Now it’s Pakistan time to hammer the ‘Big Three’

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Shukriya Pakistan

The reforms in International Cricket Council (ICC) proposed by ‘Big Three’ – England, India and Australia – largely favoring them on monetary grounds are adopted. Sri Lanka also announced to back the revamp, leaving Pakistan the only country in opposition. Yet the game is still not over for the lone opponent.

The ‘Big Three’ might have planned a monopoly to rule cricket world by making the most of their financial contribution, but it’s a team performance at the end of the day that raise it above all. Pakistan have nothing to lose now, but too much to gain to reaffirm its position as a strong cricketing world. Reports are doing the rounds that Pakistan might also announce backing the new ICC revamp, but more importantly its performance on the field is a cynosure now.

The Asia Cup and World T20 are just in sight, with former starting on February 25, 2014 and the latter begins just a week after four-nation tournaments finishes on March 8. These are the tournaments where Pakistan, former world champion, should go all-out in performance and claim these titles to root out its so-called isolation.

Let us not forget that ‘Big Three’ has nothing much to brag about their feat in the contemporary time. Pakistan dismantled the English team in early 2011 with a whitewash in 3-match Test series in Abu Dhabi. Interestingly England was ranked the number 1 side of the world in Tests.

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Likewise, Pakistan defeated the Australia in T20 series on the same venue in 2012 and also challenged them in the ODI series. 

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Come tour to India in mid 2013, Pakistan stunned the host with remarkable triumph in 3-match ODI series, by winning the first two matches convincingly. 

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Performances of the ‘Big Three’ just made me recall a statement given by former India captain, Bishan Bedi. His tweet around a week ago summed up everything. “Money can buy many cricketers or votes, but money can’t buy a team performance.” This was expressed by Bedi in his critical response to the ICC revamp.

Some of amendment s of ICC revamp states, “India — which contributes 80 percent of global revenues — and England and Australia will have permanent seats on a new, five-member executive committee. Revenues will be distributed according to countries’ contributions — financial, sporting and historical. And the World Test Championship, which was due to debut in 2017, has been scrapped, with the one-day Champions Trophy being revived in 2017.”

 Having said that, credit should be given to Pakistan for its decent record overseas. Since 2009, Pakistan have been playing abroad as it is deprived of playing in home conditions after the attack on Sri Lankan team back in March 2009. Pakistan has topped the list of maintaining best winning ratio in test matches played away home since 2011. It played 26 matches, winning 12, losing 8 and the rest were drawn. While India played 16 tests and won just one, and lost 10. Australia and England are also not convincing outside their home conditions.

 The principle stand taken by Pakistan against the ‘Big Three’ hegemony was not a mistake on its part, but failure to lobbying or perhaps poor management rebounded on it. Yet, all is not lost. Couple of outstanding performances in mega events (World T20 and World Cup 2015) can still bring Pakistan in a position to negotiate, or otherwise, isolation is already looming.

 

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