Pakistan’s cricket is in very troubled waters and as Pakistan is getting no serious series at home, the financial situation is very dismal. Foreign teams are damaging the Pakistan cricket. Australia and the West Indies forced Pakistan to play in the neutral venues of Sri Lanka and United Arab Emirates in 2002. In the years that followed, New Zealand, Australia again and India all refused to tour Pakistan or cut short tours over security fears.
Promising Pakistani left-arm pacer Sohail Tanvir, who was axed from the Pakistan team for the third One-Day International against Sri Lanka at Lahore earlier this month owing to poor form, roared back into form by taking eight wickets in the domestic Quaid-e-Azam trophy. He took eight wickets to signal a return to form and all this because of a few tips given to him by Miandad.
Many other junior players have also credited Miandad for their improved cricketing skills. But Miandad is no longer with the Pakistan Cricket Board. Even the former skipper Shoaib Malik said that he was given many valuable leadership tips and advices by the Javed Miandad and that greatly improved his style.
After the shameful defeat of Pakistan by the hands of Sri Lanka, many heads are about to roll. As the high powered Sports Ministry committee meets in Lahore on Sunday (today) to finalise the recommendations on the proposed Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) constitution, a reduced Executive Council consisting of provincial and departmental representatives is likely to replace the existing system.
I still remember the talk shows on the sports channels around the cable network in which Abdul Qadir was the guest during the tenure of Dr. Nasim Ashraf as the chairman Pakistan Cricket Board. Abdul Qadir made tall claims in those shows as only if the things were under his control, they would be entirely different and on the roll under his command.
Abdul Qadir especially used to thrash and blast at the selection committee and the way the performed. He was also weary of the selection criteria and always very bitter at the state of affairs in PCB. Then by the sheer stroke of luck, he became the part of the administration of PCB. He became chief selector.
Due to the morale-shattering loss in 2nd game of series against Sri Lanka, Pakistani coach Intikhab Alam sounded morose about Pakistan’s chances of winning the series. Pakistan proved to be a sand wall against Lankans. Sri Lanka hammered Pakistan on their way to a sizeable 290-8 after being asked to bat. Later, Pakistan flopped in the run-chase, crumbling for a mere 161 runs to suffer a 129-run defeat.
While that happens on the ground, in the conspirational corridors of Pakistan Cricket Board, another row is going on. PCB’s Director General Javed Miandad and Saleem Altaf, the chief operating officer are not exactly playing buddy-buddy with each other.
On the sidelines of the Sri Lankan tour to Pakistan, which is the gift for Pakistan in these troubled times when Pakistan had become virtually a pariah in the cricketing world, another rift is rearing it’s head between the pacer Shoaib Akhtar and captain of Pakistan national color, Shoaib Malik.
Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik hinted after the match that he would like to have Shoaib Akhtar dropped for the one-day series decider against Sri Lanka in Lahore this Saturday after the comeback pacer failed to impress again at the National Stadium Karachi. Shoaib Malik never wanted to include Akhtar in the first place.
Where the Mumbai attacks have put the Cricketing future in a very disparaging state in the South Asia it has also made it very difficult for the International Cricket Council to hold mega events in the region and it seems that in its effort to mire the image of Pakistan, India is trying hard to harm the cricket in the region.
Now the upcoming world cup is in jeopardy and Australia has already started vying for it. Last month, India decided against visiting Pakistan for a much-awaited series because of strained relations between the two governments over last November’s terror attacks in Mumbai.
At last Pakistan has got a series at home and the Pakistani officials are very energetic and the team is very happy too and looks ahead for some crunching cricket. As India refused to come to Pakistan, it was Sri Lankan which graciously accepted Pakistani invitation. Pakistan invited Sri Lanka for Tests and one-dayers last month after India cancelled its tour of the country because of strained relations between the two countries over the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai.
Just before the Sri Lankan series, Pakistan Cricket Board has offered lucrative rewards on permanent basis to the players and have also made some radical changes. Despite of the financial crunch of the PCB, the board has managed to get money to give new shape to the stadium and to offer rewards to the players.
According to the media reports, The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has offered central contracts to 27 players for a one-year period. According to the new central contracts, players belonging to the elite A category will get Rs 350,000 per Test instead of Rs 250,000 given to them in the last contract.
Mohammad Asif has been now officially banned from playing any cricket at home and abroad from the board which looks after cricket in the Pakistan. The fast bowler was detained at Dubai airport last June after being found in possession of opium.
Asif, who has played in 11 tests and 31 one-day internationals was detained in Dubai for 19-days when customs officials found 0.24 grams of opium in his wallet. He was returning home from India after playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The Dubai public prosecutor’s office did not press criminal charges against Asif but he was deported from Dubai.