The cricket debacle

“Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, Today is the present – a gift to make the most of”, is the quote that greets you when you log on to Bob Woolmer’s personal website (http://bobwoolmer.com/). Pakistan’s cricket team failed to make the most of the present when they recently played Ireland in the World Cup, which unfolded some tumultuous events. Now that the World Cup debacle has become history and as such, nothing can be done to reverse it, Pakistani cricket’s tomorrow can be saved. This is the only way to pay a befitting tribute to Bob Woolmer, who apparently could not overcome the shock of the defeat of a team in the preparation of which he invested much labour and affection against a cricket minnow. Cricket is regarded as a game of glorious uncertainties. Indeed, what happened in the match against Ireland provides evidence of this characteristic of this game. Yet it would be wrong not to pinpoint the deficiencies and the lack of professionalism on the part of the Pakistani cricket team, which has led to the current sad state of affairs.

From the top to the bottom, Pakistan’s cricketing setup is non-professionalism personified. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is headed by Dr Nasim Ashraf, who lacks the appropriate cricketing background to hold the office of the Chairman PCB, yet he is there owing to his personal relationship with President Pervez Musharraf. The chairman is doing everything except his prime job of streamlining the cricketing affairs in the country. He has been travelling along with the cricket team, going to dressing rooms, and not missing any opportunity to get himself snapped with the boys. In no cricket-playing nation in the world, the chairman of the cricketing board has been found indulging in such eccentricities. Previous chairmen of the PCB, the likes of Shahryar Khan and Tauqir Zia, were not any better either. One cannot sing any laurels for the selectors either, who are responsible for the inconsistency in the batting and bowling line-up. Not only is the PCB structure in the doldrums, our national cricket team is also going through its worst cricketing period.

At a time when other cricket teams make use of technology in order to come up with a strategy for their next game by assessing the strengths and weakness of their opponents, our batsmen and bowlers come on to the field without any homework and play as badly as any amateur. It is no wonder then that the Irish cricket team was able to get rid of Pakistan’s batsmen for just 132 runs. Our batsmen lack the ability to play after some early setbacks and start dwindling under pressure. Indiscipline is another vice that afflicts our cricketers. If Andrew Flintoff could be stripped of the England vice-captaincy for his off-field behaviour – staying out drinking until the wee hours of the morning – why has the PCB always tolerated Shoaib Akhtar and his ilk’s antics? Had the PCB reprimanded such players duly, the doping fiasco might not have taken place. Skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq has been unable to inspire his team as his demeanour lacks authoritativeness. Therefore, his announcement to retire from one-day cricket and stand down as Test captain does not come as a surprise under the circumstances.

It is time to revamp Pakistan’s cricket structure. To come out with a competitive cricket team for the next World Cup, our domestic cricket must be at par with England’s county cricket. There is no lack of talent in Pakistan, only a lack of professionalism.

Comments

Faisal said…
I say we swap players from our national team with the players from our world champion blind cricket team. My only worry is, we may end up losing the next blind world cup as well. First round exit.

Anyway, the way pakistani awaam has reacted to this defeat is quite sad. It will get worse when the team returns in a week or so. As far as I know, the biggest reason for our defeat is inzamam, the captain. We had a terrible start in the 92 world cup as well, but imran khan's leadership and determination took us all the way. Inzi's body language in the field is depressing, to say the least. The blame goes to the selectors as well for sticking with him for so long. SA took a bold decision when they assigned Smith as their captain even though he was junior to a lot of other players playing in the team. It paid off for them. We on the other hand have always considered seniority to be the main basis for captaincy. Anyway, the whole thing is quite sad. Apart from the depression that was caused by pakistan's first round exit and bob woolmer's death, the thing that is making me sad is what our players are going to face when they get back home. Simply speaking, our awaam doesn't deserve a good team. Burning effigies, mock burial ceremonies, attacks on player's houses and what not, simple unacceptable. I wish we could somehow make the players feel loved when they come back, if only we could tell them that ok, we are hurt and sad, but we know so are you and so lets forgive and forget and figure out how we can put this behind us and work towards a better future for the sports we all love so much.

Wishful thinking on my part. Our heroes will face humiliation, just like the greats like wasim, waqar, and miandad did when they said farewell to cricket.

Mehmal, can you do something to persuade people to forgive our team? Their dedication cannot be questioned, I just hope we realize it before it's too late, before we find some other member of our team dead in his room.

Woolmer deserved better *sigh*
mehmal said…
Thankfully the PCB Chairman and the Selectors have all resigned! Now we really need to revamp our cricket :=)

but yeah you're right about the way our awaam treats the players, so yeah i'll definitely write about it :)

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