The momentum of Old Trafford carried to Edgbaston, Pakistan on a high and England singing the blues and the first game of the NatWest triangular series was a mismatch. It was not that Pakistan was outstandingly good , it was England that was incredibly bad, plagued by injuries to key players Nasser Hussain, Graham Thorpe and Andy Caddick and still licking their wounds and the media braying.

Still it was an impressive win for Pakistan. Against Australia, Pakistan gave the impression of a team mentally resigned to losing. Only Yousuf Youhana and Rashid Latif appeared to be competitive. The others just went through the motions. Waqar Younis has much to learn about captaincy in the one-day game. He did not bring on Saqlain Mushtaq till the 22nd over by which time Australia was going at six an over. Both he and Shoaib Akhtar had gone for a lot of runs, seven and eight an over and Pakistan needed to put the brakes on, slow the game down. Ricky Ponting is highly suspect against spin and this is very well-known in the cricket grapevine. He was flaying the quicker bowlers and was out soon after Saqlain came on.

I think too that some mercy should be shown to Abdur Razzaq. He was made to open in the Test matches and in the one-day games, he is being sent one down whereas Inzamamul Haq should be coming in that position, if not him then Youhana and if not him then Younis Khan. With Shahid Afridi opening the innings, you don't need two pinch-hitters at the top.

Shoaib Akhtar broke down again and there must be serious doubts about his physical fitness. Is he trying to bowl too fast and his body is not up to it? I don't know because I am not a doctor. Perhaps, he should bowl within himself, no one knows better than he does himself, what his limitations are. There is, after all, such a thing as human endurance.

Shoaib Akhtar must decide himself the speed with which he is comfortable and not be seduced by the speed-gun. He is by nature, a showman and this is not a bad thing but he's in the team to get wickets and not put on a floor-show. If he is going to be a key member of the team, the team should be able to rely on him not to break down regularly. In the meantime, there appears to be no news about Mohammad Sami. Is he making progress with his shin injury? Do we know the exact nature of the injury?

England looked a far better team at Bristol and they appeared to have bounced back even though they lost to Australia. But the match went to the wire and was not decided till the last over. Pakistan can expect much stiffer opposition. Pakistan, in turn, needs to re-focus. One hopes that Wasim Akram returns to duty. His presence in the team gives a sense of purpose to the bowling. At Cardiff, the Pakistan bowling looked pedestrian and it lacked urgency.

What is one to make of Inzamam's dismissal at Cardiff? What on earth was he trying to do? He is entitled to a day off but that sudden rush of blood was totally out of character, as if he had had a quarrel with himself. Shane Warne couldn't believe his eyes. More than that, he couldn't believe his luck. But I suppose even the world's best batsman can be ruled by a foolish heart.

Much is being made of the pitch invasion by the Pakistani supporters at Edgbaston and so it should be. It was stupid. I feared for a while that the match may be abandoned and Pakistan deprived of its win points. If there is a code of conduct for the players, there is an unwritten code of conduct for spectators. One is always happy to see the supporters on the ground. They bring festivity to the occasion and obviously enjoy themselves. But to invade the ground when the match is in progress is something that cannot be condoned. There is, most of all, the fear of injury to the players unlucky enough to be caught in the stampede. There is potential for a riot as supporters of the opponents may decide to have their own pitch-invasion. With friends like this, who needs enemies? The sight of spectators sitting behind barbed-wire, caged in, has become a common sight at Test centres. It is an ugly sight and I can look back to the days when spectators sat around the boundary line and the cricket grounds were open spaces, fringed by trees.

Watching the India-Zimbabwe Test match at Bulawayo brought back memories of the days when going to watch cricket was a family outing instead of marching into war that it has become. I have stopped going to One-day Internationals in Pakistan because the security measures, necessary I must add, are too oppressive and suffocating for even me, someone who goes into a commentary box. I hope that better sense will prevail in the remaining matches that Pakistan plays.

The team has problems enough without having to worry about its overenthusiastic supporters. Besides, we don't want the media to get an excuse to get in some bashing. I think we are all suffering from cricket fatigue. So much cricket being played and more to come. I look forward to Wimbledon which starts in the third week of June. There being no subcontinent challenge in sight, one can watch the tennis without any personal involvement.

I hope the Williams sisters will be there as well as Andre Agassi. Wimbledon still remains a tournament faithful to its traditions and the players still maintain a dress-code and the spectators bring a measure of decorum. But for how long? But Wimbledon survived Illie Nastase and John McEnroe and I think it will survive the new generation of players who may not be bound by the traditions of Wimbledon. Will burger and fries replace strawberries and cream?