Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pakistan must continue with unflappable skipper

Misbah-ul-Haq innings of 58 played a vital role in saving match versus South AfricaKnown for his unflappable character, Misbah-ul-Haq resurrected, after three years into the national squad, in inaugural World T20 Championship. Misbah-ul-Haq proved his form to repay the selectors' faith by finishing the tournament as Pakistan's best player and almost taking them to victory in the final. He was later selected for the upcoming Test and One-Day series against South Africa. It was unremarkable series against South Africa for him, which opened the way for his selection in series against India. He scored a couple of match-saving innings versus India; scoring 464 runs in three match Test series. But before Pakistan could select him as a possible middle-order mainstay, Misbah's form slumped. He failed to get a chance in any squad in 2009 against New Zealand. He made yet another comeback, but this time as a captain against South Africa for the Tests. He was ice-cool in crisis, rescuing Pakistan on several occasions; which he also proved in recent series against South Africa.

When Misbah was selected as captain of Test squad, the decision was not gladden by ex-cricketers. They argued that non-deserving players couldn’t be appointed as a captain of national squad. Misbah rectified his appointment as a captain of national Test squad by wryly advising them ‘not to take him easy’. Later, he repaid the PCB’s faith by proving himself as a ‘gladiator’.  He scored 220 in two match test series, including 3 fifties, all came in turmoil situation.

South Africa amassed 584 runs in 2nd Test, giving Pakistan 384 to avoid follow-on. Pakistan started the game well, but a sudden collapse, pressurized them. But, It was Misbah, who along with Asad Shafiq(61) and Abdur Rehman(60) managed to avoid the follow-on. It was a series that could easily stop criticism on Misbah; a man of un-flappable character.

I think Pakistan should continue with him as a captain of Test team. All you need for your team captain is that he should be of an ice-cool character in crisis, because captain can lead the team to win or loss.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Zulqarnain Haider’s sudden disappearance from international cricket : a query for Pakistan management


Depleted of wins, shorn of its match-winners, Pakistan cricket was already in turmoil, when it got another blow after sudden disappearance of Zulqarnain Haider from the team’s hotel in Dubai. Zulqarnain struck while the iron was hot by taking his passport from the team’s manager. He asked him for a new SIM. It would be a bitter pill for you to swallow that the manager known as “The Headmaster” returned him his passport back. You may call him ‘blind leading the blind’ after this irresponsible act. Zulqarnain Haider, after taking his passport, fled to London to seek an asylum. How on earth it happened that Zulqarnain Haider managed to leave the team’s hotel without informing team management? Zulqarnain landed at London Heathrow when a battle of nerves was going on between Pakistan and South Africa. Later, he spoke to media to blow a whistle; where he stated that he and his family is at risk in Pakistan for the bookies have threatened him.

PCB after, a couple of days, terminated his contract and setup a three-member investigating committee to look out into the matter. Two members of that committee are themselves responsible for not resisting to his departure and they are Security advisor and Team manager. How on earth they would say that they played fast and loose?

My Question is to the ‘basket case’ board in Pakistan, controlling the affairs of Cricket in Pakistan, is that Why have you appointed the culprits to investigate the matter? For a new SIM you just need a copy of passport; not the original one. Why did team manager give passport to Zulqarnain, just to buy a new SIM. Was the team manager himself aware of code-conduct. I’m quite sure he wouldn’t. Most of the institutions head’s in Pakistan themselves, are not aware of the rules of their institutions. Zulqarnain Haider left the hotel early in the morning. Why didn’t he inform team management, if it’s a fixing case. Why didn’t team management contact him or the police when he disappeared?

Fans are waiting for black and white, because they want to Save Pakistan Cricket. But to whom they ask; culprits will have to find the culprits? It’s common practice in Pakistan.

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