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  1. #1
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    "How wrong was I in the assessment of Sarfaraz Ahmed’s leadership skills" : Fazeer Mohammed

    Writing in his latest blog for PakPassion.net, Fazeer Mohammed praises the Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed for his impressive leadership capabilities as captain as demonstrated by the Champions Trophy triumph, looks forward to the participation of Pakistani players in the upcoming Caribbean Premier League tournament and hopes that the PCB will put in more resources in the development of the Women's game in Pakistan.




    Cricket’s packed calendar across three formats means there is always something right around the corner, like the 2017 edition of the Caribbean Premier League, or something just ended, like the ICC Women’s World Cup.

    Still, it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge how wrong I was in the assessment of Sarfaraz Ahmed’s leadership skills during the limited-over leg of Pakistan’s tour of the West Indies three months ago.

    During the One-Day Internationals in Guyana, the first of which was won by the home side when they successfully chased a target of over 300 for the first time ever, Sarfaraz was roundly criticised for his handling of the team in the field. His style of being almost constantly in the ears of his teammates and occasionally wagging his index finger like a disapproving schoolmaster seemed to be more like scolding rather than encouraging his teammates.

    Yet they rebounded to take that series 2-1, and of infinitely greater significance, went on to shock the cricketing world, lifting the Champions Trophy in June at The Oval with a 180-run thrashing of arch-rivals India after being convincingly beaten by the same opponents at the start of the tournament.

    Fittingly Sarfaraz has been named to succeed Misbah-ul-Haq as Test captain, and given the phenomenal success he has just enjoyed in the shorter format of the game, no-one should doubt the ability of this street-fighter to get the best from himself and his teammates, even if the wicketkeeper-batsman’s style is very different from the man he replaces at the helm.

    It’s a pity therefore that Sarfaraz will not be involved in the CPL, an event that grows in popularity every year as much for being a welcome distraction from the never-ending woes of the West Indies team as it is for the quality of the cricket played over the five weeks of action, beginning this year in St Lucia on 4th August and concluding with the final at the brand new Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad on 9th September.

    As last year when the CPL was played concurrently with the West Indies home series against India, this time the regional team are scheduled to be doing battle in three Tests in England while the biggest names in Caribbean cricket will be entertaining under lights with their respective franchises. Why Cricket West Indies, formerly the West Indies Cricket Board, considers it appropriate to have the CPL overshadowing the West Indies for fans’ attention is anyone’s guess.

    But the CPL, now entering a fifth season, is obviously much more than the likes of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine on show for it is the presence of premier international stars, including a healthy contingent of Pakistanis, that have contributed to the global appeal of the five-week competition.

    Every champion team so far in the CPL has had a Pakistani input. It will be the same in 2017 with representation in all six franchises.

    Imad Wasim’s left-armers will again be vital for title-holders Jamaica Tallawahs who also have the services this season of fast bowler Mohammad Sami. If you’re wondering what “Tallahwahs” means, it is Jamaican dialect for being an over-achiever, for essentially being far more formidable than you might appear.

    Shoab Malik’s all-round experience will again be key to the effort of 2014 winners Barbados Tridents. They also have the services of pacer Wahab Riaz which should make for some interesting duels with some of the most explosive hitters in the game. Kamran Akmal was a part of the successful Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel outfit in 2015 but two years later the wicketkeeper-batsman turns out in the sky blue of the St Lucia Stars, formerly the St Lucia Zouks.

    In keeping with a relatively new competition that continues to evolve, the Red Steel are now the Trinbago Knight Riders, a change necessitated last year when the franchise was acquired by the Shah Rukh Khan-headed company that also owns the Kolkata Knight Riders. It should be no surprise therefore that Narine, a vital component in KKR’s two Indian Premier League title-winning seasons so far, has now switched from the Guyana Amazon Warriors to Trinbago and will form what could be a match-winning spin pairing with Pakistan’s rising teenage talent Shadab Khan.

    However the Warriors retain a strong Pakistani presence in the form of the experienced left-arm seamer Sohail Tanvir while Babar Azam will be expected to contribute vital runs and enhance his growing reputation in the middle-order as a late replacement for injured Australian Chris Lynn.

    Another Aussie sidelined by injury, Ben Cutting, has opened the door for Champions Trophy “Man of the Tournament” Hasan Ali to make a CPL debut for the St Kitts-Nevis Patriots, who have also acquired the services of another Champions Trophy winner, Mohammad Hafeez, as a late replacement for opening batsman Kieran Powell who will be on West Indies duty in England.

    They could be the most inspired signings of all this season.

    Speaking of inspiration, Pakistan’s women’s team and the women’s game generally in the country may be low on motivation after finishing at the bottom of the table in the ICC Women’s World Cup in England in July, a tournament won dramatically by the hosts after India fell apart in the final when poised for what looked like a comfortable victory. But it is up to the Pakistan Cricket Board to channel the necessary resources and effort into the female program to ensure that the obvious talent is harnessed in a structured and systematic way. Only then will the results follow.

    As for the West Indies, the beaten finalists of 2013 and World T20 holders, we are still awaiting a proper explanation as to why a campaign from which so much was expected could have flopped so badly to the extent that the Women's team was essentially non-competitive against the top five nations.

    It remains to be seen now if their male counterparts can fare any better in England.
    Last edited by Abdullah719; 1st August 2017 at 19:41.


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

  2. #2
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    Good on Fazeer to own up. I'm sure Ramiz was also in on the unnecessary criticism of Sarfraz at the time but you won't see him hold his hands up and say that he was wrong.

  3. #3
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    I think it was unfair to make harsh judgments on Sarfrazs leadership after one game. Good of Fazeer to own up for his mistake.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hasan123 View Post
    I think it was unfair to make harsh judgments on Sarfrazs leadership after one game. Good of Fazeer to own up for his mistake.
    Bhai writing off players after 1 game is nothing new for Pakistanis especially.
    Examples
    Sarfraz,
    Fakhar,
    Abbas
    Hasan
    and in past players like Riaz Afridi etc ..

    Though i think thats not good as we should be patient with players as most of them fought their way up ad deserve atleast few chances. But chalo still acceptable.. what I dont like is then the same people will continue to bash that player throughout their life just because their eye of talent couldn't recognize him.. Atleast be humble and flexible. We are humans, we can make mistakes. Why is it hard to admit we were wrong?

    Kudos to Fazeer!


    Sarfi as captain'll lead us to glory.Babar'll be our best odi bat & Haris'll be world class in tests

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarfiBabarHaris View Post
    Bhai writing off players after 1 game is nothing new for Pakistanis especially.
    Examples
    Sarfraz,
    Fakhar,
    Abbas
    Hasan
    and in past players like Riaz Afridi etc ..

    Though i think thats not good as we should be patient with players as most of them fought their way up ad deserve atleast few chances. But chalo still acceptable.. what I dont like is then the same people will continue to bash that player throughout their life just because their eye of talent couldn't recognize him.. Atleast be humble and flexible. We are humans, we can make mistakes. Why is it hard to admit we were wrong?

    Kudos to Fazeer!
    I think it's fine if people want to say Sarfraz body language and shouting at team mates, but to say he won't succeed as captain in his 1st game is wrong and very unfair.

    Not just Pakistan fans write off players, a lot of cricket fans will write off players. Look at how Steve Smith was wrote off and there are countless examples as well. I think fans are impatient and want instant success, I think also with subcontinent fans they want there favourites in the team.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hasan123 View Post
    but to say he won't succeed as captain in his 1st game is wrong
    I even think that is fine too. It is one's opinion on first notice. Similar for other players.

    But what I personally dont understand is people continuing to bash a player for long because they cant admit their first opinion can be wrong. That speaks of arrogance and rigidity and I am personally not a big fan of these things. Also than things are not talked about on cricketing level rather proving oneself right.


    Sarfi as captain'll lead us to glory.Babar'll be our best odi bat & Haris'll be world class in tests

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarfiBabarHaris View Post
    I even think that is fine too. It is one's opinion on first notice. Similar for other players.

    But what I personally dont understand is people continuing to bash a player for long because they cant admit their first opinion can be wrong. That speaks of arrogance and rigidity and I am personally not a big fan of these things. Also than things are not talked about on cricketing level rather proving oneself right.

    Most people should accept he is a good captain and the best choice in Pakistan for the role.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarfiBabarHaris View Post
    Bhai writing off players after 1 game is nothing new for Pakistanis especially.
    Examples
    Sarfraz,
    Fakhar,
    Abbas
    Hasan
    and in past players like Riaz Afridi etc ..

    Though i think thats not good as we should be patient with players as most of them fought their way up ad deserve atleast few chances. But chalo still acceptable.. what I dont like is then the same people will continue to bash that player throughout their life just because their eye of talent couldn't recognize him.. Atleast be humble and flexible. We are humans, we can make mistakes. Why is it hard to admit we were wrong?

    Kudos to Fazeer!


    Care to explain what it is he was show casing bowling at mid 120's that he should have been given more chances especially since he gained so much weight as well?

    In his case, no one but the player is to be blamed!


    Sir Mamoon:
    Is Yasir a very good spinner? No - Is Yasir good enough for overseas Tests? No

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monsee View Post
    Care to explain what it is he was show casing bowling at mid 120's that he should have been given more chances especially since he gained so much weight as well?

    In his case, no one but the player is to be blamed!
    Yes Riaz is to be blamed himself and I have wrote his name in the wasted x1 thread of players who destroyed themselves. On Riaz's potential, I still believe he had potential and could swing and seam the ball at 130+ as he showed in u-19 world cup.. you can see other threads for our discussion . Too lazy to write everything again. But as said above he destroyed himself. Also you can check the posts of poster @A1 in Riaz Afridi's recent thread who has played with Shaheen and know well about Riaz too.

    Lastly above post was about writing off players after 1 match, I remember Riaz was being called a chucker and not fit for international cricket after his first match, like Asif who was called a trundler and not fit.. recently Abbas, and before Hasan too because of his height... Riaz badly regressed after u-19 and first 2 seasons of domestics and yes it is largely his fault.


    Sarfi as captain'll lead us to glory.Babar'll be our best odi bat & Haris'll be world class in tests

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarfiBabarHaris View Post
    Yes Riaz is to be blamed himself and I have wrote his name in the wasted x1 thread of players who destroyed themselves. On Riaz's potential, I still believe he had potential and could swing and seam the ball at 130+ as he showed in u-19 world cup.. you can see other threads for our discussion . Too lazy to write everything again. But as said above he destroyed himself. Also you can check the posts of poster @A1 in Riaz Afridi's recent thread who has played with Shaheen and know well about Riaz too.

    Lastly above post was about writing off players after 1 match, I remember Riaz was being called a chucker and not fit for international cricket after his first match, like Asif who was called a trundler and not fit.. recently Abbas, and before Hasan too because of his height... Riaz badly regressed after u-19 and first 2 seasons of domestics and yes it is largely his fault.


    Fair enough, I had seen that U19 WC with Sarfraz, Mansoor Ajid, Imran Pasha, Riaz Afridi, Tariq (Murrali clone) etc. Riaz seemed ok in that tournament speed wise but remember he did look overage and he was bowling to U19 players, so his speed did look sharp for that level.

    When he came in to the Pak team, he was on the way down and did not try to get better and instead just faded away! Instead of him, Imran Pasha looked much better in the U19 WC and should have been nurtured but got wasted instead


    Sir Mamoon:
    Is Yasir a very good spinner? No - Is Yasir good enough for overseas Tests? No

  11. #11
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    Good article from Fazeer previewing the CPL amongst other things.

    Shadab and Narine will be a real handful and will give Trinbago one of the strongest spin attacks.

  12. #12
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    I also at first felt that Sarfaraz was not a natural leader. No one is happier than me to be proved wrong.


    PP's own self proclaimed sharpshooter and defender of Islam and Pakistan.

  13. #13
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    Brilliant blog by FM.

    His admission about Sarfaraz is the kind of journalism which is what we need. Honesty & Integrity

    Also am looking fwd to seeing Shadab be the highest wicket taker


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

  14. #14
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    Hopefully Sarfaraz keeps proving his doubters wrong in future!

    Only one point regarding Sarfaraz that can be majorly criticised and that is his fitness - needs to improve.


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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    Hopefully Sarfaraz keeps proving his doubters wrong in future!

    Only one point regarding Sarfaraz that can be majorly criticised and that is his fitness - needs to improve.
    He can bend down pretty well even though he carries a pot belly. As long as the belly is not impeding his keeping skills, he should be fine.

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