Home > Features >

Pakistan cricket will emerge stronger than ever in this decade

Pakistan cricket will emerge stronger than ever in this decade

The recent tour of South Africa might have been a failure, but the team has shown great strength as a unit and has avoided controversies of any sort © Getty Images

By Behram Qazi

The 2003 cricket World Cup in South Africa was the last global tournament to host a Pakistani team full of superstars — steady openers, lethal fast bowlers and world class middle-order.

Many pundits and spectators thought the team would recreate the performances of the1999 World Cup, in which the men in green made it all the way to the final. Little did they know that this time the team would not even make it past the first round!

Waqar Younis’s boys lost to three cricketing giants — Australia, England and India — while their game against Zimbabwe was washed out. The two wins they managed were against Associate cricketing nations— Netherlands and Namibia.

What made this worse was that Pakistan lacked team spirit against the big teams that resulted in lopsided contests. The batting was irresponsible, the bowling was wayward and inconsistent while little can be said about Pakistan as a fielding side over the years. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), being in a tough position, was bound to make some big decisions after this debacle. As a result, most of the existing squad was dropped and new faces were roped in.

They say a good team is the one which has a good mix of veterans and youngsters. Pakistan’s squad selected for the Sharjah Cup in April 2003 lacked big names making way for greenhorns. Pakistan went unbeaten in the tournament and showed immense mettle, proving all the naysayers wrong. It was a great achievement and marked a new era for Pakistani cricket in an era where unpredictability had been Pakistan’s constant accomplice.

This Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) experiment had both its pros and cons. An advantage of this decision was that talented Pakistani youngsters got international level experience and a chance to prove their worth. However, Pakistani cricket, as a whole, developed a trait that it hasn’t gotten rid of till date; inconsistency.

With the absence of senior players to guide the youngsters, Pakistan might often wilt under pressure and throw away games that were in their complete control. But still, every now and then, Pakistan would put on a show and make it seem as if they were invincible. It is difficult to gauge a pattern of their play.

This past decade has been a testing one for Pakistani cricket; Controversies related to player discipline, performance enhancing drugs episode and spot-fixing saga have made international headlines. During this period we have seen many potential cricketing heroes making a mess of their careers, contributing to inconsistent results of the team.

Furthermore, to make matters even worse, the 2009 Lahore attacks on the Sri Lanka national team put an indefinite end to international cricket in the nation. It is an amazing feat that Pakistan are still considered as heavyweights in the cricketing world after all these sordid incidents.

That said, Pakistan cricket has been given one too many chances, and it is time for the team to pull up their socks. Albeit, Pakistan cricket has had its highs in this decade, they have made it to the knockout stages of several global cricketing tournaments with ICC World Twenty20 title triumph in 2009 being the most cherished moment.

The question is: Has the experiment carried out by the PCB back in 2003 paid off? Do the pros outweigh the cons?

In my opinion, they surely do.

Pakistan cricket may be inconsistent and may not have any big names imprinted on its green jerseys, but what it does have is durability. It is resilient and has proved to the world that even the worse of controversies cannot hold it back and it will always be a major cricketing force.

If you ask me, this past decade has been a blessing in disguise.

Of late, Pakistan has developed great team spirit and the dressing room environment has never been better. The players put in their 100%, play for the star on their jerseys and stand united. They say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and Pakistan has certainly proved this right by their efforts on the field.

The recent tour of South Africa might have been a failure, but the team has shown great strength as a unit and has avoided controversies of any sort.

There is still a lot to learn and a great deal of hard work to put in. If things continue in this fashion, I reckon Pakistan cricket will emerge stronger than ever in this next decade.

(Behram Qazi is an engineering student at the University of Waterloo, a sports fanatic and a patriotic Pakistani. He tweets @Behram22. The above article is reproduced from http://tribune.com.pk/ with permission)

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 22, 2014 (18:30 IST)   at St George's, Grenada

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 23, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Hambantota

India tour of England 2014

Aug 25, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Bristol

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 25, 2014 (00:00 IST)   at Basseterre, St Kitts

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 25, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

More

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 21, 2014  at Bulawayo

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 20, 2014  at St George's, Grenada

West Indies won by 3 wkts

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 19, 2014  at Bulawayo

South Africa won by 61 runs

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 17, 2014  at Bulawayo

South Africa won by 93 runs

India tour of England 2014

Aug 15, 2014  at London

England won by an innings and 244 runs

Photos

England Women vs India Women 2014, 1st ODI at Scarborough

Videos

Hughes explains technique behind cut shot

India still in a position to succeed against England in ODIs

13 things you may not know about Ravi Shastri

Duncan Fletcher speaks out; explains why Team India failed in the Test series against England!

Science of slip fielding: What might be wrong with Team India’s slip cordon

England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 MS Dhoni Pakistan Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Pakistan vs Sri Lanka 2014 Ravi Shastri Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014 Zimbabwe

Sachin Tendulkar helped to mentally prepare for England tour: Suresh Raina

Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma will marry soon; BCCI’s reason for granting permission

Suresh Raina: India must show character after Test mauling in England

Quinton de Kock does not indulge in planning before a game

India team manager was unhappy with Anushka Sharma accompanying Virat Kohli

India look to regain confidence in warm-up match ahead of ODI series against England

India tour of England 2014: Visitor’s recent record in overseas ODIs a cause for concern

India tour of England 2014: Duncan Fletcher’s see-saw coaching career could be at its end

India tour of England 2014: Is county cricket really the answer for Indian batsmen?

India vs England 2014: Ideal opportunity for Sanju Samson and other youngsters to shine

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

660 Posts | 6 Fans

Funny Cricket Wonders and Blunders

Ebola in West Africa: Gambia on high alert

Monkey doesn’t own his selfie: US regulator

Arun Jaitley says December 16 gang-rape case hit tourism; Nirbhaya`s father disappointed

Indian online market set to explode: Google study

Quinton de Kock does not indulge in planning before a game

Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma’s Bombay Velvet to release in May 2015!

Hot scoop: Karan Johar and Rohit Shetty to join hands for Ram Lakhan reboot!

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Jose Mourinho takes the plunge

Amit Shah meets Chandrababu Naidu

India team manager was unhappy with Anushka Sharma accompanying Virat Kohli

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here