Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pakistan Test Cricket

Here we are yet again. Another test match and another tough Pakistan loss. The day started with much optimism. Pakistan needed 252 to win on the final day (in no way an easy task) and had 7 wickets in hand. I didn't make it home until the 6th bowl of the first over and by that time this match was already over.

What is it about batting 4th that just scares this team? Pakistan hasn't won a match batting in the 4th inning since January 2007. If you look for matches where Pakistan had to chase over 200 in the 4th inning that streak runs over 6 years. Yes, I understand that Pakistan hasn't played much Test cricket in that time frame but that stretch is still way too long.

As is always the case with Pakistan cricket the team selection continues to be mind boggling at best. How is it that Faisal Iqbal keeps finding a spot in the team when far more talented players like Asim Kamal, Yasir Hameed and Taufeeq Umar haven't been able to find a spot in the team in years? There has to be more to it then him being Javed Miandad's nephew. Right? Right? Will the PCB ever give Fawad Alam a fair shot in the team or will he get discarded like many talented young players before him?

When will the PCB realize that playing Shahid Afridi in tests is a gamble worth taking? Why do people continue to ignore that he has a test average of 37.40? His last test was in 2006. He has had gotten better recently so that number has the potential to get better. What makes him even more of a test player now is his bowling. He has been on a roll recently and a spot in the test team will be a challenge he will handle well.

I would like to see Pakistan give Sarfaraz Ahmed a shot at keeper too. Yes, Kamran has had a decent run with the bat the last couple of years but his wicketkeeping still leave a lot to be desired. I think it is about time we give the kid a shot. Who knows, maybe a little competition will push Kamran Akmal. Moin Khan and Rashid Latif always seemed to do it to each other in the 90s.

What should the Pakistani test team look like?

1)Imran Farhat
2)Salman Butt
3)Younis Khan
4)Mohammad Yousuf
5)Umar Akmal
6)Shahid Afridi
7)Kamran Akmal
8)Mohammad Aamer
9)Umar Gul
10)Mohammad Asif
11)Danesh Kaneria/Saeed Ajmal

They could always decide to play Afridi as the only spinner and add a bowler or batsman accordingly. Who do you guy guys want to see be in the squad? Clearly there is still work to be done.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"Barry" from D.C.....

Barack Obama definitely has a sense of humor. The Governor of Virginia Tim Kaine has a radio show where he takes calls from constituents. This morning he received a call from a "Barry in D.C".

As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or contact me via Twitter.

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Tiger Woods only has himself to blame.

Sooner or later these people will figure it out right? They are chased by cameras and reporters pretty much everywhere they go. Every little detail of their lives are scrutinized to the utmost degree. These people take full advantage of the fame and riches that come their way but unfortunately a lot of them let it get to their heads.

Tiger Woods is just the most recent in a long list of athletes who has failed not just his family and image but his fans as well. We hear all the time that what these people do on their own time is none of our business. I agree with that to a certain point but not when the individual involved has made hundreds of millions of dollars based on his image. If you want to ruin your marriage and family life, go right ahead as it is purely your decision but don't try to insult our intelligence by appearing in a million different commercials and pitch products. As it turns out you lied to and shamed your family. Why shouldn't we take anything you say with a grain of salt?

Earlier this year Tiger Woods became the World's first Billionaire athlete.

Why is it that these people deny these stories when they first get reported? This isn't the era of Babe Ruth or Mickey Mantle. You can't even compare it to the 90s. There are just so many media platforms out there that the truth in matters like this pretty much always comes out. In this era of Twitter and TMZ there is no hiding. People would probably be a lot more sympathetic if these guys admitted to their mistakes right away. The lame excuses these guys make only makes matters worse as the lies they tell are so bad that all it does is lead more people to dig into your personal life. Seriously, did anyone believe anything Tiger Woods or his agents said in the days after the accident?

Why is it that privacy only matters to these guys when they do something wrong? Where is Tiger Woods' search for privacy when he's doing commercials for Nike, Gatorate or Gillette? Where is his request for privacy when his picture gets plastered in sporting goods stores and billboards around the world? Where is his request for privacy when he's releasing his own video game everywhere and wants to be in the room of every kid with an XBox, PS3 or a Wii? Where is his request for privacy when he is making close to $100 million a year in endorsement money? He gets caught being an idiot and suddenly we are supposed to pretend that this is a private matter? I feel for his wife Elin Nordegren. Right now there are people digging into her life because of what Tiger Woods did.

I should mention that I have never been the world's biggest Tiger Woods fan. Don't get me wrong, you can't help but be impressed by his resume on the golf course but Tiger Woods the man has never been easy to root for. He's been an obnoxious bully and if he was anyone but Tiger Woods he would have faced a major backlash over the years. If you haven't seen it for yourself just go check out some of the Tiger Woods clips on Youtube. Golf holds itself to a ridiculous uptight standard that doesn't even let fans bring cameras or cell phones to a golf course yet Tiger Wood's antics get excused.

This isn't some new phenomenon either. Tiger has been cursing and throwing clubs around for a long time now. When he's not doing something himself he has his caddy to the dirty work for him. We've all seen his antics on TV. Remember him tossing someone's camera a couple of years ago? PGA Tour officials continue to look the other way because he's Tiger Woods.

I was in attendance for the Final Round of The Barclays earlier this year. My Brother and I considered following Tiger Woods around for the day but gave up on it after jut two holes. He doesn't interact with the fans at all. There were little kids yelling his name as he walked up the fairway and he wouldn't even look over and nod. Yet, his galleries were huge based on his name alone. We decided to follow Padraig Harrington instead and he was simply amazing. He was right there in contention with Tiger Woods but the contrast in their behavior on the course was remarkable. Harrington took time on each hole to interact with fans (especially little kids). Phil Mickelson was also really friendly with the crowd despite being way behind the leaders at this event. Watching Tiger Woods in person that day made me even happier that I have never rooted for him in his professional career.

The sporting world fell in love with Tiger Woods and his father in the mid 90s because it was a great story. It is just unfortunate that like so many others Tiger Woods the man is not half as easy to like as Tiger Woods the athlete. If you want to live a public life and make the ridiculous amount of money based on your name alone, you can't be a hypocrite and ask for privacy in a matter like this. You can't have it both ways.

As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or contact me via Twitter.

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