Pride not glory

Boom Boom's backSince the conclusion of the Aus-Pak series in the emirates we have now won some accolades of merit, as the last series was played against a team who even without their top two players is more than a match for our prowess.  The Pakistan team has earned a reprieve of sort in the face of their fans and the local media.

At the start of this series, Pakistan had really no idea of how they would perform, having played against minnows in the past few months and recently swapped captains again for the heck of it, if not anything else they presented a side still unsure of itself and stumbling through the motions. With the first match going our way due to some mercurial bowling by Afridi who has surprised us yet again, we all went a little mad expecting us to route the Aussies and jump back into the deep end of glory. Obviously this was not to come about as the Aussies proved once again that they are one heck of a professional outfit as they took the next three games from us, luckily at times but always coming out better under pressure.

Still Pakistan won not only the last match to go down 2-3 but also took the 20/20 match in style, outplaying Australia in every department. Therefore if we analyze in hindsight it was not really a bad run of the green for Pakistan, getting a new spinner Saeed Ajmal and an opener Ahmed Shehzad in the process, but we were never short on talent in the ranks were we?  What we are short on still is able team management was as per past appeared totally lost during the course of this series. If our best bowler Umar Gul resting in the most key match was not baffling enough our eccentric captain choosing to not even join the team in the victory ceremony at the end of the 20/20 win took the cake.

Horsin around

So what is the game plan for Pakistan cricket? Management is effective only if things are in place top downwards and sadly right now we are still faced with too many external problems and infighting to ensure this. Did anyone in the PCB notice that our new captain failed to make any sort of impression with the bat? Or that his attitude was more reflective of perhaps a man who was not playing with a deck full? Numerous times the fans saw him grinning from the balcony as our wickets fell. Everyone knows he cannot handle criticism and is very positive but must he appear maniacal? Still as far as being brimful of pride and a little short in the grey matter this phenomenon is not limited to just the team management these days is it?

The crux of the matter is that Pakistan as a country is more interested in their pride than victory of a more intrinsic nature right now. Perhaps that is why we have been limping around ever since the Srilankan attack in Lahore and presenting excuse after excuse as to our security measures and our cricket. Our board is currently embroiled in yet another fiasco as they have legally filed suit against the ICC for stripping the world cup from us while it is still being staged next door.

This is obviously not the need of the hour, although our board does have a moral stand as to the issue, the fact that no team will be willing to risk their lives to play in this country is a truth which should not be lost on any of us. We keep saying India and Srilanka have the same security issues as Pakistan but we are dead wrong. Pakistan right now is fighting a war with its own people, who are trying to implement some sort of quasi religious militant government of their own over the constitution of our country. It’s a civil war we are fighting and among this mayhem cricket matches really cannot happen. There are not just team security issues that are the problem here, who exactly will go watch the world cup in these conditions? I as a normal citizen of Karachi get chills when I think about something going wrong in a movie theater and am avoiding even that much less a stadium full of people. Something going “boom” in a stadium full of people can result in a stampede and we all know the great exit points of all our stadiums and what chances they would offer to people running away in the mayhem. Will the helicopters being touted to provide airborne support for visiting teams pick up people who cannot get out in the case of such a scenario?

Where is the captain?

The plausible strategy should be to adopt the U.A.E for the time being as a surrogate home for our cricket and this can be achievable I think as not only the conditions but the locals are more than attuned and friendly to our brand of cricket. Plus the facilities in the emirates are state of the art and even if they more expensive for our board to stage a series will work for the team’s well being in the long run. We have to realize that we need to improvise with the situation going on in Pakistan and save our cricket for the future, so that at least there will be something to return with to Pakistan when the time comes.

However instead of positive strategies being thought off it’s in the news this week that a sports psychologist has been hired for the team so that they can learn how to deal with pressure better. A capital idea I say but doesn’t the management realize that we need a good batting coach rather than all these fancy shmancy support staff first? We failed 3 times as a batting outfit straight in this series, we were cruising in the 3rd match at 97 for naught and were trundled out around the 160 mark, and all this when the Aussies did not even have their star bowlers in play. I do think our captain and the board needs to see the psychologist first, once their head issues are resolved we can get around to the actual business of playing and winning cricket matches for Pakistan.

As published in the Friday Times on 22nd May 2009

  1. Our cricket is going down. It is quite sad to see it’s current state. Here’s hoping that we regain our glory days.


  2. Plenty of talent awais.. sadly we do not have the officials who want to give them a chance..

    Case in point… is Kamran KAmal the best keeper Pak has lol

  3. Seriously even Pakistani cricket is being haunted by politics, politics between the authorities and the players. Afridi rocked but he isnt very consistent too we need a strategy atleast and good coaching . I wana see cricket in action again and not marred by dumb politics.

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