Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pakistani cricket facing tough decisions

A preliminary squad of Pakistan cricket team for world cup 2011 has been finalized, and some media reports suggest that Kamran Akmal, Danish Kaneria and Shoaib Malik have been dropped. Kamran Akmal is one of seven cricketers allegedly involved in spot fixing during the tour of England, three of them are already facing a ban from all types of cricket. World cup cricket tournament is only Two and a half months away and cricket board is still not sure what should be the final squad for the cricket. Most teams have a settled 15 or more players for cup but Pakistan are not able to complete 11 of them.
Media is creating a lot of noise on expulsion of Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal and Danish Kaneria from preliminary squad but none of them was an automatic selection for the world cup keeping in view their recent form and fitness. Kamran Akmal is one of the suspects of spot fixing in England, but he has already been spotted deliberately missing stumping, run-outs and dropping crucial catches during Australian tour. He and some other cricketers were reported by team management and bowling coach for their suspicious performance throughout the tour. Shoaib Malik is also a culprit of conspiring against Younus Khan's captaincy and deliberately throwing his wicket at some critical times under his captaincy. These are the facts which have been discussed over and again and it is quite obvious that they are not crystal clear and clean. As far as the case of Kaneria is concerned, he was suspected and interrogated for spot fixing during a county match, later he was cleared but his county Essex discontinued his contract afterwards. Kaneria may not get into the ODI squad on merit due to his impotency as an ODI bowler, but he should not be expelled on pretext of the crime for which he has already been investigated and cleared. Although the decision to expel these players has not been officially announce yet but they are unlikely to get a chance.
The time has come to make some strict and tough decisions, and this may be the first one. We need to get rid of the tested and underperforming players and induct new blood into our cricket to get better results in future. Pakistan cricket board recently announced the Test and T-Twenty squad for New Zealand, this is the last tour before the world cup and probably the final 15 for world cup will be chosen from the New Zealand touring team. But they are a lot of question marks on the line up. I can't understand who is behind Akmal brothers, one facing spot fixing ban, other showing suspicious irresponsibility in the middle and still Adnan Akmal is selected for the tour. What is the criterion for the selection of Adnan Akmal? Sohail Tanvir, Tanveer Ahmed and Abdul Rehman are mediocre players; they should have not been selected for this crucial tour. Mansoor Amjad should get an opportunity; he has shown great signs as an all-rounder. Rana Naveed is showing a great commitment in the domestic circle, considering his experience of playing on dry tracks in India and Sri Lanka and his ability to reverse swing; he should have been given another opportunity. Rana Naved has got 557 first class and 261 Domestic ODI wickets, he is as old as Tanvir (32 years) but selection of Tanvir Ahmed ahead of the big tournament instead of Rana is a ridiculous. Sohail Khan has performed better than Tanvir Ahmed in domestic cricket, if they are going to introduce new faces Sohail should have been selected as he is 6 years younger than Tanvir and is performing better than him in domestic cricket.

 My squad for Cricket world cup 2011 is as under.
Batsmen: Ahmed Shahzad, Shahzaib Hassan, Asad Shafiq, Younus Khan, Fawad Alam, Umer Akmal, Azhar Ali, Misbah ul Haq
All Rounder: Shahid Khan AFridi (capt), Mohammad Hafeez, Abdur Razzaq, Mansoor Amjad
Bowlers: Umer Gull, Wahab Riaz, Saeeed Ajmal, Rana Naveed, (any good spinner)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Suspension of Pakistani cricketers

As a nation we always believed in conspiracy theories whether it is law n order situation of our country, declining economy or the miserable position of our country in the sports which once we ruled, we always put the blame on outer hands which do not want to see us making progress. The recent spot-fixing scandal is one of such cases, recently ICC upheld its decision of Pakistani players suspension after they were allegedly caught through a mock bookie. Slaman Butt and Mohammad Aamir clearly denied the allegations and blamed the ICC for double standards, in a recent TV appearance, both of them said that it is a conspiracy against Pakistani cricket. Some of Tv channels telecasted viewpoints of general pubic and every one was saying that Pakistani players are innocent and it is a conspiracy against our cricket.
The role of our cricket board, our media and our government in the scandal was very controversial and questionable. One of our parliamentarians suggested the death penalty for the players involved, our media repeatedly made fun of the situation and played objectionable videos and songs making the matter worse for our players. More disgusting was the role of our cricket board, the chairman PCB did not show any stance on the spot fixing issue and let the players and ICC handle the case. ICC immediately suspended the players without any hearing or solid proofs but our board did not dare to fight for the players until proved guilty.
Now when players appeals against suspension have been rejected, they are boldly speaking against ICC and other boards which is again a mistake, they paid the price immediately as board suspended their central contracts.
As far as my limited knowledge about cricket concerned, I personally think there are two types of match fixing, paid or unpaid both need underperforming. Our players bluntly fixed almost whole series in Australia when we failed to win a single match in the recent tour, Pakistani cricket board took action on the basis of manager's report and players were handed fines and life bans. What happened afterwards is a different story but it was proved that some of our players intentionally underperformed (manager claimed they took oath on Quran to not perform under Younus). If our board have shown some credibility and responsibility, the matters would have been easily sorted out and Pakistani cricket might have been cleaned of the black sheep. But it never happened in the history and no different this time too, they all were forgiven one by one and now they all are playing again.
Believe me no one is our enemy, we are enough for us, "Huay tum dost jis kay dushman us ka aasmaa'n kyun ho", this is the time to clean our cricket from these black sheep, who knew Mohammad Aamir, Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif some years back when they were not playing cricket. This is the game of cricket and our country which gave them name, but most of them used for their own. We need to be realistic and accept the fact that no one is conspiring against us but the people who are from us and a part of us.