Our loss to Zimbabwe: Strap our team financially too, until they learn from Zimbabwe!

Published: August 29, 2013
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Pakistani fans are tired of being disappointed and this is one sport in the country in which the players are served benefits on silver platters. It’s time to give back! PHOTO: AFP

Our recent defeat at the hands of Zimbabwe was somehow expected since the team had just won a low profile T20 series against the same team, and as such had become overconfident. The nation was expecting a clean sweep in the ODIs. After the Indian team whitewashed the financially strapped Zimbabwean team – which at this point could only afford to travel by public transport – Pakistan too, was expecting a clean sweep.

Unfortunately, and predictably, this was not the case and our very well equipped team, that had recently been awarded an Eid bonus and a good performance bonus in addition to whopping match fees, returned defeated.

At this point, the question that puzzles many in Pakistan is, what have we not provided to our team?

The team has enjoyed many financial benefits along with professional coaching, so what reason does it have for this defeat?

Although Misbah is a good batsman, his captaincy has been criticised quite often. He wasn’t able to defend a total with the same bowling attack as used against other teams higher in ranking than Pakistan. Poor fielding and bowling changes were a cause of defeat in the match from day before and many other matches we have played previously.

Our batting has problems of its own; the batsmen start slowly with a defensive approach instead of using an attacking method that is more likely to hype the game for fans, boost the players’ energy and afford us quicker runs with more able players as opposed to relying on less capable batsmen towards the end of the form.

If we were unable to defend our score against teams like Zimbabwe, how can we so confidently claim to win the ICC World Championships?

As if the flak received by the selection committee during the Champions trophy was not enough, it is, yet again, to be blamed for not selecting the team judiciously this time around as well. Sohaib Maqsood was one of the victims of the disappointing decisions made by our selection committee. He has performed consistently in the first class circuit and was sent back home after playing just one T20 innings. The logic behind testing the talent of a player just in a T20 series is beyond my comprehension because it never gives enough on-field time to players to adapt to longer innings. Younger players are not given enough chances in such series and hence there are no replacements for players like Misbah (39-years-old) and Younis Khan (35-years-old).

At this point, even a swing in the dark could provide more productive results to the selection committee than the ones at present. A change of strategy in selection is definitely in order before we go up against teams like Sri Lanka and South Africa, which will be a real test for our team.

The importance of good selection can be seen in the Pakistan Hockey Team and its sudden outstanding performances. The team has an impeccable blend of young and experienced players and this is evident in their performance and energy. Their aggression and positivity made it possible for them to defeat Malaysia in a handsome win.

This time around, it is improbable that the coaching staff will be able to perform any magic because the team still continues to make the same mistakes over and again. The selection of the team even plays as a handicap to the coaching staff and the players repeating mistakes only reflects badly on the coach.

We have the T20 World Championship coming up in less than a year and the ODI World Cup a few months after that; if we want to perform well in these global tournaments the PCB and the selection committee need to reconsider their actions and rethink their strategies.

Pakistani fans are tired of being disappointed and this is one sport in the country in which the players are served benefits on silver platters. It’s time to give back!

Aqib Shahzad Bhatti

Aqib Shahzad Bhatti

Pursuing Masters in Chemical Engineering from NUST. He is an inveterate sports devotee and loves writing. He tweets @aqibbhatti (twitter.com/AQIBBHATTI)

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

  • Zaid hassan

    thank them they are playing for pakistan for peanuts of money….if i was saeed ajmal and saw third class bowler from india earning 10 times more than me…i would resort to match fixing or leave pakistan for t20 leagues…Recommend

  • http://India Feroz

    Relax, it is only a game brother. Are you suggesting the match was fixed — if so go to Clifton and fix it.Recommend

  • AbsoluteIndia

    I saw the match….Very poor performance by pakistani cricketer…An easy catch was dropped by zunaid … poor ground fielding..Funny was that,one ball hit the stump yet it crossed the fence without dislodging the bails ..Recommend

  • qasim

    Mashallah mind bouwing <3Recommend

  • Vishnu Dutta

    @Zaid hassan:

    But those “3rd class” Indian players do win championships. They are ranked no 1 in ICC ranking, they are current World champion, Mini world cup/Champions trophy champions, U19 champions, U 23 champions. They all work very hard and perform well to win for their country and deserve every single rupee they get.

    What has Ajmal done to make same amount of money?Recommend

  • Saad Afzal

    You can’t buy players with talent by giving them whopping match fees and other bonuses….. rather u have to made the environment comfortable for them to play…. too much criticism from public act as a stress bomb…. and to make young players the persistent players just sort out the history “What Viven Richards had got advice from Clive Lloyd in his very first matches”.Recommend

  • someone

    @Zaid hassan:
    You are talking as if they are not already fixers. Recommend

  • Ex-cricketer

    Too much bashing..India gets 10 times more money than paki cricketers..and yet they lose a series against them on their own turf..should they follow the same rhetoric too?
    Relax is just a game..Recommend

  • Muhammad Usman

    agreeRecommend

  • Kiran

    Pakistanis should be seriously concerned about the team performance which is consistently going down. Recommend

  • Shahzad

    It looked like Pak team won 2nd match due to fear that they will be strapped financially if they lost another match. :)Recommend

  • Abid Hussain

    Selection committee and coaching staff is more responsible for this poor performance.Recommend

  • Shoaib malik

    Well aqib, you point out this issue in very nice way..!!
    But unfortunately this go useless..!! Because from last 5 years every one is pointing this issue but pcb not want to consider it..!!Recommend

  • Aqib Bhatti

    @Shoaib, this is the issue with every sports federation of Pakistan where there is lack of planning.Recommend

  • Muhammad Ali Abbas

    Aqib I really appreciate your effort for analyzing the match in a better way !!
    and I completely agree with you regarding the performance of our batting line up specially Misbah ,who is a senior most cricketer in our team, is making loads of half centuries and is the highest runs scorer in this year but the fact is that the number of balls he consumes to make his 50 in todays cricket only ends up Pakistan with mere 200-230 total.The approach of our batting line up is defensive rather than attacking.!! We need a lot of improvement in our batting line up.
    I think we should congratulate Zimbabawe for their win after a long period Since 1998 and their performance was really appreciable !! Recommend

  • Engr.Muhammad Bilal Asghar

    well written Mr.Aqib
    what i think is that talent is not enough to win the game the most important thing is physical strength e.g,look hussy,Hayden,yuvraj,Gilchrist,waseem,imran they all are physically and mentally very tough so that’s why these people performed but our present team is confused ,lack of planning less focused low body language as well as lazy guyz.
    these all things result in defeat from Zimbabwe Recommend

  • Saad Afzal

    @aqib shehzad bhatti….
    … the thing is most of pakistani spectators have a perception “when others win it’s your fault, if you win it’s also your fault”….. get ready for another column who knows which condition fulfill :D Recommend

  • Shahid

    Our players should learn from Zimbabweans as they are striking again and again for match fees and our players don’t need to do such tricks.Recommend

  • Aqib Bhatti

    @Ali Abbas
    Absolutely u can see misbah’s performance in 2nd ODI. 3 runs on 23 deliveries.Recommend

  • Waleed Ali

    Well this is the time that we should change our captain now. misbah is too defensive in approach. Recommend

  • abdullah

    zabardast article hyRecommend

  • Qazi Imran Khan

    A very well written article Mr Aqib!Recommend

  • Mohammad Numan

    Well said………Ahmad shahzad just like hafeez bohat slow batting kr rha hai team main apni jaga pki krne k liye ….team is already lacking hitters and shahzad is also becoming misbahRecommend

  • Faisal Qamar

    dissappointing that we didn’t whitewahsed zimbabweRecommend

  • Muhammad Usman

    our team should be replaced with U-19 teamRecommend

  • Waqas

    Abdul Razzaq should be recalled.Recommend

  • http://adjskjkdskasj Malik Faheem

    pakistan ney match ko seriosly nai lia . i think this is the only reason for the loss of pakistan team . harr jeet tu khel ka hisa hotey hain .
    good work bro keep it upRecommend

  • Jawad Tahir

    Dear Writer,
    I think that every player should be consistence in his performance like Mishbah ul Haq who is performing in each and every match and not like Afridi who performs in 1 out of the 10 matches.Recommend

  • saqib

    i think its time for misbah to go and Afridi to come as a captain….. It will be good for Pakistani team as it needs a captain who can gel in with the players and bring Pak victories. Paksitan is in desperate need of young blood.Recommend

  • Muratib Hussain

    we can never get a clean victory in presence of misbah….get rid of Misbah plzzzzzzzRecommend