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    PakPassion Member's Interview : MMHS

    MMHS has enlightened many members with his vast knowledge of the game over his 4 years on PakPassion. Whether it be from his personal experiences or his objective thoughts of all things cricket, MMHS has always had an opinion which others have been interested in reading.

    PakPassion: What does MMHS stand for?

    MMHS: For choosing a login name for PakPassion, I picked this one – the first 3 are my initials (1st M is Mohammed, H stands for Hossain), S is the initial of my pet name (we Bengali's have often 3 pet names – 1 standard, 1 from mom and 1 from ..., this S one is the standard one).


    PakPassion: Have you played cricket at any level or with any big names?


    MMHS: My early school days were in Australia & UK, where I learned the game as a kid. Compared to sub-continent, sports infrastructure and facilities in western schools are way better, so when I returned to Bangladesh, as a boy, I was good enough to match the skills of players 6-7 years senior to me. I played lots of junior level cricket during few years stay in Bangladesh and I can tell that I was damn good in Bangladesh/youth standard, until I got seriously injured (torn ligament). Besides, my school grade sheet (and my parent’s job/social profile) wasn’t suitable to build a career in sports and leave studies in teens. Those were the days when one couldn’t have even dream't that in Bangladesh, you can drive a BMW X6 or a Porsche Cayenne from playing cricket.

    I left cricket for few years to complete schools and when tried to make a comeback, my ego found myself to be too ordinary – it stopped there. But I kept myself involved as a keen follower, as a critic, as an organizer and certified umpire (not now, I didn’t renew it after 2005). My family had few people involved in club cricket/sports back in 90's – on voluntary level, I did contribute in building teams, hiring/scouting players; particularly for small tournaments here and there (there were many such in 90's). Couple of my “tu tuker” friends were in that 1999 WC team of Bangladesh which beat Pakistan and if destiny wished someone could have been part of that team – it wasn’t impossible looking 10 years back from that day.


    PakPassion: Do you follow any other sport?


    MMHS: I come from sports mad family – cricket, football, volleyball, basketball, Olympics, tennis, badminton, snooker and even hockey, you name it - my family, uncles and cousins and I follow it, watch the big events and gossip around. Apart from common games (in sub-continent perspectives) I do follow golf, snooker and I am a big fan of NBA (but no clue in other 3 North American Leagues/games) and I am a lifelong die-hard fan of Reds (Though this idiot BRogers is messing things at Anfield now days).

    Because of spending few years in Australian and UK schools, my upbringing was in sports culture, which developed me into a very good athlete in schools – I think, I represented school teams for 7 or 8 games and sports in few years of schooling in Bangladesh. Between cricket and football, it’s tough to choose, but in recent days I am more to in cricket for Team Green and Red (and because we stink in football). Also, cricket is a unique game – it’s a team game where players compete individually against each other’s – India/Pakistan can crush Bangladesh, but still Sakib can keep his head high as he represents a poor unit, but he is not poor. Whatever might be the outcome, but when Imran runs to bowl at Viv – it’s a contest between two outstanding individuals, rest is secondary. That’s unique for a team sports.


    PakPassion: Do you ever plan on writing a book/blog or articles on cricket?


    MMHS: I still dream of becoming a sports columnist in my retirement days, but for the time being I am quite happy in what I am doing – working as a professional and gossiping in sports blogs. I could have written in magazines or blogs, even for payment, but that comes with a sacrifice – here in PP, I write what I believe and what I can back; writing for someone actually ties your hand – you have to be politically correct, have to write for the market (things that ‘ll be sold better), which I don’t think I ‘ll enjoy. Even now days’ person like David Gower is listing players targeting a 1.3bn market, who is going to buy my thought? Besides, writing professionally has it’s own hazard – grammar, spelling, aesthetics, proof reading; I am fine with PP style English.


    PakPassion: What are your earliest memories of cricket?


    MMHS: I think, I watched 1985 B&H WSC final with my family, but not much memory. Earliest that I can recall was probably Javed hitting Sharma for a six. That match was a delayed telecast in Bangladesh and that time I was in Dhaka.


    PakPassion: Who is your favorite team besides Bangladesh?


    MMHS: I became a fan of West Indies and the Pakistan team, more so for Imran and Viv rather than any sort of preference towards a country, though when I started to understand the game, Viv was way behind his best but in 80's BTV used to show B&H WSC Cup matches, Australian Test matches and old archives of B&H, which brought me closer to the WI team. I supported India whenever they faced teams outside Asia (I'm a big fan of Kapil), until their cricket media (and board) became too strong - started to get under everyone's skin and brainwash cricket.

    WI has declined big time while Pakistan has replaced India as the most boring team – in last 15 years (after Wasim’s Captaincy) Pakistan has played to hide their top batsmen at 4, 5, 6 & 7; has used their fast bowlers to take the shine of new ball so that spinners can come into play, while India under Ganguly & MS (Dhoni) has played expressive cricket, particularly in ODI – put aggressive batsmen in 1, 2, 3; attacked with the new ball and fielded to keep the pressure on and take wickets rather than allowing the game to drift with 4/5 singles every over. I see lots of “India 70s and 80s” in this current Pakistan side – Shastri, Gavasker, Vengsarkar, Prabhakar, Gaekwad , Manjrekar playing in top 4 while Kapil, Azhar, Patil, Amarnath and even Tendulkar wasted at 5, 6, 7 or even 8 – using Ghavri, Binny, Madan to help Kapil taking the shine off, bring spinners with 5 men on line, bat to ensure respectable defeat (and remain not out to improve their averages).

    It’s tough to be excited with a Pakistan side which opted for Rao Iftikhar or Rana Naved over Sami to take the new ball or Hafeez, Azhar, Shehzad, Taufeeq to open in ODI. I don’t think in last 15 years, I had much difference in support between India-Pakistan; probably wanted Ganguly/MS’s team to win over pathetic and boring captains like Waqar, Inzi, Misbah or Afridi.


    PakPassion: Who is your favorite cricketer?


    MMHS: As said, I grew up watching Imran and Viv – these two are my all-time favorite cricketers, closely followed by Kapil, Hadlee, Javed, Marshall and Hooper. After them, not in order, but I liked Azhar, Ganguly, Saeed, Inzi, Mark Waugh, Kumble and a few others; but probably the 4 players I passionately watched almost by ball was 2 W's, Lara and Warne. I rate Murali and Tend’kar to the highest level, but just never found them exciting – they are the metronomes who will hunt you by duration. Also, I like players playing for team, which actually doesn’t favor the great Indian. More currently, I like Virat, MS, Sanga and KP as batsmen (Rate AB highest, but don’t like the way South Africa plays their cricket) while Jimmy and Ajmal as bowler, outside of Bangladeshi players.


    PakPassion:Why PakPassion? What brought you here and what makes you follow Pakistan cricket so passionately?


    MMHS: Ever since Cricinfo and ESPNStar was hacked by the Indian media, I felt Pakistan almost out of cricket literature or information – no hype, no news, no analysis, no article. Just like outside India, cricket doesn’t exist in Asia. To read about Pakistan cricket or new players I looked for news links, blogs and sometimes in 2007/08 (or may be earlier) found PakPassion. For the first 4 to 5 years, I was a reader only and that time I used to read few other cricket blogs as well and the distinction was clearly evident. Once I decided to share my thoughts and opened my ID, the day after MS lifted the Cup it’s been 4+ years and I'm still going strong.

    Following Pakistan Cricket has a lot of history attached – my mom spent few years in Lahore and Pindi (I think in 60's that was Pakistan's capital and my grandfather was a Govt. servant then). My mom was a keen cricket follower and she was a BIG fan of Imran – she always wanted me to be a cricketer, but only if can be like another (Sub-continent moms are emotional you know, no matter how much educated they are). Imran came with Omer Quarishi team in 1986 and mom went to stadium with me. That was first association with Pakistan Cricket, later when I started understanding cricket a bit, Imran’s Pakistan won the Series in India (blasted in ODI), won Neheru Cup, won WC and many tournaments in the UAE.

    To be honest, that Pakistan team of 90's is one of the most under-achievers in history, probably in many other sports considered. It was full of stunning individuals and he who loves/follows/analyze the game from passion (and without any own country bias) simply can’t avoid being passionate by the Team PAK of 90's. I have lots of Indian friends - on face they ‘ll argue/taunt, but back of their mind I found each and everyone to be a great admirer (jealous) of the Pakistan team of 90s - that probably explains my case best. Besides, many PAK stars used to play club cricket in BD throughout 90s.

    I used to scout players for clubs in 90's and there were hundreds of Pakistani cricketers travelling to Bangladesh as freelance club cricketers – I was stunned with the level of natural skill those unknown or hardly known Pakistan cricketers – unfit, little or no education, hardly any common sense, no systematic training or grooming, often no coaching or school, but boy, they could smash the leather ball hard and throw it fast & tricky. I had few contacts, but not much in last 15 years – got busy with higher studies and jobs in different countries, family life, but there is always time for first love.


    PakPassion:What do you think needs to be done to improve the standard of domestic cricketers in India and Pakistan?

    MMHS: This is one area I back my-self to be a professional. I can’t tell anything regarding my Bangladesh career, but for almost a decade I was involved in business strategy and expansion, as well as countrywide operation.

    I think, a domestic system should deliver in 4 aspects –
    - A fair system that filters the best talents
    - An advanced system that develops players in terms of skills (fitness is part of skill), intellectual and mental aspects (competitive and modern, as well as aware of the rules & regulations) it provides up to date and diverse training facilities (In cricket, different type of wicket is a training facility)
    - A system that keeps the mass market interested (in terms of the game itself and the next generation player pool), which is domestic competition, Home & away culture
    - A system which provides financial security so that there is a professional class, who can survive on the game (that leads next generation interested).

    Public interest and teams’ success are extremely correlated, which is a function of these 4 aspects.

    Looking at the Pakistan domestic system, I actually don’t see any of these. I have written lot on that I won't reiterate it here. However, I see things moving positively, which is a good sign and I see few things gradually coming in the Pakistan system, which I had been writing on several times. To be honest, PCB has done wonders in Pakistan system in last 2 decades or so – central contracts, academies, modern training facility, certified coaches. Unfortunately, the mental or competitive aspects are not developing as there isn't much of a County window now and the system is too much individual dominant still.

    I actually see lots of those 4 aspects covered in Indian domestic system. I am sure BCCI has enough expertise to run the game if they are willing and right men are behind (though this Shukla guy is an idiot – it feels sick that this joker is going to replace Dalmiah – I knew a Rajiv Shukla in 90's, who reminded me the jokers of Hindi movie, whenever opened mouth in DD).

    Regarding the Indian system (or even Pakistani), I don’t think reducing the number of teams is a good idea and only way to improve. India has it’s unique problem – it’s not easy to filter top 35 players from 1.3bn people, of whom number of registered cricketers is probably more than the population of NZ. I trust Indian selectors and back room staffs (junior level coaches, grounds men, trainers, analysts..) to be much better than their Pakistani counterparts (because Pakistan never tried to develop that – it’s all about play hard/tape ball cricket here and there in clubs, until you are noticed by some Imran, Javed, Akram and subsequently been drafted by a County side) in terms of competences and probably fairness as well. Besides, the Indian system at least allows officials, selectors to do their jobs somewhat professionally.

    I wouldn't change anything in Indian domestic cricket setup, I'd only add one more layer. For any system, even 30 teams in top tier are too many, but for a country of that size, even 100 teams are not much - in India or Pakistan, we can’t put 8 teams with 150 players only, out of few millions. What I'd do is unfortunately, what BCCI has closed this year – I'd keep Ranji Trophy exactly the way it is, but I would have made Dulip Trophy stronger. 5 Zones are fine - pick a 2 month window – 5 teams playing 8 home and away FC matches with top 60 Indian players from last Ranji season and couple of foreigners in each team and make sure that Indian national players participate. By foreigners, I mean the Styen, AB, Smith, Anderson, Johnson or Wahab class.

    In short, I am asking BCCI to replicate something in small scale what TCCB used to run in 70's & 80's with 17 teams and 100+ world’s best cricketers. BCCI has the money, just needs the initiative - rest will be taken care of itself and it will benefit Cricket as a whole – it’s a bad taste for me to feel that Pollard's, Afridi's, Maxwell's and Raina's are the news makers these days, when once the Imran's, Viv's, Lillee's, Kapils and Hadlee's were the poster boys. In this model the happiest person will be BCCI Chairman of Selectors – his first cut of slashing 1,000 to 50 is done by 5 regional selectors.


    PakPassion: What things you would like to change about yourself and PakPassion?


    MMHS: I am quite happy with myself – probably have achieved (and enjoyed) more than what I would have expected 20 years back. Not much to change for me as long as I leave this world as a good father, husband and Muslim. The life is too small for constant changes – rather it’s wise to enjoy what is there. You never know if the change will bring good or bad.

    For PakPassion, I think it’s a wonderful cricket blog, a place which probably is far better than some of the paid sources if one wants to learn the game (I actually never visited outside the cricket section). I don’t want to change much in PakPassion, maybe some posters themselves should change their approach when it comes to personal liking's or disliking and arguments. A bit of leg pulling is enjoyable, but there is a thick line between intellectual pinch and abuse. It’s a fantastic entertainment, scratched often by few individuals, which should be stopped.

    One thing I would like to introduce is the proper method of POTW – at present, I feel, it’s a monopoly of few individuals, which I wish to be changed. Maybe we can introduce a poll where top 10-12 posts of last week is selected for posters to vote on that.

    As if, we are too much focused on established stars at PP, but even in 1988, as a kid I knew there is another kid named Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar and there is an artist named Brian Charles Lara – PakPassion has a lot to do in this regard.

    Also, I don’t like banning a poster permanently – he‘ll open a new account (even through a new device if IP blocking is used) and the person behind doesn’t change. I would have blocked the post and made it public, keeping the poster’s name and reason visible - in extreme cases, would have made the poster banned for few days or restricted his posts in some capacity, again making it public.


    PakPassion: You're a big fan of Fazal Mahmood, do you have any video footage of him?


    MMHS: No, I don’t have any, in fact I have never seen him in archives. Fazal played his last Test in 1962-63. If I can recall correctly, BTV and PTV started operation from 1964 (25 December 1964, I believe; DD is not much earlier or later – therefore, I am not sure if we have any recording of Fazal in Asian matches; maybe his spells in Oval 1954 might have some records, which should be available in thee BBC or MCC achieves. PakPassion’s British based posters can give a try – it’s worth trying, trust me. For that, on a matting wicket we are talking about a hybrid of McGrath and Steyn, maybe a bit slower, but three times tenacious - who once bowled 50+ overs at stress, still mean, accurate and threatening.


    PakPassion: Who in your opinion is the best cricketer to have started his Bangladesh career before 2005? What's the reason behind major transformation of Bangladesh cricket?


    MMHS: It’s difficult to single out one – Raqibul Hasan almost made the Pakistan team (he was destined for a longer career with Pakistan) in a match on 1st March 1971, when he was officially 17. He retired from cricket and went to administration before I could understand cricket. Gazi Ashraf had a couple of outstanding seasons in late 80's, when he was the top scorer in Dhaka League, at that time when over 30 Indian, Pakistani and Sri Lankan FC cricketers used to play in that league. Golam Nowsher would have definitely made the Indian team for peak 4-5 years of his career in 80's for his left arm fast medium. Syed Ashraful (ACC’s former CEO) played few years in League Cricket in UK during his studies, but he went into a corporate and administrative career.

    Athar, Aminul, Minhaz, Rafique and Jahangir Shah played club cricket in UK & Australia and probably were among the few international quality players in 80's & 90's from Bangladesh, while Khaled Mashud in 90's, on merit could have kept for few other Test sides. Rafique was probably the best Test cricketer from Bangladesh till to date (before this current lot). However, the standard of our cricket was at such low even few years before 2005, that it’s difficult to compare players of different decade to mark the best – probably it will be between Aminul, Rafique and Rakibul. My vote is for Rafique – the lone fighter for a club level team given Test status.

    I am the first person here to admit that, though I see a transformation in the Bangladesh team, I don't think it's an earth shattering one. In a team sports, dominated by individuals, if all of 8 or 9 average players with couple of world class talent hits their peak at same time, they can do miracles in their favorable conditions – something we saw in March 1996, at a much bigger stage. Having said that, compared to 1999, we have developed light years to be honest. I see lots of posts regarding Bangladesh's slow progress in last 15 years – a bit silly, because these people have no idea what India and NZ went through in first 35-38 years and compared it to 1999, what monumental task BCB (and Bangladesh as a whole) has done in last 15 years in cricket. There's still a long way to go, but at least we're on the track of a long trail, with the destination in front.

    I always believe that, talent is a fake word in sports – if any game is followed passionately by mass, there will be lots of teens with natural ability, which we mistakenly identify as talent. Every game has a degree of difficulty – it’s against time, distance, power or counter skills that you overcome by instincts, hand/leg-eye coordination, intelligence and agility – some humans are born with those attributes better than most, which we call talent. For that, it’s not surprising that at 13 or 14, a “good player” in school often is good in 4/5 different sports as the fundamentals are similar – speed, coordination between limbs, intelligence, fitness and agility. This varies from country to country depending on the most popular sports there (in India/Pakistan – it’s cricket, hockey; in USA probably baseball, basketball, tennis; in the Caribbean it’s football, athletics, baseball or cricket; in South Africa it’s football, cricket or Rugby).

    It’s the system that transforms these boys with natural skills into professional sportsmen by providing them training facilities and allowing them to compete at highest level against fellow professionals with counter skills. The four aspects that I mentioned earlier, in last 12-15 years BCB has introduced/established many of those in Bangladesh, albeit with the help of foreign experts. We have a highly competitive countrywide domestic system, a filter which accumulates top talents and make them compete in big matches and there are many quality youth programs run by professionals. Besides, the payment structure in Bangladesh is one of the best in world – it will not produce the MS's, VK's, Afridi's, but it ensures the top 200 professionals are earning enough to keep them focused for two decades in the game.

    If I am to specify one particular aspect – I'll pick the decentralization of cricket. 15 years back, 95% of Bangladeshi pro cricketers used to be born, groomed and developed in 4-5 cities (80% from Dhaka itself), which represented just about 10% of population. Today, almost entire Bangladesh team is formed by players coming from places which even some Bangladeshis will struggle to locate in a map. That’s a paradigm shift – in a country of 170m, majority passionate about a game, if you can expand your horizon from 10m to 150m base and create a level playing field, it’s bound to happen.


    PakPassion: Do you think that the game is heavily tilted towards batsmen, making it difficult for bowlers to remain in the game?


    MMHS: No, I don’t think the game is heavily tilted towards batsmen, rather it’s a killer inside for the batsmen – it’s finishing them by distractions. Any sport is about competing against a counter skill, strategy – changing rules in favor of one party doesn’t make it helpful for the other party, it makes them cheaper, weaker and inefficient. For example, with all sorts of protective gears, I see lot more batsmen getting injured these days compared to 70's and 80's – as Viv Richards said – wearing a helmet would have made me complacent.

    Today, what the ICC mafia are doing is similar to withdrawing the “off-side” rule in football – 10+ goals per match will not make a forward better (or the game entertaining), because the game is not about numbers, it's about beating defenders by speed, skill, agility and intelligence. People don’t go to watch a boxer punching another one with his hands tied – that doesn’t make the loser poor.

    Nowadays, bowlers are finding it tough to compete with the stats of 25-35 years back, but I believe, it’s much easier for them now – idiots administrating the game have raised the per for the course from 200 to 300 runs (And from 2.75 to 3.75 RR in Test) by reducing the course length, not by increasing the hazard (degree of difficulty), that actually has limited the skills and mental strengths of batsmen - check how many matches are won by batsmen chasing these days, when the target is a bit tricky and check what Viv or Javed or Greg or Zaheer did in 70's and 80's. It’s a contest between bat and ball – making one handicap doesn’t help the other either – it’s like building muscles with steroids. What damage ICC has done to batsmen, has a perfect specimen to study – spend some quality times on studying the 5 Tests in this summer’s Ashes, you‘ll understand.


    PakPassion: Do you see 10 over cricket being introduced at the international level?


    MMHS: Ideally, 10 overs cricket should be introduced, if not, at least 15 overs definitely – but I see it from different angle and can visualize a different solution. For live transmission and TV money, I have noticed that most successful games are of 2 to 3 hours in duration – which is about 15 overs/side.

    What I see is massive stress on over rates – 20 overs in 60 minutes, with two “strategic” breaks for ad, that’s 70 minutes + 70 minutes + 10 minutes break in between innings - toss at 20 minutes before first ball and 30 minutes for media mockery ala Mayanty style (which is your cricket knowledge is secondary compared to your other “assets” as a cricket anchor) with “break ke baad” in every 5 minutes – a perfect package for 3 hours. Heavy penalty on no balls and wides, so that bowlers be ready to be hit for a six of him rather than running hard, bowling fast and risking an over step or missing radar.


    PakPassion: What would you advice youngsters who would like to take up cricket as a profession?


    MMHS: Simple – be passionate, work hard, do the correct things (there is nothing absolutely correct in any game, but there is a correct way of growing as a sportsman) and believe in yourself (and whoever you take as your creator).

    Self-respect is extremely important as one has to be accountable on oneself first – ask yourself first, if you are justifying your decision (and family’s support) to be a cricketer with your actions or not. No coach or system will develop a player, if he starts to avoid his own image standing in front of a mirror. Some humans are born with extra natural skills, but not everyone ended up as Wasim Akram, at the same time, skills alone will not take you where Imran ended up in 1992, from his starting in 1971 – lots of blood, sweat and sacrifice is there and off course, as a believer, we have to accept the luck factor – SOMEONE also has to wish.

    Targeting mediocrity never helps – it stops you from working hard and sweat on tough routines. Target for the peak and give your best honest jump, don’t target to survive only – that will never urge you to give everything and go for the toughest routines. If it doesn’t happen – it’s not the end of the world - never think that you are not talented enough, it just tells that you are not born with that extra effort required to reach there (if you are honest with your efforts); only handful of youths like you'll ever make it to the top.

    And finally, avoid T20 cricket before your fundamental techniques are developed. Remember, education helps – it’s not about engineering or MBA degree or speaking in Shakespearean English, but keep reading habits, it opens eyes, makes people more aware and smarter.


    PakPassion: 5 upcoming Pakistani batsmen and bowlers to look out for in the future?


    MMHS: This one I picked from BD – I admire his passion and enthusiasm for PAK team, his ever existing positive mind.

    I have highest hope on Saud Shakeel, probably a boy of genuine age, who reminds me of David Gower (no comparison yet). If he is not destroyed by PCB, he should play 500+ Internationals for PAK. For that, first thing he needs to do is choose a FC team which will play him every match and play him in top 3, preferably as an opener.

    Can’t tell much about other U19 batsmen as I haven’t seen many (obviously not much impressed by Sami Aslam) – I am waiting to see the development of Saad Ali and this young kid Zeeshan. I'm a bit disappointed with the progress of Babar, he is being played in wrong spot, fortunately he still has time on his side. Imran Butt is a totally unknown quantity but I believe he will represent Pakistan one day.

    Both the teen-aged spinners (Usama and the lefti Ashghar) are great prospects, though the other one (Gohar) didn’t flourish as much as I expected. Sadly, there's no fast bowler in sight – Hasan Ali looks potential, but at 21, he should have been an established member by now for Sialkot, particularly under a captain like Malik, who is among the few Pakistani captains who promotes youngsters. I don’t think any Pakistan fast bowler will ever be great if he tries to fix his line-length first, that’s not Pakistan's core. Get some U18 boys who runs hopelessly fast on bowling run-up and has the attitude of a fast bowler. Above everything, a fast bowler is fast bowler first mentally – I have lots of negatives to say about Shoaib, but he had in him what makes you to give everything to bowl fast – fire in bread basket, hate in eyes and childish excitement of uprooting a timber.

    I see Pakistani pacers to be mama’s good boy – they don’t swear, don’t argue with the captain, don’t snatch their sweater from the umpire, don’t sledge and they hardly make eye contact with the batsman – these guys need to see the face the likes of Imran or Waqar once hit for a four. Maybe playing under polite and gentleman captains in last 10-12 years, has a lot to do for this soberness.


    PakPassion: You seem to be negative about Pakistan's future in cricket, what’s the reason?


    MMHS: I think, lots of new posters misinterpret my thoughts on Pakistan cricket in a negative way. There is often a tendency to find correlation between the raise of Bangladesh cricket and decline of Pakistan team, which actually is quite uncalled for.

    I respect Pakistan's ability to find stunning youngsters with fundamental skills – I have posted several times countering the “lack of talent” argument. It’s about the transition between talented youngsters into professional cricketers. As I said several times, Pakistan had been entirely dependent on external sources on this and unless PCB develops it’s own capacity in terms of the 4 aspects I mentioned, Pakistan will keep producing skilled individuals, but not collective professionals, who can achieve something.

    Inzi was unique in Pakistan's context that he is the only player developed entirely on Pakistan's domestic resources – he ended as a great, but not ATG like Imran expected. But, Imran’s assessment on Inzi has the clue on what’s missing – Khan saw Inzi at 23 last time and his assessment was based on that 23 years old young man who had ample amount of time to change his shots against a rampant Waqar Younis in nets. Imran compared that with the Javeds, Mazids and Zaheers at 23. The missing link here is that Khan left cricket world entirely – he didn’t see the struggle of Inzi against professional sides, while he knew how talented youngster Zaheer, Javed or Mazid were transformed into world beaters via County. Had Inzi played just about 3 years from 1992 for County, we would have seen a batsman standing tall among the 3 great contemporaries of his generation.

    Now, there are lots of different versions regarding Pakistan's (and Bangladesh’s) qualifying and later prospects in WC 2023 - let me clear it once for the last time. Of the 3 formats, ODI is the most tactical and under the current system, I don’t see Pakistani players developing cricketers who are mentally tough and physically fit enough to contest the key moments. ICC is not going to make the WC a 16 team affair (2023 also will be 10 teams) and at one point, ICC will be forced to introduce some sort of regional qualifiers – maybe the hosts and top 4-5 teams automatically qualify while the rest of the teams fight it out for 5 or 6 spots in a regional qualifiers. Invariably, some sort of ranking will come in here for a cut and I can't see the Pakistan team improving their ODI ranking in the current ranking system.

    Any ranking system is based on a fundamental – it benefits the odds (upset earns more points), which tells that, you can lose every match to top seed, but don’t lose a single one against an underdog. The Pakistan team is a bit unique in terms of their ups and downs (people sugar quote it with the term unpredictable) – often these type of teams/players don’t clock high rankings, as they often produces shockers. I see lots of similarities between the Pakistan team with Holland (football), France (rugby), Andre Agassi, Seb Ballesteros (Golf), Ronnie O’Sullivan – often brilliant, but then awful some times.

    Agassi won Wimbledon from ranked outside 100, then exited 1st round in US Open, as World No. 1; Holland made 2 WC Finals in 74 and 78 (lost to hosts both times), and then missed next 2 World Cups (and 2002 one as well!!!) – compare that to the German football team – ruthless; they won’t lose a single match when not expected. Unless Pakistan's domestic system makes players mentally tougher, I honestly feel that at one point, they will have to play qualifiers for WC in Asian Region – that’s Afghanistan, Nepal or UAE. It’s not about the quality or talent, rather how you keep yourself above the cut line. It doesn’t take long for things to change – 12 months back, no one would have seen in nightmares that Bangladesh will make the CT, while Pakistan and WI will be in a rat race.

    In a positive note, to be honest within several limitations, PCB has done some fantastic works in last two decades and I personally believe that the cricket infrastructure in Pakistan is multiple times better and systematic than what was 35 years back – problem is, it was so poor then and the rest of the world (including some minnows) have advanced so much that, still Pakistan’s system looks non-functional and somewhat obsolete. PSL will be a catalyst for Pakistan cricket – if PCB can manage it successfully. I am sure we'll see a fast forward progress in Pakistan's cricket with a successful PSL. Besides, Pakistan's players are kept isolated from IPL, which is the T20 version of 80's County; but once ECB starts it’s own T20 league, I am sure many Pakistani players will compete there with global stars, which will help them developing the mental aspects. Pakistan has a long history and tradition of producing outstanding individuals, if the fundamentals (skill and mass interest) are there, it won't take long for a turn around.


    PakPassion: You have a writing style which has both positive and negative feedback – your comments on that?


    MMHS: I try to put an argument with logic aand proper home work. For that, often I put some extra words which make the post a complete story. One can notice that there are not many follow up questions after my post as I try to cover the counter questions – what the reader might ask against my logic. I was reputed for my presentations – I never put more than 5 or 6 lines in my powerpoint slides, but with lots of charts, graphs and pictorials and I never read out the slide (there is no point telling that JAN sale was 3% lower than Decem, when everyone can see the dip in the curve) – it’s rather the context that you explain.

    In written communication (here in posts) one has to be a bit expressive, informative and elaborate on the topic, logic or context as there is no direct communication. Also, a good speaker should sum-up his audience – one should know what and how much to explain in a board meeting with audience being VPs, EVPs and CXOs and how much to explain in a sales agent pitch. In written communication, your reader could be the CEO as well as the call centre agent, you have to elaborate – agent will read it out to understand what’s written, the CEO will go through it to check if there is any anomaly.

    Besides, I don’t consider PakPassion as Facebook - I hardly post or respond to banter or leg-pulling; otherwise I would post lots of crisp one liners.


    PakPassion: Where do you see subcontinent teams in 5 years time?


    MMHS: I have very little interest in T20 – thought that targeting the WC 2016, I‘ll see some matches; but this morning just didn’t feel to turn on laptop at 8 AM. This is the same man, who once dropped an Engineering exam to watch Brian winning alone against those frightening Aussies at Bridgetown. I‘ll not tell anything about T20 – it’s a lottery, anyone can hit a jack pot on his day.

    I see, Pakistan maintaining their superior status as Test team in Asia, but they will not reach the top level, unless the FC system is changed. India will always be a top team at home, but they will struggle outside Asia unless their batsmen start to justify their stats. I am a bit unconventional here, never believed that from 1986 to 2001, India failed to win a single Test outside home (Okay, 1 at Colombo and 1 at Dhaka) because Kumble, Srinath or Prashad couldn’t take 20 wickets - rather it was because Tendulkar, Dravid, Azhar, Ganguly, VVS’s failure to prove that they form a batting line up with 6 batsmen averaging over 45 and 2 over 50. Those 2nd class citizens of Indian cricket set the table at least 5 times, even as low as 120, the prince wasn’t good enough for the toast.

    Sri Lanka was never a great Test side, had sporadic brilliance over a decade for few outstanding individuals – they will be a decent side at home and a poor away. Bangladesh is in a position from where we can only rise, so statistically we'll become a better Test side - how much in reality has to be seen. Apart from other issues, one major challenge for us is, we were drafted among cricket elites at a time when Test cricket is not the only format – lots of top youngsters don’t esteem to be a Test great in Bangladesh.

    I think, we are entering into an era when Asia Cup (ODI) will almost be like the Champions League – that’s, there is no clear favorite. I see the gap between the 4 teams reducing considerably – India probably will have a better record (As they don’t lose many unexpected ones), while Pakistan will goof up in critical matches (I explained why) – the knockouts, the Finals, the series deciders. Sri Lanka will always be a better ODI side than a Test side – how good depends on how close match they can find for a Sanga or Malinga (odd are too high to be honest for them).


    PakPassion: What do you expect from Bangladesh in the 2017 Champions Trophy?


    MMHS: I have tremendous expectation of the Bangladesh side in CT2017, WC2019 and WC2023. We have the best combination for an ODI Team in terms of team composition, players’ synergy to accumulate collective skills and diversification in attacks. ODI is more of a combination game – in Test's, you pick your best 11 players, in ODI you pick the best combination of 11 individuals that suits the context.

    I think, we‘ll do very well in next 2 events in UK. Our strength is batting and the balanced attack will be quite handy for early English summer. We already have a very good bunch of young players and there are few waiting on the wings. Besides, 2017 and 2019 is the period when 3 of our best cricketers (Shakib, Mushfiqur and Nasir) should be at their peak. I'll be disappointed if we lose all 3 group matches, but more than that I won’t be surprised if we make the Semi Final, particularly if we are in a group with 2 of India, Pakistan or Sri Lanka in it.

    2019 WC is a different format – 9 tough matches before the Semi Final. I'm not sure if we'll be able to make the Semi Final (we are not strong enough to play 9 matches in 3 weeks), but should be in the middle block (5 to 7). However, I feel we could be just 1 upset away from a Semi Final place – beat 1 of Australia, South Africa or NZ and we can make that.

    2023 WC is in Asia – 8 years, with lots of changes. Shakib and Mushfiqur's best years will be behind them but there must be lots of quality replacements. Besides, we'll probably play most of the matches at Mirpur – I'll be disappointed if we don’t make the Semi Final, even the Final as well – after that, who cares.
    Last edited by Aman; 29th September 2015 at 15:12.

  2. #2
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    Comprehensive and a double century in Test Cricket equivalent!


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  3. #3
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    Great interview, that was a nice read!

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    MASHALLAH.. excellent interview bro, nice to know your name and your experience.
    I see Pakistani pacers to be mama’s good boy – they don’t swear, don’t argue with captain, don’t snatch sweater from umpire, don’t sledge and hardly make eye contacts to the batsman – these guys need to see the face of Imran or Waqar once hit for a four. Maybe playing under polite and gentleman captains in last 10-12 years, has lot to do for this soberness.
    Very good point bro, tbh it seems that Pakistani bowlers have 0 aggression.


    Eat, Sleep, Back The Team....Repeat!

  5. #5
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    Nice interview.

    @MMHS Thanks for answering my question.

    What things would you like to change about yourself and pakpassion?


    Tum mujhe bhaga sako aisa ho nahi sakta aur tum mere begair bhaago yeh main hone nahi dunga - Viru

  6. #6
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    Quite engrossing!

  7. #7
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    Nice interview @MMHS.

    You are spot on regarding Inzy. And also right on the undeserved negativity of Indian bowlers. Our bowlers did set up matches on many occasions in the 90s, as you said our batsmen (with Sachin and Azhar in their primes) could not even close out small targets like 120 when it mattered. Then they wonder why India does not produce great bowlers when they are treated like step children.


    "This one doesn't take the cake, it takes the bakery" - Gavaskar

  8. #8
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    Truly one of if not the best poster PP has ever seen.

    I think I have read every single post of his on PP.

  9. #9
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    Those 2nd class citizens of Indian cricket set the table at least 5 times, even as low as 120, the prince wasn’t good enough for the toast.

    Don't remind me of that Barbados Test

  10. #10
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    One of the few posters whose posts I always start to read, good to see we share the same taste in bowlers (Jimmy).

    Great interview.

  11. #11
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    Prolific answers much like MMHS's posting style and some excellent questions too - very thought provoking.

    Quality interview.


    Politics trumps intelligence (pun intended).

  12. #12
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    Enjoyed reading the interview.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    One of the few posters whose posts I always start to read, good to see we share the same taste in bowlers (Jimmy).

    Great interview.
    I would love to know of the comprehensive list of posters who you regularly read

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoUgandaCranes View Post
    I would love to know of the comprehensive list of posters who you regularly read
    Along with MMHS, Bullet Drive, miandadrules, you (honestly - not because you asked me, I'm not that type of a person), Pete Rose, Junaids, sensible_indian_fan and Bhaag Viru Bhaag.

    These 8 posters of the top of my head, and that is because their posts are mostly based on their observation and intuition, rather than facts and figures. There are other great posters as well but too objective and stats-driven for my liking.

    You always get something different and interesting from them.

  15. #15
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    Good interview by an articulate and knowledegeble poster.

    I agree that some of the posters on PP need to mould their posting style to better represent this great forum, myself first and foremost.

  16. #16
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    Excellent interview!


    "Potbelly Legend!"

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    Along with MMHS, Bullet Drive, miandadrules, you (honestly - not because you asked me, I'm not that type of a person), Pete Rose, Junaids, sensible_indian_fan and Bhaag Viru Bhaag.

    These 8 posters of the top of my head, and that is because their posts are mostly based on their observation and intuition, rather than facts and figures. There are other great posters as well but too objective and stats-driven for my liking.

    You always get something different and interesting from them.
    Aww, thanks. :ahmed

    JK.

    Very good interview.

    Will be keeping a closer eye on Saud Shakeel now!


    Hai yeh Josh-e-Junoon, hai yeh apna yaqeen, ke jo tum mein hai dum, woh kisi mein nahin!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Square Drive View Post
    Aww, thanks. :ahmed

    JK.

    Very good interview.

    Will be keeping a closer eye on Saud Shakeel now!
    , doosra wala


    Pakistan is that kid who never studies for his exams but is surprised when he fails.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    Along with MMHS, Bullet Drive, miandadrules, you (honestly - not because you asked me, I'm not that type of a person), Pete Rose, Junaids, sensible_indian_fan and Bhaag Viru Bhaag.

    These 8 posters of the top of my head, and that is because their posts are mostly based on their observation and intuition, rather than facts and figures. There are other great posters as well but too objective and stats-driven for my liking.

    You always get something different and interesting from them.
    Yes, as SAQS had his signature for sometime, still may have as I am not very sure, statistics are like burqas ....

    Thanks though for mentioning my name in this really elite list of posters

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belawal2014 View Post
    , doosra wala
    Samajh gaya.


    Hai yeh Josh-e-Junoon, hai yeh apna yaqeen, ke jo tum mein hai dum, woh kisi mein nahin!

  21. #21
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    Extremely insightful interview. Good stuff guys.


    Follow PakPassion on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

  22. #22
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    Enjoyed reading this..
    @MMHS, Thanks for answering my question.

    What do you expect from Bangladesh in the 2017 Champions Trophy?

  23. #23
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    Really enjoyed reading your interview bro @MMHS


    " It is true, Pakistan cricket is not defined by planning, it is not defined by team work and it is not defined by an entire match. It is defined by moments, moments of inspiration, moments of magic, moments when the unsung become the sung, when the world starts rotating in the opposite direction, when the abnormal becomes the normal, when delusion becomes logic – it is when the stars align. "

  24. #24
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    Brilliant. Great read @MMHS

  25. #25
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    Nice interview @MMHS, and your usual style of replies as answers.

    Still the biggest mystery in the world why a guy like you would drool over Malik though, specially as he's one of the worst ODI bats to come out of Pak. (worse record than Younis Khan.)

  26. #26
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    One of PakPassions finest posters.

    Pleasure to read his thoughts


    #MPGA

  27. #27
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    is your pet name Sunny? Know too many Bengalis with that name

  28. #28
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    Great Read (was expected though).

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by sshakir411 View Post
    is your pet name Sunny? Know too many Bengalis with that name
    No, those are hybrid Bengali name for modern kids - my parents (& me) are a bit old fashioned. My nick name is a pure Bangla word.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
    Nice interview @MMHS, and your usual style of replies as answers.

    Still the biggest mystery in the world why a guy like you would drool over Malik though, specially as he's one of the worst ODI bats to come out of Pak. (worse record than Younis Khan.)
    Thanks to everyone, but yours one I 'll explain when free.

    I hardly fail to convince even the bitterest souls - let me give a try.

  31. #31
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    Fabulous interview. Always enjoyed reading MMHS though I do not always agree with him but he is indeed a great poster.


    It is either a heartache or a headache ..Argh relationships.

  32. #32
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    Just read it now.

    Brilliant stuff. This was fun.


    I am not one of you. I never was. I am not one of them either.

  33. #33
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    Nice interview!

  34. #34
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    Long awaited interview .


    Fear the Creator ..... not the created.

  35. #35
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    Don't often agree with what @MMHS posts but respect that he is passionate about the game and has some solid reasons behind his views.


    Quote Originally Posted by La Haine movie
    Jusqu'ici tout va bien. L'important n’est pas la chute, c’est l’atterrissage.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoUgandaCranes View Post
    Yes, as SAQS had his signature for sometime, still may have as I am not very sure, statistics are like burqas ....

    Thanks though for mentioning my name in this really elite list of posters
    No longer my friend. Feel free to use it if you want.


    Quote Originally Posted by La Haine movie
    Jusqu'ici tout va bien. L'important n’est pas la chute, c’est l’atterrissage.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saqs View Post
    No longer my friend. Feel free to use it if you want.
    Thanks Saqs

    I'd surely steal that signature and use it as a tweet some day

  38. #38
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    In my opinion one of the best posters in this forum. While I do not always agree with your posts but I don't think anyone's post has as much authority as your's does. Keep posting often

  39. #39
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    Very good read, this guy makes this forum richer... ( applause from me ).... Would love to discuss Cricket with you over coffee, cigars, scotch ( whatever you prefer)....

    One question, Regarding Inzi ... Did you mean that he did not work hard ( missed county ) and hence stopped his progress or he was not mentally as tough as Javed but otherwise had most ingredients to become a great...

    I am asking this as most of his contemparies did not play a lot of county as against 70/80's batsmen...

    Your reading on Pak side of 90's is spot on, the side achieved very little and had a lot of potential greats doing nothing... Wasted two all rounders as well...

  40. #40
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    Very fine poster indeed.


    Ki Mohammad (saw) sey wafa tu ney tou hum terey hain
    Yeh jahaan cheez kya hai Loh-o-Qalam tere hain


  41. #41
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    Fantastic Interview by @MMHS.

    Thanks for answering my questions.

    There is so much information on @MMHS posts that it is hard to retrieve all the information in one read. You need multiple reads to get the gist of things.

    They should hire you for the PCB, you can put the likes of Haroon Rasheed/ Intikhab Alam to shame with the amount of knowledge of your game.

    I feel if MMHS was more of a diplomat he would be globally appreciated sports writer like Osman Samiuddin is for Pakistan cricket. But I guess that requires the person to be out there and making to active contributions on contract and also pleasing some powerful parties.

    But @MMHS should realized Pink Floyd wasn't the most successful band in Rock history for just producing catchy singles.

    Its their anti commercial narrative in albums they released that was so pertinent that they had a massive fan following even 50 years after the release.

    I feel there is no substitute for information, the world is a global village and everyone provides new insight on things. Still feel MMHS will have general appeal for his information on the game.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    Comprehensive and a double century in Test Cricket equivalent!
    A 375 I'd call it!

    Excellent interview and loved reading it. @MMHS Great poster who always posts with respect and superb knowledge.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by karthikc View Post
    Those 2nd class citizens of Indian cricket set the table at least 5 times, even as low as 120, the prince wasn’t good enough for the toast.

    Don't remind me of that Barbados Test
    What about the Harare 1997? - Kumble, Srinath & Prashad bowled ZIM out under 300 twice (infact under 550 combined) - 4th day IND needed 238 against Streak & few club bowlers with 3 batsmen averaging over 55 then, 3 over 47 + Mongia & Robin Singh...

    What about Wellington 2001 - IND got all-out for 105, Gavasker barked on how Kiwi seamers can take advantage of the wicket & IND seamers fail to back their wonderful batsmen......... 2nd morning ZAK got NZ down for 95, then those 6 batsmen went to tea for 70/6 or so ........... Gavasker again barked how difficult the wicket was for batting - next morning NZ chased 150+ with 2 or 3 down - Gavasker finished with Indian bowlers incapability to defend 150+ on such a tough wicket..........

    What about Mohali 1994 - on a belter, Walsh gave 95 overs to 6 batsmen whose combined average in IND is 60+ (that time probably even higher) to survive & win the series - no Ambi, no Bishop, no Marshall - Walsh & Kenney Benjamin blew almost 60K career Test runs in about 60 minutes.

    For any young cricketer, choosing a role model is extremely important - reading/listening their story inspires. If ever someone wants to be a spinner - the best role model could be Anil Kumble. An honest trier, who always given 100% for team, but never given proper honor - he didn't carry the so called expectation of a billion, but he shaded the shame of a billion.

    I give a proposition - from 1996 to 2001, IND existed in Test cricket from home wins (won 2 Tests outside home) - Kumble's stats look like 7 wickets/Test at 20 average (& 2.2 economy & 60+ overs/Test), on wickets which produced the best batting stats for the decade. Take Tendulkar out of Indian team, it would have hardly mattered - from invincible (didn't lose a Series at home between 1987 to 2000) to dominant at home, from poor to pathetic at away. Take out Anil Kumble - IND would have been a shed better than what Bangladesh is toady... instead of reading & listening to those paid media whores blindly, do your own maths & check as Indian Test cricketer where does Kapil, Kumble, Gavasker & Tendulkar stands.......... ......... and then they debate on the best cricketer from Asia with Imran......

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    One of the few posters whose posts I always start to read, good to see we share the same taste in bowlers (Jimmy).

    Great interview.
    Thanks - I do look at the stats, but also beyond that. Jimmy is probably the most skillful pace bowler in this millennium, but I can't justify why he averages close to 30 rather than 25. However, value of his wickets should be higher - probably the highest % of top 7 among Pace bowlers with 300+ Test wickets.

    Ajmal was a genius - his stats would have been like those of 100 years back of 1907-1911, had PAK played Test matches on wickets like IND - those UAE wickets are worst for Ajmal type spinners - dead slow & low. Batsmen were beaten all ends up several times, but survived as either the edge didn't carry to close in fielders or batsmen had time to bring the bat down.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    What about the Harare 1997? - Kumble, Srinath & Prashad bowled ZIM out under 300 twice (infact under 550 combined) - 4th day IND needed 238 against Streak & few club bowlers with 3 batsmen averaging over 55 then, 3 over 47 + Mongia & Robin Singh...

    What about Wellington 2001 - IND got all-out for 105, Gavasker barked on how Kiwi seamers can take advantage of the wicket & IND seamers fail to back their wonderful batsmen......... 2nd morning ZAK got NZ down for 95, then those 6 batsmen went to tea for 70/6 or so ........... Gavasker again barked how difficult the wicket was for batting - next morning NZ chased 150+ with 2 or 3 down - Gavasker finished with Indian bowlers incapability to defend 150+ on such a tough wicket..........

    What about Mohali 1994 - on a belter, Walsh gave 95 overs to 6 batsmen whose combined average in IND is 60+ (that time probably even higher) to survive & win the series - no Ambi, no Bishop, no Marshall - Walsh & Kenney Benjamin blew almost 60K career Test runs in about 60 minutes.

    For any young cricketer, choosing a role model is extremely important - reading/listening their story inspires. If ever someone wants to be a spinner - the best role model could be Anil Kumble. An honest trier, who always given 100% for team, but never given proper honor - he didn't carry the so called expectation of a billion, but he shaded the shame of a billion.

    I give a proposition - from 1996 to 2001, IND existed in Test cricket from home wins (won 2 Tests outside home) - Kumble's stats look like 7 wickets/Test at 20 average (& 2.2 economy & 60+ overs/Test), on wickets which produced the best batting stats for the decade. Take Tendulkar out of Indian team, it would have hardly mattered - from invincible (didn't lose a Series at home between 1987 to 2000) to dominant at home, from poor to pathetic at away. Take out Anil Kumble - IND would have been a shed better than what Bangladesh is toady... instead of reading & listening to those paid media whores blindly, do your own maths & check as Indian Test cricketer where does Kapil, Kumble, Gavasker & Tendulkar stands.......... ......... and then they debate on the best cricketer from Asia with Imran......
    Lol my face palm was for that pathetic Indian batting display. You are spot on regarding away test performances. I think we lacked that mental toughness back then a semblance of which at least we show now. Thanks for the detailed reply

    Sent from my XT1033 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
    Nice interview @MMHS, and your usual style of replies as answers.

    Still the biggest mystery in the world why a guy like you would drool over Malik though, specially as he's one of the worst ODI bats to come out of Pak. (worse record than Younis Khan.)

    Thanks, as said, I 'll take some time to explain.

    But first, I don't agree with that YK comparison - his stats are way better (even considering the last 5 years). Besides, Malik is among very few players whose career stats against top 7 is actually better than over all - minnow bashing logic doesn't stand. Oblate in PP, I see a similarities between Bangladesh & Malik - no matter what you do, can't win. It's bad taste to mock someone with "makeshift" insult - like when Malik score 353 out of 450 against AUS..........

    I don't think, putting stats actually makes "Malik bashing" easier, for that there is always an attempt to bring what he did in last 5 years... accepted, but then we should look what he did before that to be dropped first. Malik started career at No. 10 & ended at 3 in 3 years time & I must say - on merit. At one point (Oct 2009) Malik had a career average of 35 @ 79 for 185 matches, played in 2000s - & majority outside Asia (& averaging ~40 against non minnows) - replicate that stats with MoHa's hay days from 2010 to 2015 - it 'll read around 45/90 - that too with a balanced chart of venue (outside Asia MoHa averages <20 even in his hay days). Besides, he has close to 150 wickets at ~36 with a decent economy. I think, I don't need to justify his stats.

    Let's look at other aspects - 1st I never think Malik should have played Test, they made him Captain though. He is an utility cricket in LO & quite a brilliant one.

    One of the biggest mistake people make is devaluing stats against IND - not looking from other angle. For a PAK player, biggest mental test is against IND - it's not about facing Indian bowling only, but it's about taking the pressure of performing against IND - I hope, from now on, India basher 'll not be used against any one. A great PAK team lost 5 WC matches to IND, surprisingly, none of the teams having Malik in that line up.....

    I don't depend interlay on data to justify a logic, but I have noticed too much intellectuality on Malik's Technique & stats - let me put some data point beyond his heroics in UK & NZ -

    1. Averages 44 in wins - that's 25% better than his career average - that figure stands at 50, if I consider wins against top 7 sides.
    2. Averages 42+ over 60 innings batting at 3 & 4 (45+ if I take 2, 3 & 4) and it's not minnow bashing - same stats for top 7 side is actually even better at ~45.
    3. Averages 41+ in 5+ team tournaments (mostly ICC events) & ~37 in Finals –
    4. He averages ~35 batting 2nd (probably better than Saeed, whose majority 100s are batting 1st)
    5. Averages ~45 at 80 from 2003 to 2009, which is equivalent to 50/90 for 2010 – 2015 context.
    6. Has 6 Centuries against Top 7 sides, from 62 innings batting at 1-4 (& 12 fifties). Different era, different context, but someone Zaheer Abbas has 7/13 in 62 innings for PAK………

    I think, those stats in the decade of 2000 contest doesn't suggest that he bolts under pressure & he should get the sort of abbuse he gets here for his “Batting Technique”. In fact, I don’t think, aart from MoYo, in last 12 years, anyone from PAK comes close to these stats.

    Malik is not a 4th bowler, therefore won’t waste time for his bowling analysis, but, there are not many better 6th bowler in world cricket than Malik, that I can prove.

    It’s not about personal liking or dislikings – my analysis never reflects that. I see LO game as a “players’ contribution” point & in that regard, Malik indeed is a good LO player. Advantage of such player is that, they contribute in multiple aspects – one of the best fielder in team (probably the safest Pakistani ever on line), a brilliant runner & a street smart guy. Take the last ODI – batted poorly (that 30 sort of scores are killers), but still, carried the team from 33/3 in 10 overs to 110 without costing RR – put Misbah or YK at that situation – that 110 would have taken 33 overs. It’s easy to neglect his 3 wickets when team has won by 130+ runs, but when he came to bowl, it was 170 at run a ball with 7 wickets in hand – see that context, you ‘ll understand the value of a player who can bat at 5 & bowl cunningly. In a strategic game like ODI, a smart head always helps.

    I think, I have written a lot before on the “political” aspects of Malik saga – won’t go for that; but I give you an opposite proposition – please justify why Malik should get that sort of abuse after his successful comeback.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JibranAnsari View Post
    Fabulous interview. Always enjoyed reading MMHS though I do not always agree with him but he is indeed a great poster.

    Thanks.

    Never do that - unconditional agreement or admiration makes one complacent, it's a recipe of losing quality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saqs View Post
    Don't often agree with what @MMHS posts but respect that he is passionate about the game and has some solid reasons behind his views.
    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    Thanks - I do look at the stats, but also beyond that. Jimmy is probably the most skillful pace bowler in this millennium, but I can't justify why he averages close to 30 rather than 25. However, value of his wickets should be higher - probably the highest % of top 7 among Pace bowlers with 300+ Test wickets.

    Ajmal was a genius - his stats would have been like those of 100 years back of 1907-1911, had PAK played Test matches on wickets like IND - those UAE wickets are worst for Ajmal type spinners - dead slow & low. Batsmen were beaten all ends up several times, but survived as either the edge didn't carry to close in fielders or batsmen had time to bring the bat down.
    For me, watching Anderson bowl with the new ball is the exhibition of copy-book swing bowling. The run-up, action, wrist position, head position, release and follow through is picture perfect. I would say that he was over-coached in his youth and had to go back to basics in the mid-2000s which have affected his stats quite a bit.

    Also, he does not have the extra pace to make things happen without convention/reverse swing.

    Regarding Ajmal, we will agree to disagree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leg-side-flick View Post
    Very good read, this guy makes this forum richer... ( applause from me ).... Would love to discuss Cricket with you over coffee, cigars, scotch ( whatever you prefer)....

    One question, Regarding Inzi ... Did you mean that he did not work hard ( missed county ) and hence stopped his progress or he was not mentally as tough as Javed but otherwise had most ingredients to become a great...

    I am asking this as most of his contemparies did not play a lot of county as against 70/80's batsmen...

    Your reading on Pak side of 90's is spot on, the side achieved very little and had a lot of potential greats doing nothing... Wasted two all rounders as well...
    Thanks for the invitation, I actually don’t drink or smoke & now trying to limit my coffee intake – for the time bieing I think we are fine through PP.

    Coming to Inzi, it’s not about mental toughness – Inzi is one of the coolest ever batsmen in history & in fact, his heroics was for his ice cool nerve. He has 18 Centuries in win (would have 21!!!!! For that Hobert Test & the Faisalabad Test in 2005, when winter day light reduced the match to 70 overs/day & Inzi had a pair of 100s) & he averages like Bradman in wins.

    Inzi was never physically fit to play International match. It ‘ll be silly to attempt calculating the runs he missed (& costed his partners) due to his poor running but still ~40 run outs in ODI (~10 in Test) is too many. And, countless times, he got out to desparate shots for breather after 70 or 80. My rough estimation is that, he lost about 5% of his stats in Test & ~10% in ODI due to his below average fitness – that’s 13K runs at an average of 43+ in ODI & ~10K runs @ 53+ in Test. Besides, most of is 90+ scores would have been converted to century (& 45+ in to fifty).

    The first part was stats, but there is beyond stats. Inzi never gave me the impression of a professional, who is keen on his game. For example – he got out twice handle the ball & obstructing the field – and both cases Umpire was correct. Once he carried a Test match to 5th day for 15 minutes, despite knowing 90% chance of thunderstorm on Day 5, because he didn’t know the extended 30 minutes rule. That’s Inzamam ul Haq – as a Captain, before the series, when he was given the playing condition to go through, must have said – do I need to read all these staff?

    Inzi struggled for his poor start to top sides – once set, he was as good as anyone against AUS or SAF, but they got him out within 15 minutes too many times & throughout his career, he kept searching for solutions. Every game has a development scope – you build on your mistakes, work on that & come up stronger. Best I know is Tendulkar – I am sure that man ‘ll be able to tell what went wrong for all his 600+ International dismissals. All great batsmen had a purple patch (apart from Bradman) – their best 5 years is often 20-30% better than career; Inzi never had that consitancy. It’s not about technical aspects – he added 100+ for last 2 wickets with No. 10 & Jack to win a Test on 5th Day wicket against someone Shane Warne.

    Playing in County would have helped Inzi developing good habbits as a professional sportsman, would have made him aware (& interested in surroundings), would have made him physically fitter & most importantly, would have helped to analyze his game & adopt counter strategy. Woolmer joined PAK in 2004, when Inzi was officially 34, still even at that age, for next 2-3 years, he could help Inzi to become among the top 2-3 batsmen of world.


    That PAK side of 90s had Aaquib, Aamer Nazir, Ataur Rahman, Md. Zaheed, Fazle Akbar & Md. Akram as back-up bowlers – playing all together ~25 Tests – each & everyone was good enough to play 100 Tests for IND, if fit……….

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    @MMHS Fantastic is the word and as I said earlier you are my favorite poster and I love to read your posts.Keep going and I will love to discuss cricket with you some point in time.

    But one thing confuses me here:

    You said Fazal Mehmood once bowled 50+ overs on stretch.Right? How is it possible? I mean If we even consider him bowling for a full day but only max of 90 overs can be bowled in a day.If he even bowled for a full day he can only bowl upto 45 overs.Won't he?

    So how is it possible? Or am I missing something? Please clear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Asif Javaid View Post
    @MMHS Fantastic is the word and as I said earlier you are my favorite poster and I love to read your posts.Keep going and I will love to discuss cricket with you some point in time.

    But one thing confuses me here:

    You said Fazal Mehmood once bowled 50+ overs on stretch.Right? How is it possible? I mean If we even consider him bowling for a full day but only max of 90 overs can be bowled in a day.If he even bowled for a full day he can only bowl upto 45 overs.Won't he?

    So how is it possible? Or am I missing something? Please clear.

    It's possible in 2 ways - a bowler can keep bowling from 1 end continuously for 2 days combined - I think sometimes in 2000, Shane bowled 69 overs from 1 stress against SAF in SAF. Yes, he can get over night rest, but still it's single spell.

    2nd way is what Fazal did in 1957-58 - those are the fantasy days of cricket - Typhoon like Frank Tayson could bowl 170KM from 8 steps run ups & teams could bowl 23 overs/hour when two Cyborg like Larwood & Voce bowled for 35 & 38 overs a day - at 170KM/hour, even on the 35th over of the days.

    PAK went with 4 bowlers for that Jamaica Test + part-timer AH Karder. 1st over of the Innings - Mahmood Hossain got injured; within couple of hours regular spinner Nasimul Ghani as well. So, Karder had to keep one end tight & rotate from other end - PAK bowled 200+ overs in 11 hours, Fazal had a bowling figure of 85'2 - 20 - 247 - 2 (Khan Md. 0/259, otherwise his career average would have been 18!), 50+ overs at stress on Day 3, West Indies piled on 790/3, Sobers an epic 365*

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    Quote Originally Posted by waleed88 View Post
    Fantastic Interview by @MMHS.

    Thanks for answering my questions.

    There is so much information on @MMHS posts that it is hard to retrieve all the information in one read. You need multiple reads to get the gist of things.

    They should hire you for the PCB, you can put the likes of Haroon Rasheed/ Intikhab Alam to shame with the amount of knowledge of your game.

    I feel if MMHS was more of a diplomat he would be globally appreciated sports writer like Osman Samiuddin is for Pakistan cricket. But I guess that requires the person to be out there and making to active contributions on contract and also pleasing some powerful parties.

    But @MMHS should realized Pink Floyd wasn't the most successful band in Rock history for just producing catchy singles.

    Its their anti commercial narrative in albums they released that was so pertinent that they had a massive fan following even 50 years after the release.

    I feel there is no substitute for information, the world is a global village and everyone provides new insight on things. Still feel MMHS will have general appeal for his information on the game.
    Thanks. I might start writing with that sort of encouragement.


    I think, Intekhab or Haroon has lot better knowledge than any of us regarding the game itself, that's the technical aspects. But, Inti is appointed in a wrong role - administrative job is is not for someone like him, besides, he is almost 75 now. Haroon, I think is doing decent as CS - A Coach or Selector can working within the frame work of domestic system. It's not like Club football that Jose Mourinho can spend 100mn of Russian Mafia money in every transfer window to be the "Special One". Also, to their support, I think, they had to work under different limitations/instructions, which is not easy. I am a theorist, in Cricket, but from professional capacity, can tell that how difficult it is for administrators working in subcontinent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    It's possible in 2 ways - a bowler can keep bowling from 1 end continuously for 2 days combined - I think sometimes in 2000, Shane bowled 69 overs from 1 stress against SAF in SAF. Yes, he can get over night rest, but still it's single spell.

    2nd way is what Fazal did in 1957-58 - those are the fantasy days of cricket - Typhoon like Frank Tayson could bowl 170KM from 8 steps run ups & teams could bowl 23 overs/hour when two Cyborg like Larwood & Voce bowled for 35 & 38 overs a day - at 170KM/hour, even on the 35th over of the days.

    PAK went with 4 bowlers for that Jamaica Test + part-timer AH Karder. 1st over of the Innings - Mahmood Hossain got injured; within couple of hours regular spinner Nasimul Ghani as well. So, Karder had to keep one end tight & rotate from other end - PAK bowled 200+ overs in 11 hours, Fazal had a bowling figure of 85'2 - 20 - 247 - 2 (Khan Md. 0/259, otherwise his career average would have been 18!), 50+ overs at stress on Day 3, West Indies piled on 790/3, Sobers an epic 365*
    I got it.Not in just 1 day...

    But was there a limit of max 90 overs in a day?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Asif Javaid View Post
    I got it.Not in just 1 day...

    But was there a limit of max 90 overs in a day?

    Fazal in a day - cricket never had 90 overs rule; it was 6 hours. Lloyd's team started to bowl 75 overs a Day & blast teams both with bat & ball, which other teams started to pick, therefore ICC imposed a min 90 overs/day rule; one of very few good decisions by ICC.

    In 50s, average over rate was around 19-20/day - you 'll find lot of Test matches in 50s & 60s played for 575-600 overs in 5 days. On 3rd day of that Kingston Test, PAK bowled around 110 overs, Fazal almost non stop from one end - but the details I can't tell because no soft copy of ball by ball score sheet is available.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    Fazal in a day - cricket never had 90 overs rule; it was 6 hours. Lloyd's team started to bowl 75 overs a Day & blast teams both with bat & ball, which other teams started to pick, therefore ICC imposed a min 90 overs/day rule; one of very few good decisions by ICC.

    In 50s, average over rate was around 19-20/day - you 'll find lot of Test matches in 50s & 60s played for 575-600 overs in 5 days. On 3rd day of that Kingston Test, PAK bowled around 110 overs, Fazal almost non stop from one end - but the details I can't tell because no soft copy of ball by ball score sheet is available.
    Ok.I can now safely say I understood

    But thanks for sharing because quite honestly I didn't had any idea about this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    Fazal in a day - cricket never had 90 overs rule; it was 6 hours. Lloyd's team started to bowl 75 overs a Day & blast teams both with bat & ball, which other teams started to pick, therefore ICC imposed a min 90 overs/day rule; one of very few good decisions by ICC.

    In 50s, average over rate was around 19-20/day - you 'll find lot of Test matches in 50s & 60s played for 575-600 overs in 5 days. On 3rd day of that Kingston Test, PAK bowled around 110 overs, Fazal almost non stop from one end - but the details I can't tell because no soft copy of ball by ball score sheet is available.
    Technically the first one to recognize the need to slow down the pace of the game was Len Hutton. Although not quite as dramatic as Lloyd.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Len_Hu...ref-G190_226-0

    "His natural inclination and the background to his appointment made him a cautious captain, for example slowing down the game to allow the fast bowlers to rest, which set a precedent for other captains"


    Great Interview and its a pleasure to read your posts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    What about the Harare 1997? - Kumble, Srinath & Prashad bowled ZIM out under 300 twice (infact under 550 combined) - 4th day IND needed 238 against Streak & few club bowlers with 3 batsmen averaging over 55 then, 3 over 47 + Mongia & Robin Singh...

    What about Wellington 2001 - IND got all-out for 105, Gavasker barked on how Kiwi seamers can take advantage of the wicket & IND seamers fail to back their wonderful batsmen......... 2nd morning ZAK got NZ down for 95, then those 6 batsmen went to tea for 70/6 or so ........... Gavasker again barked how difficult the wicket was for batting - next morning NZ chased 150+ with 2 or 3 down - Gavasker finished with Indian bowlers incapability to defend 150+ on such a tough wicket..........
    The reason why Tendulkar has God like stature amongst avg fans , Experts and Peers is that he had done it all . Take a look at Tendulkars 2nd inngs in this match (from the same series you talk abowhere Bond was blowing away the Indian batsmen on a Green top : http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/64020.html

    It is one of Tendulkars underrated inngs when none other Venerable batsmen were able to cross 12 runs.


    What about Mohali 1994 - on a belter, Walsh gave 95 overs to 6 batsmen whose combined average in IND is 60+ (that time probably even higher) to survive & win the series - no Ambi, no Bishop, no Marshall - Walsh & Kenney Benjamin blew almost 60K career Test runs in about 60 minutes.
    Don't know what you mean by combined avg of 60. But they definitely did not have 60K Test runs

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engin...?view=averages

    In any case that Mohali wkt during those days had a lot of pace and bounce and suited the WI bowling perfectly. Prabhakar ended up with a broken nose.


    For any young cricketer, choosing a role model is extremely important - reading/listening their story inspires. If ever someone wants to be a spinner - the best role model could be Anil Kumble. An honest trier, who always given 100% for team, but never given proper honor - he didn't carry the so called expectation of a billion, but he shaded the shame of a billion.

    I give a proposition - from 1996 to 2001, IND existed in Test cricket from home wins (won 2 Tests outside home) - Kumble's stats look like 7 wickets/Test at 20 average (& 2.2 economy & 60+ overs/Test), on wickets which produced the best batting stats for the decade. Take Tendulkar out of Indian team, it would have hardly mattered - from invincible (didn't lose a Series at home between 1987 to 2000) to dominant at home, from poor to pathetic at away. Take out Anil Kumble - IND would have been a shed better than what Bangladesh is toady... instead of reading & listening to those paid media whores blindly, do your own maths & check as Indian Test cricketer where does Kapil, Kumble, Gavasker & Tendulkar stands.......... ......... and then they debate on the best cricketer from Asia with Imran......
    I get your point about Kumble but it is not as cut and dry as remove Kumble and we would be nobody's.

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/eng...ults;type=team

    Kumble is long gone, Harbhajan is no longer the bowler he was in the 00s yet we are just 2 short of the 17 Wins in the 90s in 8 less tests.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tusker View Post
    The reason why Tendulkar has God like stature amongst avg fans , Experts and Peers is that he had done it all . Take a look at Tendulkars 2nd inngs in this match (from the same series you talk abowhere Bond was blowing away the Indian batsmen on a Green top : http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/64020.html

    It is one of Tendulkars underrated inngs when none other Venerable batsmen were able to cross 12 runs.




    Don't know what you mean by combined avg of 60. But they definitely did not have 60K Test runs

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engin...?view=averages

    In any case that Mohali wkt during those days had a lot of pace and bounce and suited the WI bowling perfectly. Prabhakar ended up with a broken nose.




    I get your point about Kumble but it is not as cut and dry as remove Kumble and we would be nobody's.

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/eng...ults;type=team

    Kumble is long gone, Harbhajan is no longer the bowler he was in the 00s yet we are just 2 short of the 17 Wins in the 90s in 8 less tests.
    That 52 was good (I watched that), but Rahul's 76 was several times better on Day 1 on absolute golf green (& as usual, absolutely no mention, 2nd highest was 19). For the Mohali Test, I said career runs - obviously Tendulkar didn't score 16K runs in 1994 - but that's one way you should consider the strength of a batting line up.

    I think, you should consider players among peers - 15 years, IND won almost every thing at home - Kumble kept picking 20+ wickets in 3 Test at ~20 & bowling almost unchanged on last innings from 1 end. May be IND has a better record in following decade because of the Captain & couple of batsmen who had much bigger impact in IND wins - check Sehwag & Rahul's stats in IND wins.r

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    @MMHS

    I want to know from you that I want to read about history,technicalities of cricket and about the players, their autobiograpies/biographies,etc.Where should I start from?

    Suggestions/Tips much appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Asif Javaid View Post
    @MMHS

    I want to know from you that I want to read about history,technicalities of cricket and about the players, their autobiograpies/biographies,etc.Where should I start from?

    Suggestions/Tips much appreciated.
    Lot's of these things are actually self-education - you need to read match reports, archives, articles, watch matches. One good way to start is to study the match scorecard - use CricInfo Archives, go through series by series Test match scores from 1876, study the match context (lots of stats that you can check - scoring rate, over rate, day end match status, partnership details, wicket type - which you can understand from the bowling chart ....) - all these 'll give you a good understanding of the then context of the game (for that, you need to study the change in rules & regulations as well) & in CricInfo, there are lot of articles associated with a match or series is linked - click those.

    Once you have some idea of the game (the contest - cricket is a game of bat vs ball, not about Bradman averaging 100 or Tendulkar scoring 100 Centuries) - check who are the match changers, which are the players that influence the game most. A 60 scored as slowly as in 6 hours could be match changer, while just a couple of timely wicket can change the context. If these don't raise an interest & passion, I don't think one can learn the game much.

    Reading always help, but I suggest do that after you have some understanding to make your own judgement, otherwise you might be sold out with the ideas of Tyson bowling 170KM or Sobers picking David Holford over Malcom Marshall for better balance or Viv Richards not making Bradman's XI ....... Apart from bias to olden cricketers, I have found Nevil Curdus & John Arlott to be most knowledgeable Cricket intellectuals (& the quality of their English is something we can learn from). Among cricketers, I found Benaud to be outstanding game analyst - Imran's book can be the best inspiration for young cricketers - of Indian cricketers, Gavasker's books are wonderful read.

    One thing that I was fortunate, but you 'll miss is the wonderful voice of Tony Greig, Lawry, Brian Johnston, Tony Cosier & of course Richie Benaud. English was not a problem for me, therefore from very young age I used to listen BBC & ABC commentary - a treat to listen; compared to which Harsha Bhogle seems to be Mayanty Langer of modern commentary, not to mention most others.

    Above all, you have to be sports passionate, otherwise this 'll never happen - for last few days I am hardly in PP, because BRogers is finally handed P45 & I am busy with Klopp, Ancellotti saga........

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    Lot's of these things are actually self-education - you need to read match reports, archives, articles, watch matches. One good way to start is to study the match scorecard - use CricInfo Archives, go through series by series Test match scores from 1876, study the match context (lots of stats that you can check - scoring rate, over rate, day end match status, partnership details, wicket type - which you can understand from the bowling chart ....) - all these 'll give you a good understanding of the then context of the game (for that, you need to study the change in rules & regulations as well) & in CricInfo, there are lot of articles associated with a match or series is linked - click those.

    Once you have some idea of the game (the contest - cricket is a game of bat vs ball, not about Bradman averaging 100 or Tendulkar scoring 100 Centuries) - check who are the match changers, which are the players that influence the game most. A 60 scored as slowly as in 6 hours could be match changer, while just a couple of timely wicket can change the context. If these don't raise an interest & passion, I don't think one can learn the game much.

    Reading always help, but I suggest do that after you have some understanding to make your own judgement, otherwise you might be sold out with the ideas of Tyson bowling 170KM or Sobers picking David Holford over Malcom Marshall for better balance or Viv Richards not making Bradman's XI ....... Apart from bias to olden cricketers, I have found Nevil Curdus & John Arlott to be most knowledgeable Cricket intellectuals (& the quality of their English is something we can learn from). Among cricketers, I found Benaud to be outstanding game analyst - Imran's book can be the best inspiration for young cricketers - of Indian cricketers, Gavasker's books are wonderful read.

    One thing that I was fortunate, but you 'll miss is the wonderful voice of Tony Greig, Lawry, Brian Johnston, Tony Cosier & of course Richie Benaud. English was not a problem for me, therefore from very young age I used to listen BBC & ABC commentary - a treat to listen; compared to which Harsha Bhogle seems to be Mayanty Langer of modern commentary, not to mention most others.

    Above all, you have to be sports passionate, otherwise this 'll never happen - for last few days I am hardly in PP, because BRogers is finally handed P45 & I am busy with Klopp, Ancellotti saga........
    we pakistanis arent missing anything. we have the wonderful voices of abdul qadir and ramiz raja
    Last edited by aliasad1998; 7th October 2015 at 09:38.

  63. #63
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    Older one but a good one to read @MMHS.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRsohail View Post
    Older one but a good one to read @MMHS.
    Thanks Doc ....how does time fly!!!! It was 3.5 years back!!!

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    Thanks Doc ....how does time fly!!!! It was 3.5 years back!!!
    you are welcome.. yes time changes fast. I was lurker at that time.


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