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Monday, June 13, 2011

Pakistan team moving in the right direction: Misbah

Misbah-ul-Haq believed that the team is moving in the right direction but said role of the team management is also important.“However players’ on field performance matters the most,” he told a private TV Channel in an interview on Monday.“The management has been very supportive during the twin tour of West Indies and Ireland. They draft a strategy but the onus to achieve favourable result rests with the players who have to deliver on field,” he said.  “Actually it’s a combined effort”,  he added.
“The attitude of the players is equally important along with the performance”, added Misbah who was also appointed captain of the ODI team last month in place of Shahid Afridi.
He declined to comment on the ongoing row between former sacked Captain Shahid Afridi and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
While expressing satisfaction over the Ireland trip, Misbah hoped that the performance of the young players would improve with the passage of time. 
“The result speaks itself and I am satisfied with the performance. The team combination worked out very well and the young players are getting better with experience”, he remarked.
“The consistency shown by the side is heartening. Overall the team is moving in the right direction”, 37-year old veteran skipper Misbah-ul-Haq concluded.

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? 

T20 harming cricket: Mohammed Yusuf

Former Pakistan captain, Mohammed Yusuf describes the T20 format of cricket as being detrimental for the game, Geo News reported.

The former skipper states that tournaments for this format should only be organized by the cricket board.

He added that youngsters are suffering due to this format because they do not learn patience which is required for other formats of cricket.

He claims that the batting line up of Pakistan has been deteriorating since T20 became popular.

Speaking about the chances of Lahore team in the local T20 tournament, Yusuf said that the team was capable of performing well despite the absence of Abdul Razzaq and Wahab Riaz.

Bloodhounds after Afridi`s blood, says Sallu

Former chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed has thrown his weight behind star all-rounder Shahid Afridi by claiming that he is a national asset and certain lobby of bloodhounds are after his blood.

“The bloodhounds are after Afridi`s blood,” Ahmed said in an interview with `Our Sources` on Sunday. “The flamboyant all-rounder is our national treasure and we should protect our asset.” There have been reports that a certain lobby has turned against the ex-captain.

The former Test player feels that Afridi has been mistreated after helping the team in difficult times and leading them to the semifinal at the ICC World Cup despite distractions both on and off the field.

“He turned individuals into a single unit and guided a relatively young team to the semifinal, exceeding everyone’s expectations. But instead of honouring him, the influential and powerful people are trying to end Afridi’s career by preventing him from playing cricket elsewhere in the world,” he added.

Fault lies with both Afridi and Pakistan board, Abbas says

Making a point
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) as well as Shahid Afridi have committed mistakes, according to Pakistan's former captain and legendary batsman Zaheer Abbas.
Expressing his concern over the latest controversy that has damaged the image of Pakistan cricket, Abbas in an exclusive interview to Gulf News in Dubai said: "Some are saying Afridi is right and some others are saying PCB is right.
"Frankly, both are wrong. When Afridi made a few mistakes the board did not do anything and let him go. So Afridi went on pushing his luck. If the board had strictly enforced the rule during his very first mistake, the whole incident would not have happened."
Abbas, who was also Pakistan team's coach and selector, wants discipline to be enforced at all costs.
"Any player breaking the law should be punished immediately. He has to be told that he is not above the game. When Afridi chewed the ball and scratched the ball, nothing was done. Then when he was named captain of the Pakistan team at Lord's, he resigned.
"The number of times the board let him go scot-free is many. This sends a wrong message to the other players in the team and it also will prove that player power is stronger than the board," added Abbas.
"Any player who has signed the contract must abide by the rules of the contract. It clearly states that you are not supposed to make public statements. If the board does not punish a player who breaks the rules, others players will also take their chances.
Prospects good
"The Afridi issue was such a trivial one that it should have been settled in a room. Once you let such an issue [like difference of opinion between the coach and captain] become public then it is trouble and no wonder it has now ended up in court," said Abbas, who was known as the Asian Bradman for his consistent batting.
Talking about Pakistan changing 11 captains in three years, Abbas said: "Pakistan has not been able to appoint a consistent captain because in every tour some controversy or the other has cropped up. How can a board select a captain for three years when they are not even sure of what will happen in the next tour? We have been struggling to find a strong captain and under the present scenario Misbah Ul Haq seems to be the best option."
However, Abbas is confident that Pakistan cricket will tide over this crisis soon and regain its glory.
"There is so much talent in Pakistan that the team can come up within a year. The present team is looking fine; the players are trying hard though we are not the strong team we used to be in the past. However the prospects look good. We should keep at least two to three teams ready to represent the nation any time."

Afridi rejects PCB offer

Former skipper of national cricket team Shahid Khan Afridi do not want to solve the matters with Pakistan Cricket Board (PBC) outside the court and he want justice from court.

According to sources, Afridi is ready to put on stake his carrier instead of bowing before PCB because he is disappointed from the behavior of team management and PCB.

Friends advised former caption to reconcile with Ijaz Butt and should resume his cricket but he refused this suggestion by saying that till the last movement he will fight judicial war.

Sources informed that Chief Operating Officer of PCB Subhan Ahmed sent a message to Afridi that if he would appears before the disciplinary committee then PCB would grant him apology with fine. However, Shahid Afridi refused to appear before the disciplinary committee.—SANA
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