The constant drama of Pakistani cricket

Published: October 24, 2010

Ijaz Butt needs to go. Pakistani cricket needs fresh new leaders.

So, he’s back!

The man who took Pakistan to World T20 glory 16 months ago is back to play cricket for the national side.

No one really knows why he wasn’t a part of the team to begin with, but what matters now is that Younis Khan is back.

So is Misbah as test captain! Will that change too, now that Younis is back?

The chief selector, Mohsin Khan, did say that Younis was their first choice as test captain, but that they opted for Misbah only because Younis was not cleared by the man who has been single-handedly destroying Pakistani cricket (read: Ijaz Butt). So what happens now?

Too much going on

So much has happened in Pakistani cricket over the last two years, it’s hard to keep track of who is in the team, who is out, and why. Shoaib Malik Yousuf, Younis, Afridi, Misbah, Salman Butt, Asif, Aamer and the Akmal brothers have all had their fair share of drama-more than you get in a year’s worth of Bollywood movies! No one really knows when all this will be set right, but I do know that things will start looking up once Ijaz Butt leaves the scene.

With the world cup just four months away, this seems to be the best time to make the senior players gel and play as a team. For Pakistan to even have a slim chance at winning, the likes of Younis, Yousuf, Afridi, Shoaib Akhtar and other seniors will have to set their differences aside and step up. They need to take a leaf out of their predecessors: Saleem Malik, Saeed Anwar and others who, despite their problems off the field, performed well as a unit on it.

I know it’s a distant dream to expect the same from this bunch, but with the old stalwarts returning and Intikhab Alam taking charge as manager, it really can’t get any worse.

Oh wait…I might have said that before.

Nobody really knows what’s coming

The drama never really ended and every time you think that Pakistan cricket can’t sink any lower, someone announces a retirement or gets caught taking some money from shady characters. Where can we go from here? Does no one in Pakistani cricket have their heart in the right place? Misbah was dropped from all formats, with all signs pointing to end of his career, only to return as captain. Malik was retained, despite all the chaos he was causing, and just when it seemed he was turning over a new leaf, he was dumped. Yousuf retired because the PCB did not want him, but then the board begged him to return. Younis was kept off the team for no reason and it took one meeting to get him back in.

Imagine what could happen if Malik returns and Salman Butt’s appeal holds and he is reinstated as an international cricketer. Pakistan would be fielding a team with as many as six captains! Yousuf, Younis, Afridi, Misbah, Malik, Butt! That’s worse than the situation was in the 90s!

Pakistan is in a dire need of individuals with leadership qualities – on the board and on the team. Someone with vision, someone who can guide the team during troubled times, someone who can plan and implement changes. Until that happens, the drama will continue and we will have yet another disastrous world cup campaign.

This post was originally published here


Umair Qazi

An investment advisor in Dubai who blogs at and tweets @WellPitched

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

  • The Only Normal Person Here.

    Pertained to the situation. Good job.

    I have no hopes from Misbah. He doesn’t seem to have leadership qualities and his record shows that he can not be anywhere near a captain.

    I do believe that our cricket teams alongwith the board needs some iron fist accountability and this time, no one should be spared. This star plus saga needs to be subverted and they should get on to what they are support to do, that is … PLAY CRICKET. Cause this is really getting on the nerves now. Recommend

  • The Only Normal Person Here.

    Oh and btw… I really admire Butt Sahib’s guts. Not in anatomical sense of course. Recommend

  • Umar Farooq Kalson

    seems like writer don’t like Misbah..Recommend

  • Saad

    Who likes Misbah? His peak was the 08 20/20 tournament in SA after that what did he really do?Asim Kamal would do a better job then Misbah, that guy has got a test match temperament. Younis should be made the test captain period @Umar Farooq Kalson: Recommend

  • Blithe

    What about Suresh Raina?

    today, it came to our attention that India’s Suresh Rania was in touch with bookie in Sri Lanka. I do not know if he is guilty or not. He may be inoccent for all I know.

    But you cannot gloss over the fact that the BBCI hid this from the ICC.

    Why is your newspaper not reporting that!!!!!Recommend

  • Sattar Qureshi

    Well written Qazi. The last paragraph applies to the whole country as well.Recommend

  • Bilal Farooq

    I believe, recently, the chaos in Pakistan cricket, is much more a management failure than players incapability. The very fact that Pakistan team is able to turn the tables on any given day against anyone is conclusive in itself. It is the Team Management that has put up a poor show, starting right from the top – Ijaz Butt.

    At the appointment of Mohsin Khan as the Cheif Selector, an educated and experienced Test player, people were given hope that he would not stick to the usual leitmof and actually assert to help grow Pakistan Cricket. However, the current scenario of announcing the team for the SA tour without consulting the captain, or even naming one, has not helped the cause in any way. I dearly hope someone knocks some sense into our management them.Recommend

  • moon

    We need Touqir Zia as Head of PCB…. Bring him back.Recommend

  • Fahad Hashmat

    Moon’s comment caught my attention! Why do we rely so much on people from the past? I mean even if Touqir Zia was good, but he has done his job and took the farewell – Aren’t there other competent people in Pakistan to head PCB? We rely heavily on individuals and not on institutions. Let’s improve the system, and develop code of ethics and develop a machanism which ensure that those codes are strictly followed. Let’s not talk about individuals.

    By the way, nice stuff Umair Qazi. Let’s hope good things happen to Pakistani cricket. (Ameen)Recommend