

    Don't forget another argument Karachiites like to make, Asim Kamal. The man was useless, a few good innings doesn't make the fact that he averaged around 30 in FC for 3 consecutive seasons disappear. Sarfraz Ahmed is not a great wicket keeper. The selectors finally realized that putting batting before keeping is not the way to go in Test matches so they went for Zulqarnain Haider. Kaneria has been averaging nearly 50 in the last 4 years in Test matches, not only that but he hasn't had a match winning performance in a while. Really the only Karachi players who genuinely deserve to be in the team are Fawad Alam and Khurram Manzoor.

  • POSTED BY TheRealRockNRolla on | August 16, 2010, 5:13 GMT

    Osman - are you calling out Afridi that he had a hand in the selection for squad for ENG tour ?! You are most certainly misrepresenting by disguising a certain digga Ijaz butt squad we have before us - Afridi never had a say in the selection - so dont point fingers when you dont know!!. Furthermore, Sami is the only 90-95 mph fast bowler available in the absence of Shoaib. Sami has certainly proved his worth in seam friendly conditions, recently in Australia, where he literally served the match on a platter (to be won) only for an all lahore batting line up to tank (not to mention a certain lahorite keeper who was seen my many as throwing the game away); even after stellar performance in the second test he as a result of paindo politics of Ijaz butt and cronies. Sami should be in this test side, as Aamer alone who can boast a very mediocre Abg. of 34 cannot handle and spearhead the fast bowling dept. -- and Fawad Alam should replace Malik, Fasial Iqbal should replace Amin.

  • POSTED BY TeeJ on | August 16, 2010, 5:02 GMT

    Osman has just pointed out a very common mistake that is prevalent in India and Pakistan, two major accomplished test playing nations. The coastal souther regions of India are a major cradle of raw strong fast bowlers but there were neither camps to spot them; nor facilities to help them develop. Same goes with the rural regions all over the country both in India and Pakistan. Namesake cricket camps to spot an affordable kid doesn't justify the talent of a country, not just in Cricket but in any sport. Blame the government which is content with the revenue generated by sports, but not the benefits of introducing it to the youth or giving a fair go. At the moment, sports can wait as Pakistan has to first crawl out of the floods. Please donate cricketers and cricket fans!

  • POSTED BY waseemsarwar on | August 16, 2010, 5:02 GMT

    well, Mr. Osman, i was expecting name of Asim Kamal , as being a Punjabi, its good to have so many players from Punjab but mostly players are deserving (exception Malik, Wahab Riaz) So can someone plz remember that Sialkot has not lost a single T20 match from last 5 years. Punjab is much more talented than Sindh.

  • POSTED BY Wazirabadi on | August 16, 2010, 5:00 GMT

    Tale of two cities, well said Mr. Usman. When the going gets tough we Pakistani get going or should i say we fall apart. Frankly speaking, i don't care whether a player is from Swat , Pindi, Lahore or Karachi as long as he is picked on merit. Over the years, we have seen Karachi produce batsman of highest quality and i do believe they are better equipped to handle pressure. However, to blame Punjab for all the shortcoming is unfair, if you have a unbalance infrastructure limited to Lahore & Karachi then obviously there is something wrong. Now we are talking about quota system, that would further polarise the fragile balance. Let's face it guys, we are a Ad-hoc nation, our approach is ad-hoc and naturally the results are no better. Just like squash and hockey, thanks to incompetent bureaucrats and politicians our cricket is truly at the bottom.

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 4:57 GMT

    Karachi population: 18.5 million Lahore population: 10 million

    Punjab is a province of population: 81 million.

    Please stop comparing a city (karachi) to a province (Punjab).

  • POSTED BY karachi_hibachi on | August 16, 2010, 4:55 GMT

    While I agree with the point of the article, which is to bring attention to the dearth of infrastructure for and responsible management of sports in Pakistan, I must ask if you have taken population into account. Surely, statistically, it is reasonable to expect more players from Karachi and Lahore in the national team given the population of those cities is several times larger than some of the smaller cities combined. That being said, I'm sure even a fair per-capita analysis would point to disproportional representation in the national team and would be consistent with your point. As always though, written well and with passion. Thank you.

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 4:50 GMT

    //The lazy, long-held assumption is that there is neither the talent nor the inclination for cricket in a lot of these areas. (In Balochistan, for example, football and hockey are popular.) The same was once said of East Pakistan. Nearly 40 years on, I know which top six I'd rather have. //

    for me, this nails that lie.BD currently has a better committed Top 6 as Osman says here.as long as Ejaz Butt continues to head PCB, there would not be any great improvement in the Tests arena despite the huge effort by the bowlers.May be Imran Khan should cut down his time in politics and take over Cricket administration , reform the entire process.dont know whether it is too much to expect from some like Zardari, who ultimately can resolve this in a few minutes.

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 4:10 GMT

    Well said Mr. Osman, this situation can be applied equally to other sports etc.

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 4:00 GMT

    A well wrote article from Mr.Usman.. Selectors must bring in players from all over the Pakistan rather then roaming between two cities..I believe apart from Asad Shafiq no other guy deserves a place in the test side from Karachi...we talk about Faisal Iqbal...The only quality he has is that he is Miandad's nephew...never proved his worth on the field...Danish Kanaria is only good for minnows such as Bangladesh or Zimbabwe...Khurram Manzoor played relatively well but still he is not better then Butt and Farhat and khalid latif like Shafiq Papa is playing a role of Tendulkar in domestic cricket but as the real test comes he couldn't hang on to the chances...its better to cement your place rather then to cry over it...

  • POSTED BY Woody111 on | August 16, 2010, 3:01 GMT

    Thanks Osman; the tale of two cities here is a revelation to me - having never really heard it about Pakistan before. Surely a country of its size can produce test quality players from outside just two provinces. It makes the state rivalry here in Aus look very petty when people say only NSW players make it into the national team.

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  • POSTED BY Woody111 on | August 16, 2010, 3:01 GMT

    Thanks Osman; the tale of two cities here is a revelation to me - having never really heard it about Pakistan before. Surely a country of its size can produce test quality players from outside just two provinces. It makes the state rivalry here in Aus look very petty when people say only NSW players make it into the national team.

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 4:00 GMT

    A well wrote article from Mr.Usman.. Selectors must bring in players from all over the Pakistan rather then roaming between two cities..I believe apart from Asad Shafiq no other guy deserves a place in the test side from Karachi...we talk about Faisal Iqbal...The only quality he has is that he is Miandad's nephew...never proved his worth on the field...Danish Kanaria is only good for minnows such as Bangladesh or Zimbabwe...Khurram Manzoor played relatively well but still he is not better then Butt and Farhat and khalid latif like Shafiq Papa is playing a role of Tendulkar in domestic cricket but as the real test comes he couldn't hang on to the chances...its better to cement your place rather then to cry over it...

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 4:10 GMT

    Well said Mr. Osman, this situation can be applied equally to other sports etc.

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 4:50 GMT

    //The lazy, long-held assumption is that there is neither the talent nor the inclination for cricket in a lot of these areas. (In Balochistan, for example, football and hockey are popular.) The same was once said of East Pakistan. Nearly 40 years on, I know which top six I'd rather have. //

    for me, this nails that lie.BD currently has a better committed Top 6 as Osman says here.as long as Ejaz Butt continues to head PCB, there would not be any great improvement in the Tests arena despite the huge effort by the bowlers.May be Imran Khan should cut down his time in politics and take over Cricket administration , reform the entire process.dont know whether it is too much to expect from some like Zardari, who ultimately can resolve this in a few minutes.

  • POSTED BY karachi_hibachi on | August 16, 2010, 4:55 GMT

    While I agree with the point of the article, which is to bring attention to the dearth of infrastructure for and responsible management of sports in Pakistan, I must ask if you have taken population into account. Surely, statistically, it is reasonable to expect more players from Karachi and Lahore in the national team given the population of those cities is several times larger than some of the smaller cities combined. That being said, I'm sure even a fair per-capita analysis would point to disproportional representation in the national team and would be consistent with your point. As always though, written well and with passion. Thank you.

  • POSTED BY on | August 16, 2010, 4:57 GMT

    Karachi population: 18.5 million Lahore population: 10 million

    Punjab is a province of population: 81 million.

    Please stop comparing a city (karachi) to a province (Punjab).

  • POSTED BY Wazirabadi on | August 16, 2010, 5:00 GMT

    Tale of two cities, well said Mr. Usman. When the going gets tough we Pakistani get going or should i say we fall apart. Frankly speaking, i don't care whether a player is from Swat , Pindi, Lahore or Karachi as long as he is picked on merit. Over the years, we have seen Karachi produce batsman of highest quality and i do believe they are better equipped to handle pressure. However, to blame Punjab for all the shortcoming is unfair, if you have a unbalance infrastructure limited to Lahore & Karachi then obviously there is something wrong. Now we are talking about quota system, that would further polarise the fragile balance. Let's face it guys, we are a Ad-hoc nation, our approach is ad-hoc and naturally the results are no better. Just like squash and hockey, thanks to incompetent bureaucrats and politicians our cricket is truly at the bottom.

  • POSTED BY waseemsarwar on | August 16, 2010, 5:02 GMT

    well, Mr. Osman, i was expecting name of Asim Kamal , as being a Punjabi, its good to have so many players from Punjab but mostly players are deserving (exception Malik, Wahab Riaz) So can someone plz remember that Sialkot has not lost a single T20 match from last 5 years. Punjab is much more talented than Sindh.

  • POSTED BY TeeJ on | August 16, 2010, 5:02 GMT

    Osman has just pointed out a very common mistake that is prevalent in India and Pakistan, two major accomplished test playing nations. The coastal souther regions of India are a major cradle of raw strong fast bowlers but there were neither camps to spot them; nor facilities to help them develop. Same goes with the rural regions all over the country both in India and Pakistan. Namesake cricket camps to spot an affordable kid doesn't justify the talent of a country, not just in Cricket but in any sport. Blame the government which is content with the revenue generated by sports, but not the benefits of introducing it to the youth or giving a fair go. At the moment, sports can wait as Pakistan has to first crawl out of the floods. Please donate cricketers and cricket fans!

  • POSTED BY TheRealRockNRolla on | August 16, 2010, 5:13 GMT

    Osman - are you calling out Afridi that he had a hand in the selection for squad for ENG tour ?! You are most certainly misrepresenting by disguising a certain digga Ijaz butt squad we have before us - Afridi never had a say in the selection - so dont point fingers when you dont know!!. Furthermore, Sami is the only 90-95 mph fast bowler available in the absence of Shoaib. Sami has certainly proved his worth in seam friendly conditions, recently in Australia, where he literally served the match on a platter (to be won) only for an all lahore batting line up to tank (not to mention a certain lahorite keeper who was seen my many as throwing the game away); even after stellar performance in the second test he as a result of paindo politics of Ijaz butt and cronies. Sami should be in this test side, as Aamer alone who can boast a very mediocre Abg. of 34 cannot handle and spearhead the fast bowling dept. -- and Fawad Alam should replace Malik, Fasial Iqbal should replace Amin.