Monday, 12 January 2015

9 Observations On Pakistan Cricket Team Selection For 2015 World Cup

By Sikander Hayat

1. Why has Fawad Alam not been selected in place of Umar Akmal. Akmal brothers have been a constant in Pakistan team for last ten years or so but apart from very rare occasion they have lead to Pakistan’s defeat rather than contributing to Pakistan’s victories.

2. Wahab Riaz should not have been selected for the world cup given the fact that he has never been a reliable bowler and his line & length on most occasions is totally off chart.

3. Umar Akmal has been a failure for so long that it is hard to imagine any other team having a player like him for this long period of time. There is a tendency in Pakistan selectors to overlook some very talented players while keep giving chances to players who look good on style but there is absolutely no substance.

4. Pakistani selectors destroyed the careers of many players but recent notables have been Asim Kamal & Fawad Alam. Selectors nearly killed off Misbah’s career as well but due to events & circumstances, Misbah made his way back into the team and became the most successful captain of Pakistan in Test cricket.

5. In terms of natural talent this Pakistan team for world cup 2015 is the least naturally talented team of any world cup since 1983. From 1987 onwards, Pakistan was never short of natural talent and ability and had many players who could win a match on their own.

6. Apart from major omission of Fawad Alam , I cannot fault the selection committee as there is currently a huge dearth of talent in Pakistani cricket. This could be due the fact that for last many years, Pakistan has not played any international cricket at home. There are no home grown role models who have displayed their class in front of the Pakistan fans. There is also the fact that there is a general malaise in the Pakistani society which has crept into its sporting ventures as well. Pakistan used to be the world champion in Cricket, Hockey & Squash but the lost decades of 90’s & 00’s have taken their toll and along with other parts of the Pakistani society sports have suffered as well.

7. There is also the issue of other sports competing with cricket now. Pakistanis did not have access to many international sports channels as they have now. They can watch the English Premier League and other football leagues from Europe, they now have access to NBA from USA and major tennis events from around the world. To be fair there are no notable players in any of these sports from Pakistan but phenomenon has turned Pakistanis from players to fans of everything. It is now cool to talk about Messi & Ronaldo as your favorite sporting stars than to be a fan of a local player. You will be kicked out of the “cool” club pretty quickly if you did not keep up with the Chelsea’s, Arsenal’s & Real Madrid’s of this world. You will find more “fans” of Andy Murray, Djokovic, Nadal and Roger Federer in Pakistan than even in their home countries.

8. The trends show that from now onwards, Pakistan’s sporting faculty will be fractured and will consist of more “sofa fans” and “cool groups” than the actual players of the game.

9. I hope that Pakistan can perform well in the upcoming world cup but nation must not have any hopes at all with this lot and may be you will be pleasantly surprised.

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