Have Whatmore and our selectors failed us?

Published: February 27, 2013

If Pakistan cricket is to be revived, extreme steps have to be taken. DESIGN: SAMRA AAMIR

If the Pakistan Test team was a stock, and Dav Whatmore was a chairman of the board, the stock price would have fallen through the floor and Whatmore would have been replaced. If the PCB selection committee was the board of directors, they would be fending off angry shareholders and most likely in danger of losing their seats as well.

Unfortunately, the Pakistan Cricket Board has no shareholders to answer to.

It’s been one year since Dav Whatmore took over, and the same goes for the selection committee. The company has gone bankrupt. What happened in South Africa underlines the fact that both Whatmore and the national selectors have failed to deliver the goods. The former Australian Test cricketer was picked after much lobbying by a high-powered committee headed by senior PCB official and former national coach Intikhab Alam.

Alam’s panel was adamant to rope in Whatmore who is still remembered as a mastermind of Sri Lanka’s maiden World Cup victory in 1996 besides guiding Bangladesh to their first World Cup Super-Eight qualification in 2007.

Whatmore was appointed at the cost of ex-Test opener Mohsin Khan after he guided Pakistan to a stunning 3-0 whitewash against England, the then number one Test team, early last year. The argument was that Whatmore was more experienced and qualified as a coach and a tough task-master, but with all due respect to the Aussie, Pakistan has hardly made any progress under him.

The Asia Cup triumph may have been right after Whatmore took charge, but he cannot be credited with this achievement. The team, which was on road to recovery in Tests after a disastrous tour of England in 2010 failed to win a single Test out of six matches under Whatmore, losing the series against Sri Lanka before suffering a thrashing at the hands of the Proteas.

The team’s ODI performance has not been much better apart from a 2-1 win over India, in India. Pakistan lost a five-match series to Sri Lanka by 3-1 and lost the home series against Australia in the UAE by 2-1.

Alam told me at the time of Whatmore’s appointment to not expect anything overnight. I think a year is long enough.

Selectors’ disappoint as well

The recent loss has also triggered calls for the resignation of the selection committee and these are not entirely without merit.

Iqbal Qasim, a former Test cricketer and a humble personality hasn’t learned from his last tenure as chief selector which ended in a resignation after Pakistan’s winless tour of Australia in 2009-10.

Pakistan needs to replace aging players like Misbahul Haq and Younus Khan — the former left-arm spinner showed little spine and lack of consistency in selection. And the recent capitulation with the recall of Shahid Afridi also shows that there is no vision and future plans. The committee did introduce precious few new faces – Shakeel Ansar (wicket-keeper), Ayub Dogar, Rahat Ali, Afaq Rahim (Azad Kashmir), Asad Ali, Ehsan Adil, Zulfiqar Babar and Haris Sohail but none of them were given a consistent chance.

Bowlers like Atif Maqbool and Aizaz Cheema were ignored despite their phenomenal performance this domestic season.

If Pakistan cricket is to be revived, extreme steps have to be taken.

Read more by Fawad here.


Fawad Hussain

A reporter for the sports desk of The Express Tribune

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

  • Sane

    Disband both cricket and hockey teams. Waste of precious money to which we can have better use. They are burden on our economy.Recommend

  • reader

    A very nice and concrete analysis!Recommend

  • Syed

    I am kind of tired of seeing the same players underachieve. Just keep giving chances to the new players and I am sure they will stick around if they are talented.

    BTW how come I don’t hear the name of Zia ul Haq lately. Last I heard he was bowling over 140km and was supposed to be the next best fast bowler.Recommend

  • @Sanity

    Afridi selection is a question mark for selectors performance but I feel Whatmore needs more time Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/Educated_Jahil Rehman

    Here comes the Aamir Sohail mentality,

    “Remove aging players”. Why not just restrict them to Test only? Surprised to see Younus Khan name here.

    We need sane selectors and of course “bloggers” and spectatorsRecommend

  • Kaleem

    Good suggestions to say permanent good bye to the old guard like Misbah, Afridi, etc. is then followed by a stupid suggestion in favour of another aging bowler in Aizaz. Comparing the results in UAE with those in S Africa shows that the author has never played serious cricket himself. We are a nation with knee jerk reactions in all matters. Surprising that article did not end with a call for street violence!!!!Recommend

  • Madara

    “Whatmore was appointed at the cost of ex-Test opener Mohsin Khan after he guided Pakistan to a stunning 3-0 whitewash against England, the then number one Test team, early last year.”

    Seriously? If you want to give credit for 3-0 win against England of Pak than it has to be given to waqar younis not Moshin khan. All mohsin did was sit and nothing much out of ordinary that too against a team who doesn’t play spin well and in home-like conditions.

    Had mohsin been coach of PAK vs SA. i dare say that pak would have lost all matches by an innings.

    If you want to blame someone for 3-0 lost against SA than it has to be domestic cricket the way it has been conducted, quality of players whole system. PERIODRecommend

  • Yasir Mehmood

    Pakistan has never won a test series in southafrica even when we had wasim, waqar , inzi and company. Mind you this current southafrican team is one of the strongest team in test cricket history. One thing I have noticed is there is a slump in the quality of talent joining Pakistani ranks particularly from big cities especially karachi. Once peole like saeed anwar, moin and miandad came from there but from the past ten years no valuable player (apart from asad shafiq of course) came out from our beloved city.Recommend

  • R

    I hope the writer also noticed the fact that we were plying in SAF. Our touring committee should have planned out the trip better with more practice games. Apart from the fact that we play about 5 tests in a year. You can’t expect Whatmore to change the dynamics of Pakistan cricket in a year. We’re doing well. There are improvements that can be noticed. For eg fielding levels have definitely gone up even though we still have a knack of dropping catches. but ground fielding atleast is much approved in the shorter formats.

    I’m tired of airay ghairay people just writing blogs on express tribune that do more harm to pakistani peoples mentality.

    Ive never read an article from a fellow pakistan that breaks down the issues and adresses them on a logical and practical manner. We need to change this attitude. That goes for our team as well. Recommend

  • Usman

    The decsion to remove Whatmore really backfired. He proved to be absolute no gain for Pakistan Recommend

  • MR Humair

    I think its high time we should improve the domestic cricket .And find the root cause of the problem .Pakistan has never been a test cricket team .I don’t know why ordinance are no longer interested In watching five day match. I personally play and watch allot of cricket, but I followed the last test series through highlights or sports news. People tend to be busy to watch every single ball whole day .But we need some source of entertainment to relax our self.
    WE need honest and devoting selection team who take out time, analysis each players performance and recommend him ways to improve and enhance his skill, shine bright and learn from our legend Imran khan and Jawed Miyadad and be productive for our team .Selectors must give new players some time to settle down. They must be consistent ,avoid changing teams on regular basis .It is high time players like Misbah ul haq ,Yonus khan should retired .They have already made a lot of money which four generation can live luxuriously and in comfort.
    Our team should play modestly and honestly because countries reputation is at stake, and avoid any unethical practices and set an example for years and generation ahead. Recommend

  • Saleh Bilal

    Yes a year is long enough to expect good results from Whatmore…. well written article..Recommend

  • Asad Ali

    I believe Whatmore should be given more chance and he shuld work with the youngsters to give Pakistan a solid back-up. Recommend