Once bitten twice shy? Not if you’re part of PCB’s selection committee!

Published: December 7, 2014
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It is almost predictable now that the PCB’s selection committee would make these senseless decisions. PHOTOS: AFP

It is almost predictable now that the PCB’s selection committee would make these senseless decisions. PHOTOS: AFP It is almost predictable now that the PCB’s selection committee would make these senseless decisions. STOCK IMAGE

Pakistanis live in the age of nostalgia. A 67-year-old Bambi, still struggling to get on its feet, one step forward, two steps back, sprawled spectacularly on the floor. A nation dead set on moving backwards.

From our political affiliations, religious oppression, blasphemous laws, dress-codes to the selection of our cricket team, ours is a generation that shall wistfully flip through old photos unable to grasp the reality of who we were and what we could be, unable to move forward. If you skim through the list of the 30 probables sent for the 2015 World Cup team, there’s no need to continue watching, you’ve seen this show before.

Rewind back to 2013, the Champions Trophy and an experienced Pakistan cricket team with an average age of above 30 that could not cross the 200 mark in a single match. This was a squad that had retained several senior plays who failed to deliver on any given day and the result was absolute debauchery.

Batsman Imran Farhat watches as his wicket cart-wheels away after being bowled during their Champions Trophy match against South Africa on Monday. Photo: Reuters

Barring a resilient Misbahul Haq, the Pakistani cricket team was in shambles and the team pegged ‘favourites’ (a cursed term) left without a single victory. One year later, 71 days before the world cup, a list of 30 players is sent to the ICC, with the likes of Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik back in the squad; it seems the Pakistan Cricket Board has yet another lesson waiting to be learnt.

Why the obsession with experience when it has failed us time and again?

Why is Kamran Akmal still a name to include when Sarfaraz Ahmed has been God-sent these past few months?

When was the last time Shoaib Malik delivered on an international level?

Domestic T20 leagues in Pakistan and around the world do not justify his place for an ODI world cup. Claims that he may step in as an all-rounder to replace Mohammad Hafeez is stuff nightmares are made of.

Kamran Akmal (L) and Shoaib Malik

In the past decade, has the domestic set up in the country dwindled to a level where we are unable to produce a decent all-rounder or do we have misplaced faith in the wrong people?

It is baffling that India can walk away from Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag but we’re still gathering up the same band of has-beens. Theirs was a team that won the 2011 World Cup and yet they had the good sense to know that, four years later, change is required to stay relevant and competitive at the world’s largest stage.

It is almost predictable now that the PCB’s selection committee would make these senseless decisions. Earlier this month, Fawad Alam, who averages 77 in 2014, was dropped from the ODI squad for the New Zealand tour. No amount of logic or rationale can explain such baffling calls. While Younus Khan, whose stunning run with the bat found his place back in, Fawad was made to step out.

Fawad Alam scores an unbeaten century for Pakistan in the Asia Cup 2014 final. Photo: AFP

I hold the utmost respect for the legend that is Younus, but this is inherently the issue with the current state of cricket affairs in the country – you cannot axe a young player delivering results to include a senior member. It is Pakistan cricket that suffers when this happens. Perhaps Fawad doesn’t have the temperament and fandom of Umar Akmal that makes him dispensable but the little match winner in the moustache deserved better. He is a product of the politics played within the organisation; fans and matches are simply collateral damage.

As we look to February, the clips of 1992, the retro vintage jerseys and the images of the cup we won 23 years ago, we shall be unabashedly biased about the chances of lifting the trophy at MCG once again in true Pakistani fashion. In 2015, 189 million people are praying for change, a way to look forward and celebrate tomorrow; perhaps the PCB needs to change its batteries and quit winding back the clock.

Hadeel Obaid

Hadeel Obaid

A cricket lover and textile manufacturer, who is patriotic, loud and opinionated. She tweets as @hadouken51 (twitter.com/hadouken51)

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

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    It is not about who is senior or not, it is mostly about who know who. and of course the seniors have spent lots of time with the PCB guys so they “know” people on the inside.
    why is this attitude of pcb? simple. they are are never held to account for their sheer lack of moral fibre and even though they have their moral compass firmly pointed to south, their fortunes continue to grow northward. even if a guy is sacked from PCB , he is guaranteed a cushy severance package.
    What can/should/must be done? Although my personal opinion is to tar and feather the incumbents after every second loss, a more humane approach will be to attach their paychecks to their performance, and for GOD SAKE start including some cricketers in PCB hierarchy. I don’t think any recent PCB chairperson can recognize a cricket ball from a pomegranate.Recommend

  • Hassan

    Dont worry these are the probable “30” player’s name … dont need to get too emotional … the 15 man WC team will be almost the same one which is currently playing against NZ .

    After all they had to send some names to complete the 30 men list , and these old players aren’t performing that badly in the domestic cricket .Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    It gets worse. Much worse. According to Dawn, it is a conspiracy to get rid of Fawad Alam. Can you believe it? http://www.dawn.com/news/1149361/grand-plan-to-get-shoaib-malik-kamran-akmal-in-world-cup-squadRecommend

  • sensible

    I don’t see much problem with 30 probables, except for kamran and Malik. In any case, they won’t make to final 15. I think fast bowling is our weapon, if we use our bowlers wisely, we have good chance. Also, the batting order needs to be fixed. Here’s my Xi.
    1. Ahmed Shahzad
    2. M. Hafeez
    3. Umar Akmal
    4. Younis Khan
    5. Misbah-ul- Haq
    6. Sarfraz Ahmed
    7. Shahid Afridi
    8. Umar Gul
    9. Saeed Ajmal/ Zulfiqar Babar
    10. Wahab Riaz/ Junaid khan
    11. Mohammad Irfan.Recommend

  • Arsalan

    Poor Fawad Alam has to be sacrifice for Shoaib Malik and Kamaran Akmal .. Let see how they kick Sarfraz from the playing eleven.Recommend

  • Indian Guest

    “Blasphemous laws”? You mean “Blasphemy laws”?Recommend

  • Ahmed

    We pray that Pakistan does not make it to the second round of world cup with this injustice inshaaAllah!Recommend