Lahore Lions boasts the likes of Ahmed Shehzad among many other top-notch Pakistan cricketers © Getty Images
Lahore Lions boasts the likes of Ahmed Shehzad among many other top-notch Pakistan cricketers © AFP

Lahore Lions, the Pakistan representatives in the Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014, have had a mixed time in the tournament so far. After winning the first game against Mumbai Indians (MI), they were trounced in next against Northern Knights. Shiamak Unwalla looks at how their fate is closely linked to that of their national side.

Cricket history is replete with the legacy of some countries performing a certain way over a period of time. The West Indians were the rulers of the cricket world in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Australia were undefeatable from the late 1990s to the mid 2000s. India were a very tough side to beat between 2008 and 2011. New Zealand have always punched above their weight in big tournaments.

And then there is Pakistan; a team full of potential and absurdly rich in talent. But they are also a team renowned for being inconsistent. If there was ever a team that could rule the world on one day and scrape the bottom of the barrel the next, it would be Pakistan.

In many ways, the Lahore Lions symbolise the Pakistani way of playing cricket. Absolutely outstanding one day, and horribly abysmal the next. In their first match, against Mumbai Indians (MI), their bowlers did a commendable job to restrict the opposition. Aizaz Cheema, Wahab Riaz, and Adnan Rasool bowled stifling spells, while Nasir Jamshed and Ahmed Shehzad got them off to a good start. Umar Akmal duly lived up to his billing as one of the most exciting players of the tournament by whiplashing an 18-ball 38 not out.

And in their next game, against Northern Districts, they were crushed and swept aside in what was an absurdly one-sided contest. Those same three bowlers went at over eight runs per over, and barring Saad Nasim’s valiant 58, no one else scored in double figures.

It has been only two games, and therefore drawing any conclusion would be doing them an injustice, but the fact is that the Pakistan team has precedent. In the ICC World Cup 2007, they were cleaned out by Ireland after scoring just 132, and in their very next match Imran Nazir alone hit 160 out of a total of 349.

Lahore are a good side on paper. They have the potential to do well in CLT20 2014. But if they are to progress further, they must put in a superlative performance against Southern Express. But more importantly, they must find it within themselves to be consistent for the length of the tournament.

Complete coverage of Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014 here

(Shiamak Unwalla is a reporter with CricketCountry. He is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic who likes to pass his free time by reading books, watching TV shows, and eating food. Sometimes all at the same time)