Friday, March 23, 2007

My views on the state of Pakistan Cricket

So this World Cup campaign went about as bad as it possibly could have. A lot of changes coming, some that were forced and some that are badly needed.

First of all most importantly hopefully the cowards involved in the Bob Woolmer murder are caught fast and dealt with. It is a major black eye for cricket and an even bigger one for Pakistan. I know I was in the minority as far as retaining Woolmer past the World Cup is concerned but he did do a lot for Pakistani cricket if you look at the big picture. Do people even remember where this team was 4 years ago? Say what you want about Woolmer and Inzi but this was a very steady time for Pakistani cricket. Despite all their criticisms you have seen the internal politics and fighting within the team disappear under their watch.

The problem with Pakistani Cricket to me is more the culture of the PCB then the players themselves. Sure Inzi's captaincy in the past 6 months took a huge step back from the strides he had made in the year and a half before that but does anyone at PCB know what they are doing? Why the constant shuffling of the lineup? Why do the same useless players keep showing up the lineup when other young promising players are shuffled in and out for no obvious reason. What does Yasir Hameed have to do to earn a spot? Why has Imran Nazir been shrugged aside for so long? What more does Asim Kamal need to do to earn a spot in the test lineup? How many more chances is Rana Naved going to get? What is Kaneria's role on the team?

So who is the next captain? The obvious front runner is Younis Khan, a man who probably should've been captain 2 years ago. Does he merit a guaranteed ODI spot at this time though? Do they go with seperate ODI and Test teams and captain? I wouldn't be surprised though if Pakistan bypasses him altogether and goes another route as far as the captaincy is concerned. Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq and Shoaib Malik are 3 names you definitely will hear. These 3 will be part of whatever future the Pakistan team has. Might as well get them groomed for 2011. The 3 are still relatively young but have played long enough where experience isn't a problem. When all is said and done though you will probably see Younis Khan as the captain for now with one of the 3 as Vice Captain being groomed for 2011.

What will the Pakistani team look like when they next step onto the playing field? Does Younis Khan even make the ODI squad? I am going to go with an assumption of yes on that one for now as I don't think they will go to that extreme.

1) Salman Butt
2) Imran Nazir
3) Yasir Hameed
4) Shoaib Malik
5) Younis Khan (Captain)
6) Shahid Afridi (Vice Captain)
7) Abdul Razzaq
8)Kamran Akmal/Zulqarnain Haider (WK)
9)Shoaib Akhtar
10) Umar Gul
11) Mohammed Asif

There are other guys who will be on the fringe. Mohammad Sami isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Yasir Arafat will see some playing time. Imran Farhat will be around as an opening option but is there room for all 3 of Farhat, Butt and Nazir in the lineup? I really don't see room for Mohammad Yousuf in the ODI squad anymore. Sure he still has a few good years left in him....but is he a factor for 2011?

1) Salman Butt
2) Imran Farhat
3) Yasir Hameed/Mohammad Yousuf
4) Younis Khan (Captain)
5) Shoaib Malik
6) Shahid Afridi (Vice Captain)
7) Kamran Akmal/Zulqarnain Haiderr (WK)
8) Abdul Razzaq/Danish Kaneria
9)Shoaib Akhtar
10) Umar Gul
11) Mohammed Asif

We've had a good U-19 team the last few years....and I'd expect a few of those guys to make the transition to the team soon enough. There is definitely no lack of talent in Pakistan. The problem is harnessing that talent. Domestic cricket, while it has improved in the past couple of years still needs a lot of fixing.

Who's going to coach this team? Rameez Raja laid out an intriguing plan today on Cricinfo.

1 comment:

  1. Quite surprising then, that they went ahead and made Shoaib Malik the captain.I don't know if you agree with that choice.

    Would you be interested in writing whenever you have time to spare for this cricket website we have called It's basically a collection of interesting perspectives of cricket followers from different countries.

    It's good fun, mail me if you are interested at


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