INDEPENDENT NEWS

This Is Not Just Matter Of Another Cricket Defeat

Published: Wed 21 Mar 2007 01:52 PM
This Is Not Just Matter Of Another Defeat
- Pakistani Cricket Fiasco -
By Syed Atiq ul Hassan, Sydney, Australia
Sacking of Chief Justice of Pakistan by President General Pervez Musharraf, attacking media offices by Pakistani Police officers not to show the public retaliation had brought enough disgrace for Pakistanis all around the world and now Pakistani Cricketers hit the last nail in the coffin.
Pakistani defeat will be remembered as one of the darkest days in the history of Pakistan cricket on the other hand the Irish will celebrate their historic victory as a gift from Pakistani cricketers on St Patrick’s day.
The shocking death of 58 years old South African Pakistani Coach Bob Woolmer died shortly after the humiliated defeat of Pakistan by newly born Irish Cricket team. Though Bob Woolmer had history of problems relating to diabetes and breathing but according to the close sources and family, he died due to unbearable stress.
The loss after 100% input in the game and fight at the end, is always understandable and acceptable to everyone. However, the hefty defeat where no team planning, strategy and fight can be witnessed eventually creates suspicion to the observers. The lost against Ireland in the preliminary round is not just lost of another match rather it is a great shame for Pakistan which is now the part of cricket history.
It is universally believed that chances and luck play vital role in wining and loosing the game of cricket but the way Pakistani cricketers perform is beyond mere chance or luck. In one game they win with unbelievable margins with a determined display of sparkling batting and bowling and in the very next one they put up a dismal, pathetic show and are comprehensively routed. Loosing match cheaply and creating upsets in the big tournaments is a common practice of Pakistani Cricket.
This is not the first time the Pakistani cricketers played with the emotions of millions of cricket fans. On several occasions, Pakistan was defeated badly by other teams. The Pakistani Cricket team humiliated the entire cricket-loving Pakistani nation and disappointed countless cricket lovers around the world. They showed no guts, no courage and no fighting spirit to even match the standards of a top Cricket Nation.
In the past World Cup tournaments Pakistan was defeated by Bangladesh, got out on 64 against England and son on. In 2002, Pakistan was defeated by Australia within two days of the five-day test match. Pakistan's two-innings total of 112 (59 and 53) runs was the lowest score in Pakistani test cricket history. Yet, they never learned from their shameful history of defeats.
The personal excuses from the senior players, the mysterious injuries, strange selection of the team, dispute over captaincy and then rift between captain, coach and management have always been the setbacks for Pakistani cricket team. The involvement in the use of drugs by senior players, banning of senior players due to their bad behaviour and now their poor and substandard in the world cup first round matches traumatized the coach Bob Woolmer. His mind could not bear any more and he lost his life. It has been a disgrace for the entire Pakistani nation.
On every defeat in the last 3 years, the Pakistani Cricket official came out with the excuses that there were in the preparation of World Cup and trying different options in different departments. Prior to the World Cup, the speedsters Shoaib Akhter and Mohammed Asif were found involved in drug use. Shahid Afridi was banned for his unacceptable behaviour during a one day game in South Africa.
Even during the match against Ireland the attitude of the opening bowler Umar Gul was very arrogant and disgusting. He was staring at Ireland batsmen during his bowling spell as he would destroy the entire batting line in a minute. His unnecessary arrogant attitude let him empty handed.
The favouritism and politics in Pakistani cricket is a major drawback in promoting fairness and professionalism. One big reason of being unprofessional and unmannered is that most of Pakistani cricketers, in the recent years, don’t have good education. They may have superb natural cricket talent but their educational prerequisite to understand the ethics and responsibilities being the national representative are found far behind the standard. For example, the captain Inzamam ul Haq; he has been playing international cricket for Pakistan for the last 17 years but he can not speak proper English. Of course, there is no offense to speak in your own language. He wouldn’t need to speak in English but even when he speaks his own national language (Urdu) he struggles to speak-out sensibly. He has poor communication and leadership skills. High level of cricket skills and length of time in team do not automatically satisfy the criteria of captaincy presenting country on international platforms. Pakistan won the 1993 World Cup because Imran Khan had the ability to lead the team as a captain. He carried an impressive personality with high-level of communication and leadership skills. Then he had players like Javed Miadad, Wasim Akram and Amir Sohail in his squad.
Pakistani President Present Musharraf is found to be very effervescent in sacking high-officials. This is the real opportunity for him to take immediate and strong action against present team officials but where President of Pakistan personally selects the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Control board solely on his discretion how the things can be fair at a lower level.
There is a need of launching a mega program to restructure the entire cricket structure of Pakistan from top to bottom. There is a need to restructuring the whole process of selection of national team. There is a need to reform the nurturing process of young cricketers and merit must replace nepotism and favouritism following a proper constitution rather than ad-hoc arrangements.
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(The Writer is a Sydney-based journalist and a media analyst).

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