The “carnage at Christchurch” has left millions of bruised souls and dejected hearts including mine.
Over the last several hours I have watched a plethora of so called “greats of the game” dissect the match across various channels.
There seemed to be an air of similarity and a unanimous theme….
Start the respective programs by blaming fielding and batting glitches but quickly shift to pointing fingers at Misbah,Younis and Afridi and curse them vehemently while showing absolute remorse for the overall team performance .
Towards the middle of the program, probably once the program ratings have soared and audience glued in to all the rant, the agenda shifts to comparing the team with the 1992 World Cup winning outfit . At the end of most programs ,it felt obvious that this is the worst team we have ever selected for a World Cup campaign who cannot be compared to the godly 1992 squad .
A team full of selfie-holicnewbies, Afridi wannabes, and average Joes being compared with the legends of Miandad , Inzamam and Wasim ?
If u think that’s unfair, spare a thought for poor Misbah who continuously gets slapped on the wrists for not emulating “The Great Khan”.
The fact that we were all out for 72 against England in a rain affected 1992 Word Cup encounter,has been so conveniently forgotten.No one dares to quote it as millions might switch channels and the ratings would drop.
As Pakistanis, it is understandable that we should want them to win every time they play. Expecting “world class” performance from players whose only exposure to any class is “first class travel” ,however,is wildly unrealistic.
Imran khan as captain of Pakistan enjoyed unparalleled autonomy encompassing not just team selection but also nomination of the coach as well as managerial staff. Misbah has ended up with a new coach in Waqar Younis a few months prior to probably the most important tournament of his life.
A coach who has not only failed miserably in the past but also one who still competes for the ” rock star” slot.
Everyone wants Misbah’s aggression to upgrade from grainy to high-definition ,Younis to make a century in every match and Lala to hit those mercurial sixes in each encounter , but based on what ???
Did Misbah field 9 slips when we won the series against South Africa on their homeground or any of the other under his rule ? Did Younis promise us those centuries while begging for selection in the squad or was Afridi selected in the team with an understanding that he would hit a 37 ball century whenever he would set foot on the ground??? The answer to all of the above is an astounding NO!!
So what has changed about our team other than losing a few key players to injuries and controversies? If “nothing else” is the answer then the actual problem lies somewhere else!
Possibly in the team management and definitely in PCB….
We were all looking at Imran Khan to give an uplifting speech to the team before they left for the World Cup as us mortals can neither stop looking at the heavens for miracles nor him for inspiration when it comes to cricket.
He probably saw through the collection of “expendables” in the team and decided to stay out of this mess.
Wasim is considered the ideological heir to Imran Khan’s legacy at least in terms of cricketing abilities and understanding of the game. He has gone blue shouting at the oblivious team management to allow him in.
His history with Waqar is a definite hinderance to his input in advisory capacity.
His track record of guiding Kolkatta Knight Riders from dumps to victory in possibly the most competitive premier league in the world is a proof of his sagacity. The fact that he apprenticed bowlers like Saqlain and Akhtar become living greats is undeniable.
How he helped transform medium pacers like Irfan Pathan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar ,in a very limited timespan, into frontline attack bowlers is a testimony to his mentorship abilities.
Since 1992, the only other time we ever came close to emulating the World Cup winning parade was in 1999 with Akram as our skipper. That campaign saw us as clear favorites going into the final while we played the tournament like never before . Do we need any more proofs of the quality this man brings to the table ??
Can we not do with the “second best” in Imran’sprotégé who will most likely be better than the tried ,tested and proven “nowhere close to the best”?
Dear PCB despite all your inadequacies and bureaucratic inefficiencies,you must still be well aware of the “punctures” deflating the bubble of our World Cup aspirations.Wasim might be the sealant you need!
If you want to resurrect this team, you will have to realize that drastic times call for drastic measures .If this is the best team you have got, kick out the over rated and overpriced Waqar and bring in the neglected genius of Akram !
The flaws in PCB and our domestic system are deep seated and will take years to counter. Rolling eyes,turning heads and pointing fingers at a useless press conference will not help Mr Sethi!
Appointing the right people in key positions should be the first step towards rebuilding a team that once ruled the world….