Indo-Pak cricket relations

Mr Asif Iqbal, a former Pakistan captain and CBFS controller, has requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to send its national cricket team to tour Pakistan next year. Lt. General Tauqir Zia, Chairman PCB Ad Hoc Committee, also stated that he would meet the Indian Board officials at Sharjah and try to convince them on the point.

It may be mentioned that the tour is part of the international cricket calendar but is considered unlikely to come through on account of the tense political relations that prevail between the two countries. The lovers of the game in both the countries aspire for such exchange of visits. Time being the best healer, let us hope that the situation improves by the advent of 2001.

Match-fixing probe

The judicial commission probing the allegations of match-fixing against some Pakistani cricketers, has submitted its findings to the Patron of Pakistan Cricket Board President Muhammad Rafiq Tarar. A judicial commission headed by Justice Muhammad Qayyum of the Lahore High Court was set up some time back to investigate the charges leveled against some of the top cricketers ' involvement in match-fixing. The Commission had interrogated about 50 cricketers in this connection. After endorsement by the President, the report would be passed on to the PCB Chairman for final action.

The Pakistan cricket team is in the process of rebuilding to climb some glorious heights after suffering debacles against Australia and Sri Lanka. After Sharjah, it shall be hopping over to the West Indies to participate in a tri-nation tournament also involving the hosts and Zimbabwe allowed by Asia Cup and Test and triangular series in Sri Lanka. This being a very sensitive period for the Pakistan team, it would be in the fitness of things not to announce the findings of this report till the team completes its commitment in hand.

A Miracle

Writing in a national daily, Shazia Said, cricket lover from Islamabad, has termed Inzamam-ul-Haq's return to form as a miracle. According to her, since he has given the responsibility of being the vice-captain of the team, he is scoring runs without fear. If he loses about 20 pounds, his performance will become even better as he would be able to 'run' between the wickets instead of strolling. She also considers that skipper Moin Khan's shout from behind the stumps not only bring positive attitude to the game but also are source of encouragement for the players.

Her views are quite in conformity with the present cricket situation. Inzamam's prolific century (121 not out) against India showed a definite upsurge in his batting form. As for his weight, he has done his best to shed a few pounds and hopes to reduce further. This is the most important item in his personal agenda shed a few pounds and hopes to reduce further. This is the most important item on his personal agenda.

Advice for PCB Chairman

Mr M Akram, another cricket fan from Jalalpur Jattan, has advised the PCB Chairman to go fast pitches in the country. He has suggested the formation of a committee comprising of former players with rich experience and comprehensive knowledge of the game. The committee to be assigned the task of supervising the preparation of new fast pitches and banning the existing dead tracks.

Mr. Akram is rightly of the opinion that the players from other countries are not better than the Pakistani cricketers except for the experience of playing on fast and sporting pitches.

There is a definite need for replacing present dead pitches with genuine fast wickets in order to help the Pakistani batsmen as well as bowlers to transform themselves into real world beaters. It may however be noted that there was a drastic change in the situation in the situation during the recently concluded tour by the Sri Lankan team. Sporting wickets were prepared which produced results in all the Test matches. The cricket fans were thus saved from the fortune of watching dull dreary cricket. The Tests were, in fact, as exciting as one-day contests.