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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Controversies surrounding Pakistan team

 The Pakistan Cricket Board has been struck with a lot of controversies and the cricket in the region has been bruised. Whether it is the board or the players, everyone is under fire either by the media or the International Cricket Council.
Due to all the things happening to Pakistan cricket, the image of the team is badly hurt and there is no International Cricket being played in the country. The World Cup is nearing and there are players who have been under the scanner of the ICC for a long time. If the time runs out, these players will not be able to make it to the final squad for the World Cup 2011. There have been issues like spot fixing, threats to players, biased selection and many more.
The Pakistan national team was in need of a leader who could develop a team for the 2011 World cup and in 2009, the captaincy role was handed over to Younis Khan who was believed by many including Imran Khan to be the right man for this job. In his leadership, the team won the Twenty20 World cup surprising many critics and it seemed that Pakistan would head to the right direction from that point.
Things were not as simple as they appeared to be. Pakistan lost to New Zealand in the semi-final of the ICC Champions trophy and was all of a sudden attacked by the media. Younis Khan was alleged to be involved in match-fixing and the team also had a rebel over the captaincy issues with Younis Khan. However, Younis resigned from captaincy and asked for rest leaving the captaincy to Mohammad Yousaf.
Things went from bad to worse once Pakistan visited Australia and lost all the matches played there. This time the PCB decided to take some serious action against the players and banned Yousuf, Younis, Shoaib Malik and Rana Naveed from the team. Some other players were also handed heavy fines and the team was all set to make a fresh start in England against Australia and England.
The drama continued when Shahid Afridi, the captain for all three formats resigned from captaincy and left the team after the very first Test match against Australia. Salman Butt was the man given charge of a new side and he started off exceptionally with a surprise win against Australia in the second Test match. After that Pakistan had to play England and during the Test matches a few of the players were allegedly involved in spot-fixing. Some evidence was also provided against the players including Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Amir, Kamran Akmal and Wahab Riaz.
Recently, the reserve wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider who was a part of the team in the UAE series left the team during the one day series claiming that he had been receiving life threats. He is currently in England and his family has also confirmed the threats given to them by some strangers.
Pakistan Cricket Board has announced a squad for the final series they will play against New Zealand before the World cup and the team does not include the trio of Asif, Amir and Salman Butt who are most likely to miss the World Cup. The ICC has also not given clearance to Kamran Akmal and Danish Kaneria for selection due to their alleged involvement in match-fixing.
The PCB and the national team have been hit by many controversies in the last year and a half and the national team will have to do wonders to do well at the World Cup 2011.
Pakistan is known to be a country with exceptional talent and have produced world class cricketers throughout. If it can avoid any further controversies before the mega event, they will be in a better condition both mentally and physically to win the title.
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