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Monday, June 13, 2011

Is Cricket Australia going the PCB and WICB way?

The crossover between the sporting and legislative realms in the subcontinent is often frequent and mostly feared. In countries like Australia these sorts of things are rare or I should say it’s just hard to think about it.

But Australian cricket is creating noises these days. When Steve Waugh, a true legend of the game was axed from the ODI captaincy there had been sympathy all over but no outrageous comments or acts were made to storm the cricketing World. But the axing of Simon Katich is creating a lot of media hype.

First of all Michael Salter lashed out at the Australian selectors and then the angry and frustrated Simon Katich took the Australian selectors to the cleaners and now the issue has moved the federal defence minister, Stephen Smith, to make his own unbridled attack on the national selectors.

Am I watching a PCB or WICB?

Australian cricket has lost the aura of invincibility. Like many other factors a strong administration was critical behind Australia’s supremacy in the last decade. A team studded with stars is bound to have ego clashes and conflicts with the board but they were all managed smoothly and the administrators had a command over the players, not like a dictator but like the head of a family. Australia, in the last decade presented with news of their epical wins and staggering performances. Controversies were never an issue for them.

But the sadly, Australian news at present are scripting chaos. In 1995 when the West Indies lost their empire to Australia, the conflict of WICB with Ambrose and Lara hit the headlines. The WICB never checked such things or I should say never managed to solve such issues and which kept on creating distance between the players and the board and at present the West Indies cricket is nothing but a broken family. Board plays a big role and creating an empire along side the great players. When a cricket board lives on whims it automatically affects the performance of the team.

And in that case the PCB is sure to win a gold medal. Time and again, since 1992, one after another of PCB’s whimsical acts has tarnished Pakistan cricket. The players of Pakistan cricket never feel at home with the PCB and feel so ignored that at times they get fed up and leave cricket. Pakistan cricket suffers but the PCB has no headache. They are careful about their egos and not the betterment and the image of the nation and its cricket.

Like the WICB, the PCB too remained unaware of their acts. In 1993 suddenly Javed Miandad was removed and a young, naive Wasim Akram was made captain and suddenly a revolt removed Akram the next year and made Salim Malik the captain and who was then again removed due to match-fixing issues and then Ramiz, Wasim , Rashid Latif, Saeed Anwar, Aamir Sohail, Moin Khan kept on coming and going as captains, totally making Pakistan cricket a joke. Players were involved in fights and most importantly the PCB simply handled the match-fixing issue so naively that they left their assets at bay. Worse was the way media stripped Pakistan cricket. Nothing was being managed maturely. The distance between Pakistan players and its board still remains like former East and West Pakistan.

Both Pakistan and WI cricket’s downfall had started with issues like Simon Katich (Brian Lara and Ambrose saga with the WICB in 1995and Javed Miandad captaincy saga in 1993). And it was during that time when they were still a better side. Both the boards basked in glories thinking that they have players to run the side and such minor issues won’t hamper. But little things like these slowly damages a wonderful family as in course of time the boards just fails to control such things as from the start they were not habituated to such things.

Australia still has the spice and ingredients to reckon as a force in World cricket. Still they can climb to the number one spot. But issues such as these will hamper their advancement to the top. Australians are tough and professionals and we all know that they are the masters of handling such issues. But I feel that they haven’t yet managed things well and for which the chewing gum is kept on stretching and stretching. Mind you once all reckoned the WICB as a professional body? But in course of time they lost it due to sitting on the chair of pseudo ego.

The higher officials Cricket Australia should have let Katich know about his reason of axing. And he should have been made clear not to outburst in front of the media and sort out his problems with the board in a more private way. But sadly, it didn’t happen. Is Cricket Australia going the PCB and WICB way?

Is Cricket Australia sitting on the pseudo ego chair? Is it taking things for granted? Have they forgotten that Cricket Australia and its players are a family? Have they forgotten the aim of becoming the best in the world again? Have they turned into a PCB or WICB?

What’s wrong with Cricket Australia? 
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