Pakistan v England 2011-12

Beating England will cool anger over fixing - Ramiz

Umar Farooq

January 6, 2012

Comments: 62 | Text size: A | A

Misbah-ul-Haq could only make 20, Bangladesh v Pakistan, 1st Test, Chittagong, 2nd day, December 10, 2011
Captain Misbah-ul-Haq's form has been a major part of Pakistan's revival © AFP
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Ramiz Raja, the former Pakistan captain, has urged the players in the current national team to assume they are in a war when they take on England in the UAE. The last time Pakistan played England in a Test series, the spot-fixing scandal broke. Ramiz said winning the upcoming series would be the perfect way for Pakistan to seal their strong comeback from that embarrassment, and calm the anger among fans that arose from it.

"Players should assume themselves to be in a state of war in every match to maintain consistency in their performances," Ramiz said at a function arranged by the PCB to celebrate the team's impressive performance in 2011. "I think this is the best opportunity for the Pakistan team to avenge the disgrace of the spot-fixing scandal; all the frustration in the wake of that embarrassment should be exhibited in the form of performances on the field.

"England might be a strong opponent but beating a top team is the only way to become a hero. There is always room for improvement but there must be self-belief and strong body-language. The team must play hard cricket with no smiles or sympathy towards the opponent. Ultimately winning against England is the best way to cool down the anger and frustration that Pakistan fans felt after the spot-fixing scandal."

Ramiz said the current team should try to replicate the culture that Imran Khan had instilled in the team Ramiz was a part of. "During my era, Imran Khan, prior to every match, told us to assume we are in a war and never think about how powerful or depleted the opponent is; what is important is to go onto the field thinking only of victory."

Pakistan went through 2011 without losing a Test series, and go into this series after beating Zimbabwe away, Sri Lanka in the UAE and Bangladesh away. The PCB recognised the successful year by giving the players 300,000 Pakistani rupees ($3,307) each and the supporting staff 100,000 Pakistani rupees ($1,102) each.

In a low point for Pakistan cricket, Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif were handed jail sentences for spot-fixing by an English tribunal in 2011. On the field, though, Pakistan won five of eight Tests, reached the semi-finals of the World Cup and won six bilateral one-day series. Ramiz said the team had already won back the fans. "Pakistan have already made a strong comeback in the world of cricket after the spot-fixing scam. They have won back the fans' faith and have regained credibility.

"We have outstanding new faces in the line-up and a heavyweight middle order. Our bowlers, both the pacemen and spinners, are among the best when it comes to taking wickets so I am not worried about that. Umar Akmal [the batsman who is returning to the Test squad after being dropped for two series] is the one from whom I am expecting a lot and I am hopeful he won't disappoint us."

Pakistan's recent success has come under the leadership of Misbah-ul-Haq, who was handed the Test captaincy in September 2010, after the spot-fixing episode. Misbah was not even a part of the squad who went on the tour of England but since returning to the side has averaged 75.76 in Tests and 49.75 in ODIs, a major factor in the team's success.

"The journey of the Pakistan team in the past year has been similar to the journey of my life," Misbah said. "It [not being in the side] was one of the toughest times not only in my career but in my life as well; but I never give up. Since I was called up to lead the team I obviously had to justify my position as a batsman too.

"The South Africa Test series in the UAE [that Pakistan drew 0-0 in November 2010] was when we realised we could do it. It was the series that actually gave us the self-belief and confidence that we can move ahead, leaving everything in the past; we never looked back.

"I think the success in 2011 was due to the fact that as many as 15 players in the squad fulfilled their responsibilities and I am sure they will keep up the good work in 2012. I am sure the boys will continue their hard work, show responsibility and play to their potential against England, who are the best Test team at the moment. We know how tough it is going to be, so we are ready for that."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by AbdullahShaikh on (January 9, 2012, 11:06 GMT)

if these guys will just hold the catches and field well, you will see that the England side is not that great.

Posted by   on (January 9, 2012, 8:48 GMT)

Hope that Pak appoints a fielding coach before any thing else.

Posted by haq33 on (January 8, 2012, 11:37 GMT)

I have no idea what certain posters are blathering on about when they say that Ramiz seeks revenge on England or that he is asking for revenge on England. Did they read the article at all???? He specifically states "to avenge the disgrace of the spot-fixing scandal"......in other words, he wants Pakistan to prove their worth and to seek revenge against the damage done by the spot-fixing itself. He TWICE in that sentence referred to the spot-fixing itself (NOT England) negatively - "DISGRACE" and "SCANDAL" - words which apportion blame on Pakistan if on any nation. How can it possibly have been a "scandal" or a "disgrace" for England. As many have said already, England have done Pakistan many favours including exposing these guys. In no way do any of those words suggest vengeance against England or seek to attribute some kind of blame on England. Some cricinfo readers will always seek to malign Pakistani greats by blatantly lying.

Posted by Raisur on (January 8, 2012, 9:55 GMT)

It is heartening to hear about Aamir!! he needs to be back on the field and deliver his hidden talent and the punishment is a recipie for all the players not to be lured. The differnce between money and honour is, money is a short term gain and if it is, in a way of wrongfull act, it brings disgrace to the nation and self. Honour is something where one can be evaluated with self achivement which brings joy and pride to the nation and self.

Aamir come back and bowl with vengenace to show the world your hidden talent.

the nation and the game itself.

Posted by MeAsFan on (January 8, 2012, 6:00 GMT)

I have no doubt this Pakistani team can beat England in UAE, whatever ranking they have whole world knows that they badly they play in subcontinent; their blowers are not effective in subcontinent condition and their batsman cannot play spin well; last their tour to India already prove my statement. Same time I am saying this because I remember last England tour of Pakistan where England are coming with ashes win and 8-10 back to back win but also they lose against Pakistan. Good luck Pakistan team.

Posted by   on (January 8, 2012, 4:56 GMT)

To the writer, "Umar Farooq" ... Please stop repeating the England-fixing instance again and again in every article. World has forgotten it and moved on but you are still on the same day and repeat." try to mention new and good things, chap!

Posted by rawcrickettalent on (January 8, 2012, 2:39 GMT)

yeah agree with Ramiz...what he means that Pakistanis will prove that they are a force to be reckoned with if they beat England!! and the war mentality is good cause it will help them to play aggressively and give their all!!

Posted by   on (January 7, 2012, 22:05 GMT)

I believe Pakistani team has shown a lot of character after the match fixing scam that jolted the team and fans! Since then the team kept their head down even when likes of disastrous Butt was in the midst of their board affairs and toiled as a single unit to bring about the best which was always there to express...the scam and the punishments that saw one of the genius bowler that would take years to appear in the cricketing arena behind the bars but trust me that thing do good to Pakistan for the team has been put under the strict scrutiny by every possible mean by ICC and rest of cricket boards. Now every member of the team has finally come to the terms that the canker of match fixing at different extents is present in other cricket teams cant be replicated so the only way out is to work their way to glory....thanks for the all discrimination and making Pakistan Pariah because it did good rather than to harm the team!!

Posted by   on (January 7, 2012, 21:48 GMT)

its utterly bewildering to even hear what the die hard supporters of English team have to say regarding Pakistan's bleak chances to win against the so called juggernaut of English team..Let me remind them that Pakistan remains the only team that always come up with the x-factor that surprises many formidable sides in the course of cricket history. yup its true that Pakistani team and fans had to endure the painstaking saga of match fixing that tormented in and out but one should not forget how the team reacted right after that disaster...one would agree that the canker of match fixing isn't only associated with Pakistan only but over the years players across the cricketing world happen to be in deep shit..just that Pakistani players don't have the advantage of leniency that other teams enjoy...so What!! really this very thing helps Pakistan to be the number one team when such discrepancies that long arrests Pakistan progress to be the true number team of the world. LONG LIVE PAK

Posted by JustIPL on (January 7, 2012, 18:50 GMT)

@Abdullah Shaikh, i agree with you. they were the world champions had they not dropped tendulkar and taylor four times each.

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