Tag Archives: Pakistan

Pakistan go back to the 90s

Keeping with their tendency to turn out in a new kit with every international tournament, Pakistan have unveiled the latest offering from Boom Boom.

Whereas the previous design followed the principle of ‘less is more’, it looks like the team who designed this one seem to have failed to settle on what shade of green to use for the majority of the shirt, so therefore settled on a compromise which involved using all of them.  Yet somehow, they managed to omit the shade of green often associated with Pakistani success in the World Cup, lime-green.

This indecision over the use of a single shade for the majority of the shirt means that, all I could think of when I first saw it was the kind of kits you’d find in the Endsleigh League back in the early 1990s, which given the return of corruption in the cricketing spotlight, perhaps it’s somewhat appropriate.


The whole spot-fixing thing

So one thing led to another, and the Crown Prosecution Service’s charging of the three players involved in Majeed-gate was followed soon after by the ICC’s announcement that sanctions against the trio had been carried out, temporarily putting the whole thing to bed (it might as well rest, it’s far from over).

The ruling was a strange one, given all the rambling about minimum charges being harsh in exceptional circumstances and whatnot, as for the time being, all three have been banned from cricket for the same amount of time (Butt and Asif have five and two suspended years).  Given the CPS’ charging of the three, there’s still the court date and the players’ appeals against their bans from the ICC to provide more in the saga.

Five years is quite a long time in a cricketer’s career, so what might they get up to in the meantime?

Salman Butt

The now ex-captain’s been dropped so times in the past by his selectors that the first year or two of his ban probably won’t feel any different to any other in his career.  If he’s serious about possibly being picked again if and when he returns, perhaps he could find someone to work on his running between the wickets.  That all depends on whether anyone wants to go out to play with him to be honest, I can’t imagine him being all that popular back in Pakistan at the moment.

Mohammad Amir

If you were to measure the amount of sympathy from the cricketing world that these three are getting, Amir’s probably got 99.9999% of it.  When you consider that Steve Finn was the next best thing on the nominations list for the ICC Emerging Player award, you can kind of see just how big an ‘exciting opening bowler’ shaped hole has been left in world cricket.  Of the three, at least he can seek solace in the fact that, at 18, he at least has a relative chance of playing cricket at the highest level again.  One wonders if he’ll be invited to enough back garden games to stay sharp in the meantime.  I mean, I’d be more than happy to have him round for a game, if our back garden was actually long enough for a regulation length wicket.  And he’d still be limited to a two step run up.

Mohammad Asif

While his bowling has never been reliant on express pace, by the time Asif returns from his ban, he’ll probably be just a bit too old and rusty to play international cricket again, but given Pakistan’s tendency for strange selection choices, I suppose he can’t be counted out just yet.  Other than that, for probably the most intelligent bowler I can think of in recent times, he sure is a div off the playing field – he probably thinks spaghetti trees are real after watching that fake documentary.

And what about corruption in cricket?  Well that’s too big a question for my small mind to really give a decent answer, other than a bit of rambling about gambling not being legal on the subcontinent leaving the opportunity for shady gambling rings to exist and how the ICC’s anti-corruption unit being outdone by some tabloid hack dressed up as a fake sheikh leads me to believe that they might as well all dress up as wealthy Arabs and see if it works again.


A few words of gratitude from Mental Disintegration

I would like to thank the other Test cricketing nation’s boards for managing to have three other Test series arranged to take place just before the 2010-11 Ashes series started.

With matches like India – New Zealand, Sri Lanka – West Indies and Pakistan – South Africa all going on during the early hours, I was able to formulate a mock conditioning program for Ashes viewing.  By sitting through infuriatingly painful moments such as Harbhajan Singh’s centuries, it’s going to take something extraordinary to send me to sleep now.

Nice going, lads.


Kallis tucks in, de Villiers digs in

The first day of  the second Test in Pakistan’s ‘home’ series against South Africa threatened to cause a bit of a stir, but ultimately failed to deliver by stumps following an explosive first ten overs in the morning.  Unless you get your cricketing kicks from watching Jacques Kallis or AB de Villiers bat, in which case, you must have had a whale of a time today.

Hit by Wahab Riaz’s injury in the first Test, Pakistan drafted in newbie seam bowler Tanvier Ahmed, who proceeded to remove Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla and Graeme Smith in his first six overs.  Particularly memorable was the removal of Amla, with Tanvir’s delivery convincing Asoka De Silva that the bearded wonder’s ribs sound the same as a nick off the inside edge.

But if there was one man you wanted to stop the rot in a batting line up, it would most likely be Jacques Kallis.  Together with AB de Villiers, it was over 40 overs later until Pakistan made a further breakthrough, putting on a 4th wicket partnership of 179 run.

The most striking feature of this partnership, in my mind, was the distinct case of mistaken identity.  Kallis is a batsman widely regarded as a stodgy character out in the middle, putting the value of his wicket ahead of everything else, whereas de Villiers has a reputation for entertaining knocks, probably stemming from his boyish charm.  Kallis’ first scoring stroke certainly seemed out of character for the big man from Cape Town, a hook shot for six.  The tone for his innings set, he quite frankly raced to his century, twatting Abdur Rehman back over his head for two sixes along the way.  de Villiers, on the other had, batted watchfully, dispatching the ball to the boundary only when he felt the opportunity had been offered to him.

With the spot-fixing scandal surrounding Mohammads Asif and Aamer, Pakistan must be wondering when their next great fast bowling prodigy will surface.  For the time being, they’ve had to go to the other end of the talent pool which refuses to cease with surprises.  Tanvir, 31, looks every bit a journeymen club cricket pro, complete with lumbering run up and body language which suggested he couldn’t wait for a breather at tea.  Nonetheless, he was their only bowler to maintain an element of control in his bowling, as Umar Gul disappointed, and Mohammad Sami managed to condense the story of his career into his first four overs.  He showcased both his ability to move the ball round corners, but also his penchant for loose balls, which Kallis ruthless gobbled up at the start of his innings, prompting Misbah -Ul-Haq to take him off for Younus Khan’s wily medium pace.

Younus’ return in the first Test certainly provided a lift, but it will take more than one batsman with the temperament for this format to get Pakistan back on the right path.


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