My priority list for PCB

Published: April 30, 2012

To succeed as we have in the past, efforts at constant improvement must be made. PHOTO: AFP

Undoubtedly, the new Pakistan Cricket Board management has been proactive in solving problems. Unexpectedly, it has been our new PCB Chairman who has come to the rescue.

Zaka Ashraf seems to be more serious about his priorities than the previous management, but there remain issues that need immediate attention. So here’s my list of what should be top on the priority list:

1. International tours

For more than a year, the Pakistani cricket team has not played at any venue outside of the Asian continent.

Other than hosting a series in the UAE, we have had no practice on international pitches like Australia, England, South Africa and New Zealand. Hence, we have had no real preparation to defend our fragile batting line-up and equally brittle bowling line-up.

Great teams like Australia do not have a laid-back approach like ours. They apply the principle of ‘practice makes perfect’ in their team strategy and play persistently and continuously with minimal gaps between each series. On the other hand, Pakistan has taken a two month gap till the time they play their next series against Sri Lanka – this is, again an Asia tour series and not on an unfamiliar international pitch.

Zaka Ashraf should concentrate more on arranging international matches outside of Asia to evaluate the real strength of our team.

Reviving international cricket in Pakistani grounds is undoubtedly important, however, the first priority should be to play on international pitches more often. A tight schedule of matches and more stringent evaluation methods should be in place; we must give our players a run for the money they are being so generously paid.

2. Bring Mohammad Yousuf back

They say experience is the father of wisdom, and the best way to replace experience is to learn from it. Why doesn’t the Pakistani cricket team use this as their motto? We can bring forth fresh talent and train them under the leadership of our experienced players. When the situation, timing and circumstances are right, we can make the change.

Unfortunately, we have the habit of awkwardly removing our experienced players first, and then replacing them with inexperienced players, only to realise our mistakes after failure.

We promoted Mohammad Yousuf as captain, then banned him for an indefinite period, lifted the ban, brought him back and dropped him again for no reason.

If reasons of fitness and form are brought forward, the smarter route would have been to give him time to rebuild himself. At the time, however, Yousuf played better than the likes of Misbahul Haq and others. A world class player, Yousuf, despite these unfair actions against him, is willing to give Pakistani cricket yet another shot.

The current line-up is not capable of scoring big in the international arenas just yet, and what we need to realise is that we need Mohammad Yousuf. 

3. Retain one performing captain

When M S Dhoni lost the series in a clean sweep against England and Australia, and then lost the Asia cup title, everyone was expecting the BCCI to immediately remove Dhoni and bring in a new captain. However, they unexpectedly decided to retain him.

The same happened with Ricky Ponting, later replaced with Michael Clark, who was strategically brought in and trained under Ponting’s supervision. The case with Pakistan, however, is completely different. The Pakistani cricket team changes captains like we do our clothes.

We need to learn how to retain our captains and give them the status and respect they deserve. We must encourage a sense of loyalty from the team towards their captain; this will, in effect, put an end to locker room politics.

To succeed as we have in the past, efforts at constant improvement must be made. It is only once we realise our deficiencies can we build on our strengths.

Read more by Raja here.


Raja Yousuf

An MBA graduate and a cricket Fanatic

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Pk

    How can you recall MoYo when the last time he went behind the captain’s back and had players swear loyalty to him on the Quran???
    We often blame the team for short-sighted thinking and yet our own media has the shortest memories of all. Recommend

  • Dr. Amyn Malik

    Yousuf no longer holds a place in the team. He was (and probably still is) a world class player but our test line up is set and it shouldn’t be tinkered with. With the current line up, we have won test series after series and the younger crowd has performed. As for the experience, Misbah and Younus are the 2 old horses still around. A third old horse would be an overkill. Recommend

  • Sharjeel

    excellent article raja.. i guess @Pk needs to get his facts right.. loyalty was sworn against yousuf as far as i remember.. Recommend

  • Rehman

    Ha! Yousuf who is not performing in Tests since 2007 is 2nd priority. And He was one of them who under performs when Younis Khan was captain of Pakistan. Also he force some players to took oath on Quran to under perform so PCB will remove YK.Recommend

  • Tribune Reader

    @Dr. Amyn Malik:
    Dr Malik, you should blog about why Mohammad Yousuf should stay out, frankly speaking I think his bad fielding merits his exclusion, it is so so so bad, it is not even funny anymore, all he does is stand there and scratch his beard, and yeah he can’t dive, how ever Imran Nazir would be a good return to the team. Blog About this Dr Malik, Blog!!!!!Recommend

  • tk

    Mohd Yousuf should not come back! His fitness level, fielding and running is not at the international level. He has not proven himself in the domestic scene either as he hasn’t been playing the last few tournaments. How can we bring him back from nowhere. He is the most selfish player in the Pakistan set up. Just because he did not get selected in the 2007 t20 wc he joined ICL, and then only when PCB told him they would get him to play in IPL he came back. Why did he not take the noble route Sachin Tendulkar, Ganguly & Dravid took by saying they were not cut out for it. Obviously, Mohd yousuf was after the money. We have players like Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq who need to be playing consistently. Younis khan is also younger than Yusuf so it makes sense for him to be there. Instead of bringing him back, it would be more sensible to perhaps bring Fawad Alam back to test cricket. Mohd Yousuf, if you are reading this “PLEASE RETIRE, YOUR TIME IS UP”Recommend

  • Umair Qazi

    Pakistan toured New Zealand in January last year. West Indies in May last year. Ireland in June last year.

    That’s all outside Asia.

    Other international tours depend on FTP, not much the PCB can do abt that.Recommend

  • JB

    We do not need Yousaf. He is just looking for one last run. The Pakistani team can not afford such players anymore. We have a plethora of young talent waiting to receive a chance and experienced players in the line up (Younis, Misbah, Afridi) to nurture them and help them. And I think Yousaf getting dropped was not inexplicable. He was causing problems within the team and we simply do not need that anymore. No more infighting please!Recommend

  • Ayush Jain

    Our website is dedicated to cricket in Asia and we support India Vs Pakistan series in Pakistan itself and also, the blog is very niceRecommend