By Muhammad Asif Khan
What happened in Centurion a week or so ago was nothing but an old tale narrated by new tellers. The green caps succumbed to the mighty
within only three days of a five-day
encounter. Nothing fresh to write about the demolition mission of the Proteas
and their overall dominance in the three-match Test rubber but still a few
questions have risen again which should be sorted out once and for all to curtail
the recurrence of such humiliations in the future. South
Alright, this is also a valid argument that this was not the first time that green caps surrendered in South Africa or in Australia for that matter, but this is also a reality that such facilities include highly qualified foreign coaches and a sizable number of support staff as their helping hands were not at the disposal of their predecessors yet the Misbah-led outfit faltered and faltered badly. Their accountability will and should be done but will it happen in Pakistan Cricket for the first time? Not at all is the answer.
Haven’t we seen inquiries after inquires from the dismal 2003 and 2007 World Cup campaigns then very recently after the 2009-10
tour? After all the probes only the players paid the ultimate price and the other
responsible were ignored or let off the hook. Who can forget the saddest event
of the Pakistan Cricket history when three players got convicted and banned by
the International Cricket Council but again apart from the players nobody from
the team management was taken to task. The manager on that infamous Australia tour of
2010 went unquestioned. England
Will the same happen this time around as well? If this is the case then such performances would keep on coming I am afraid. Yes, the players should be questioned and taken to task but the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) should also give a review to its decisions in the recent past.
Is the Director of the
is duly qualified? Nothing against him at all because he knows the game inside
out, but rules are rules and should be adhered to in every aspect. Moving on is
the incumbent bowling coach of the Pakistan Cricket team meets the criteria
mentioned in the advertisement posted for the job? Also when the batting
consultant was appointed, prior to the National Cricket Academy series, then was the
qualification of the great Inzamam-ul-Haq taken into account? No, is the answer
and rightly so because a man of Inzamam’s caliber doesn’t need any recognition
to his credentials. India
Modern day game is changed and why other teams are inclining towards qualified coaches is a separate debate. In short, in view of the culture in
, I am a firm believer of
having someone with reputation rather than a certain level of qualification to
impart in a better manner. For instance if Wasim Akram and Muhammad Akram tell
something to a young Pakistani bowler, then who would have the greater impression
on that youngster is not hard to guess to make. Not maligning Muhammad Akram at
all, he might be a successful man, but before joining Pakistan , he
worked in a different culture all together. Pakistan
How the players were prepared for the South African trip is evident in their performance over there, but what facilities did the board provided them with is also a matter of concern. Why the batting consultant was appointed for the trip of
only? Does the PCB think-tank
believe conditions in India India
are tougher then in ? They also sent a physiologist with
the team to South
and that practice was discontinued on the African safari, they were either
wrong earlier or put a foot wrong this time around, only the people at the helm
could solve this puzzle. India
I am also convinced that the able people who are running the cricket affairs are well aware of the fact that which nature of Cricket balls are being used abroad these days, therefore shouldn’t the same be provided to the players in the domestic circuit too? If it’s a costly business then should limit it to the premier tournament to gauge the true potential of a bowler.
I would like to come back to the point mentioned earlier that players did perform badly no doubt, but they were not the only answerable for the recent debacle. The way a few players collapsed during and even before the Test series raised question on the medical panel of the PCB which is responsible for the final clearance on players’ fitness. Will they be questioned?
After every series only the team is bashed for the lack of consistency, and rightly so, but who is responsible for bringing consistency in the decisions taken by the PCB officials.
It has not been a culture where a person either takes responsibly of a mistake or doesn’t feel free to work accordingly and steps down with pride. Last such resignation was from Muhammad Ilyas, in March last year, for the post of chief selector. It was reported that he reached to the decision upon
team’s poor performance against
in the ODI and T20 series – followed by the famous Test white-wash - and
meddling of the PCB in the selection affairs. In either case or both Mr. Ilyas
deserves credit for his bold stance. England
Who is responsible for sending half-fit players to
, who should be blamed for not
appointing the batting consultant or the physiologist, who should be asked upon
the use of cricket balls at the domestic circuit? These and a lot of other
questions converge to one person only, the PCB chairman, who is considered to
be the man running the show alone. South
Anyway individual shouldn’t be either targeted or praised overwhelmingly but Zaka Ashraf cannot enjoy this distinction because of the fact that he is directing every matter. From the appointment of a Director General to the Coach, captain and vice-captain for the national teams his consent is a must.
With the management experience under the belt, Zaka Ashraf seems to be a man who can do it. Unluckily most of his initiatives have backfired lately, which should be enough for him to realise and revisit the strategy he is drafting with his team. The PCB Chairman is no less than a General, but even the best General can’t win a war on his own.
The writer is a Pakistani sports journalist, and tweets @mak_asif