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  1. #1
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    "Pakistan domestic cricket is in a state of disarray" : Aamir Sohail

    In his latest blog for PakPassion.net, Aamir Sohail writes about the alarming state of disorganisation in Pakistan domestic cricket, why bad pitches are contributing to a lack of good quality batsmen, concerns about Fakhar Zaman's decline in form, the smog controversy in the series between India and Sri Lanka and why he feels that Virat Kohli has already attained legendary status.



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    Pakistan domestic cricket is in a state of disarray

    The manner in which Pakistan domestic cricket is currently organised and run reeks of inefficiency and disorganisation. To me, Pakistan domestic cricket is in a state of disarray. For the past 4-5 years, the emphasis of the Pakistan Cricket Board is on anything but domestic cricket and things have got worse now with the Pakistan Super League in the mix. Domestic cricket is a nursery for growing good cricketers, but we are paying scant regard to its development. There seems to be no direction and agreement on how to run cricket in our country. The structure of domestic cricket is perpetually being tinkered with and there is general confusion about how to organise it. It undergoes a change every year or so and there is no sense of continuity in how things are run. The very simple fact of the matter is that unless you concentrate on making the domestic structure better, your cricket and cricketers will never progress. I am also shocked and disheartened by rumours that the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy could be scrapped in the future as to me that will represent the single most idiotic step ever taken and I pray that it will never happen, as this shows that some people have absolutely no idea or simply don’t care about Pakistan cricket.


    Ad-hoc scheduling of our domestic tournaments

    Once again, the ineptitude of the administration comes to the fore when we talk about the scheduling of our domestic cricket. I for one, have no objections to our players playing in leagues and tournaments around the world. What I would have liked to see is that the PCB planning their domestic schedules one year in advance. In that way, if a player had been approached by BPL or any other league, he would have looked at the schedule and said, yes or no depending on what was arranged by the PCB. It would have been clear to the player about his commitments next year and he would have taken the appropriate call on signing up for a foreign league. But that is not the case now and the players end up committing to other leagues in the absence of any concrete information about Pakistan’s domestic cricket schedule for the next season. Look at what happened during the time the Caribbean Premier League was being held. Our players were called back on the pretext of a domestic tournament being held in Pakistan and then that was postponed, leaving them in limbo. No other word, other than ineptitude comes to my mind to describe this situation, as it is clear that future planning is a concept which is alien to the PCB.


    Poor batsmen are a by-product of low quality domestic pitches

    The biggest tragedy afflicting our cricket at the moment is that our board is not spending money on aspects of our domestic game where it is needed most. If you are wondering why India produces such high-quality batsmen, then look no further than the provision of good and true pitches. In my view, if a batsman does not get a chance to bat for longer periods then he will never develop the confidence and skills needed to play those long innings. The batsman’s talent will only flourish and his game improve if is he is able to play on good quality pitches. If the batsman, as is the case in Pakistan, spends most of his time on the pitch trying to survive with just defence, then he is likely to turn out to be a poor-quality player. Poor international batsmen, in my view, are a by-product of low quality domestic pitches.


    Pakistan pitches of today lack consistency as they did in yesteryear

    In our playing days, each pitch we played had a unique and distinct character. For example, The Gaddafi Stadium was known for its slow pitch, Karachi had a turning track, ‘Pindi stadium had a lot of grass on the pitch and the Gujranwala pitch was expected to be pacy and with a lot of bounce on it and so on. So, a batsman had a chance to hone his skills on different and contrasting surfaces. Today, we see that every other pitch is bowler friendly and the batsmen have no option but to try and survive in whatever way they can. And the proof of that is in the fact that for a long time, we are yet to see a quality batsman come through the ranks of our domestic players. In my view, the few decent batsmen apart from the likes of Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq that Pakistan has produced in recent times are Asim Kamal, Salman Butt and more recently, Asad Shafiq. Apart from that I see no real high-class batsmen in our ranks and the reason for that is the quality of our pitches. Pakistan's batting is indeed in a state of crisis as we have had to depend on batsmen who in some cases had clearly exceeded their shelf-life simply because we didn't have replacements for them.


    Inability to select the right batsmen for role as openers

    The opener’s slot for any decent side in the world is a very important position in the team. The player who needs to take that slot needs to be the most technically accomplished batsman for the team. In our case, we seem to put players with severe technical deficiencies in the opening position and then expect miracles of them. And then there is the case of unfair treatment for some players who were actually qualified for this job. The case of Taufeeq Umar is well known in this regard. To my eyes, he was the most talented and gifted opener, but we wasted him and discarded him. We, unfortunately, are great in destroying good players but are unable to develop good ones. Therein lies our problem. We are unable to select the right players for the right job and if, by some fluke we do, then we have no way to develop him into a better player.


    Fakhar Zaman has been found out

    It is a little sad to note that for all the success that Fakhar Zaman experienced at the Champions Trophy in the summer, he has been unable to repeat that in subsequent games. The reason for that is rather simple and that is the fact that during the Champions Trophy, not many sides knew much about Fakhar. He was new and a surprise package for many opposing teams. Since then, the other teams have worked him out and come up with ways to neutralise his threat. In my opinion, it is his back-lift and how he crouches before deliveries is where all his problems stem from. Regardless of what the actual issue is, the shocking aspect of all this is that despite having an army of coaches, no one has been able to help Fakhar resolve his problems. These coaches are incapable of helping a struggling batsman to improve his technique by giving him the right kind of information. Although there seems to be no dearth of unnecessary information provided to the player which only confuses the batsman without any obvious benefit. Without precise information, a player will continue to struggle and Fakhar is a good example of that failing.


    The match officials should have acted decisively in the ‘smog’ controversy

    What transpired at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground during the 3rd Test between India and Sri Lanka is a rather unique situation for an international game. But, I cannot see anything wrong in the behaviour of either of the Indian or Sri Lankan teams. They both acted according to their own interests and understanding of the situation. What really puzzles me is the indecision of the umpires and match officials in this whole episode. It is they who should have made the determination about the suitability of conditions and then both teams would have been forced to comply with that decision. If the match officials, based upon advice from competent authorities, thought that the climate and atmospheric conditions were dangerous for play then they should have come forward with their decision. As far as the fact that a match was being played under such conditions is concerned, we all remember when schools were shut down in Delhi due to smog and a similar thing happened in Lahore as well some time ago. But this time around, this was not the case in Delhi and if normal life is going on as normal outside the stadium then play inside the ground should also not be affected.


    Virat Kohli is simply doing justice to his immense talent

    To me talk of Virat Kohli as a future legend is bit silly as I believe that he has reached legendary status already. We all knew that he had talent but what makes him special is that he has translated that talent to greatness on the field of play. His passion for cricket is remarkable and yes, in the early days he had some arrogance and attitude issues, but he is over them now and he is now focused only on playing cricket. He clearly understands what is required of him as a team captain and a player. He is simply doing justice to his immense talent and this not an easy thing for many cricketers to do. In terms of specific abilities, I would point out the fact that his defensive technique is excellent and rock-solid. He is the sort of a batsman who does not need a bad delivery to score runs. He can pick his runs from good deliveries and can manoeuvre the ball to any part of the ground and rarely lets the bowler call the shots in any situation.
    Last edited by Abdullah719; 7th December 2017 at 18:51.


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  2. #2
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    He lost me at Salman Butt and Asad Shafiq ....

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by babajee View Post
    He lost me at Salman Butt and Asad Shafiq ....
    True.

    Salman butt can only dream of what Fakhar did in like a week.

    Asad Shafiq is so overrated.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pakistani pride View Post
    True.

    Salman butt can only dream of what Fakhar did in like a week.

    Asad Shafiq is so overrated.
    Salman has been excellent pre 2010 in loi...it is the game which has changed and his ban otherwise he was the opener who would have scored 20 hundreds,i he to see that Fakhar score as many hundreds as salman has scored.

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    Found the Butt/Kamal/Shafiq comment puzzling too, but besides that a pretty good read. He is on point with regards to domestic cricket. We have no idea when the One-Day tournaments are; last year, the whole season's schedule was available in August.


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  6. #6
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    His comment on VK being a legend today is also spot-on!


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  7. #7
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    Asad Shafiq is one of the worst full time batsmen to lace them up in tests who have played more than 50 matches.

    How he has any respect boggles my mind.

    Somehow when he should be in the prime of his career, and with a prime spot to be a top 4 batsmen where the segue from Misbah and YK should be seamless, he looks worse than ever.

  8. #8
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    The beauty of it all is every few weeks one or the other comes out chiming in on how the domestic is in shambles... but no one ever puts forth the effort to rectify it.

    I think if they really want the domestic to change for the better, we need a robust player body to form at first and then go on strike until unless conditions and terms are met. Also, for most of the players in domestic, this is their means of earning (cant work outside if one wants a proper career)... pay structure needs to improve aswell.

    But as long as we have the politically backed non-merited sethi's at the helm, things wont improve for the better.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by reversehook View Post
    The beauty of it all is every few weeks one or the other comes out chiming in on how the domestic is in shambles... but no one ever puts forth the effort to rectify it.

    I think if they really want the domestic to change for the better, we need a robust player body to form at first and then go on strike until unless conditions and terms are met. Also, for most of the players in domestic, this is their means of earning (cant work outside if one wants a proper career)... pay structure needs to improve aswell.

    But as long as we have the politically backed non-merited sethi's at the helm, things wont improve for the better.
    Not sure if you have read above or read many threads on this.

    Hint - look at the point about pitches. Also read Imran Farhat interview on the same subject.


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRsohail View Post
    Salman has been excellent pre 2010 in loi...it is the game which has changed and his ban otherwise he was the opener who would have scored 20 hundreds,i he to see that Fakhar score as many hundreds as salman has scored.

    Do you know his record as an opener?
    Apart from games vs India?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    Not sure if you have read above or read many threads on this.

    Hint - look at the point about pitches. Also read Imran Farhat interview on the same subject.
    Bhai, there is nothing special in there or lacking there of to be shocked. This is an ongoing issue since dinasour's roamed the planet. Every ex players states there is a problem with the domestic, this, that and everuthing in between, and I agree. However, that does not help; problems start right from the ijaz butt's, sheharyar khan's and the sethi's who do not deserve to be there. When the head is concerned about a political agenda or is completely clueless about the game and its dealings, how is anything else going to get rectified. At the same time I would like to ask what did Sohail do when he was in the mix of things... or what is he doing now, or any of them, to better the situation.

    PCB ka onth kabh kis waqt kya karwat lei ga, no one can guess. I am not a negative/pessimestic person, but i think with PCB, yeh bhains hamaisha pani mein hi ja ke baithay gi, aur hum fans been bajatay rahain ge.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pakistani pride View Post
    Do you know his record as an opener?
    Apart from games vs India?
    so performance against india does not count?Fakhar has one performance against india and look at the way he has been hyped,not taking anything away from him though.

  13. #13
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    Domestic cricket is a mess so I definitely agree with Aamir Sohail here. Organization needs to be better if we want to get the best out of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by babajee View Post
    He lost me at Salman Butt and Asad Shafiq ....
    And me at Shafiq. Salman Butt was a decent batsman and was among best in lineup for few years even if Pakistanis hated him. Dont know about his current form.

    But yes Taufeeq Umar was seriously good. I remember he did a gritty 96-97 at the time when Australian attack was at its peak and Pakistanis were batting like sitting ducks and scoring 50s 60s all out.

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    Asad is the best batsman of the lot right now and the only one who could be better is Babar. This is an obvious fact and no this does not mean Asad will score/scores the most runs. Funny how people who have never played international cricket know more than Amir Sohail...but hey anything goes here.

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    Aamir Sohail worried for Pakistan's domestic cricket

    Karachi [Pakistan], December 8 (ANI): Raising concerns about Pakistan's domestic cricket, former Test opener Aamer Sohail has said that it is in a state of disarray.

    "The manner in which Pakistan domestic cricket is currently organised reeks of inefficiency and disorganisation," the Pakpassion.net quoted Sohail, as saying.

    The country also formed Pakistan Super League (PSL) in 2015 and Sohail believes the league has further worsened the shape of the domestic cricket.

    Calling domestic cricket a nursery for growing good cricketers, Sohail said, "The very simple fact of the matter is that unless you concentrate on making the domestic structure better, your cricket and cricketers will never progress."

    Recently there was also news about the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, Pakistan's domestic first-class cricket championship, being scrapped and the rumour had disheartened the former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) selector.

    Reacting on it, he said, "I pray that it never happens, as this shows that some people have absolutely no idea or simply don't care about Pakistan cricket."

    Sohail batted for proper scheduling of domestic tournaments in order to make it easy for the players to manage committing to events.

    He said the ad-hoc scheduling of the domestic tournaments depict the ineptitude of the administration.

    "What I would have liked to see is that the PCB planning their domestic schedules one year in advance. But that is not the case now and the players end up committing to other leagues in the absence of any concrete information about Pakistan's domestic cricket schedule for the next season," he quipped.

    Comparing Pakistan cricket to that of India, Sohail said that the country is producing poor international cricketers due to low quality domestic pitches, which is not the case in India.

    "Poor batsmen are a by-product of low quality domestic pitches," he said

    He added, "The biggest tragedy afflicting our cricket at the moment is that our board is not spending money on aspects of our domestic game where it is needed most."

    Recalling the earlier days, Sohail said the country has not produced any quality batsman for a long time.

    "In my view, the few decent batsmen apart from the likes of Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq that Pakistan has produced in recent times are Asim Kamal, Salman Butt and more recently, Asad Shafiq," he said.

    Expressing deep concerns over the issue, Sohail concluded that Pakistan's batting is indeed in a state of crisis.(ANI)

    https://www.aninews.in/news/sports/c...2081718190003/

    https://www.brecorder.com/2017/12/08...se-of-failure/
    Last edited by Abdullah719; 8th December 2017 at 21:50.


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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRsohail View Post
    so performance against india does not count?Fakhar has one performance against india and look at the way he has been hyped,not taking anything away from him though.
    Uhmmm Fakhar had good performances in EVERY game during the CT.

    Salman Butt has a terrible TEST record.
    His ODI record is average. When you take out his games vs India its as terrible like his TEST record.

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    Agree with his views on domestic cricket but it would be pleasant miracle if Sethi who has proabably never watched a single domestic FC game sorts it out but i wont hold my breathe. As far as his views go Fakhar go, it is ironic that he mentions people that have achieved nothing for PK being compared to a guy that has won a trophy for PK. If Fakhar does nothing else in his career he has achieved more than Butt and Shafiq put together.

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    The issue is that the golden goose (PSL) is laying golden eggs. It's making many people wealthy and it's providing journalists etc with free trips to UAE, so there will be very little written about it.

    While the golden goose lays golden eggs, the rest of Pakistan's domestic cricket is being overlooked and treated like a stepsister. If this is not sorted out, then Pakistan's Test team will suffer very badly in the coming years.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    The issue is that the golden goose (PSL) is laying golden eggs. It's making many people wealthy and it's providing journalists etc with free trips to UAE, so there will be very little written about it.

    While the golden goose lays golden eggs, the rest of Pakistan's domestic cricket is being overlooked and treated like a stepsister. If this is not sorted out, then Pakistan's Test team will suffer very badly in the coming years.
    And do you think anyone in the PCB gives a monkeys? No is the simple answer, they are political appointees out to make a quick buck.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by pakistani pride View Post
    Uhmmm Fakhar had good performances in EVERY game during the CT.

    Salman Butt has a terrible TEST record.
    His ODI record is average. When you take out his games vs India its as terrible like his TEST record.
    his record was decent..33.5 average is not bad if u exclude his record against india and that was during one ball rule with no free hit and bla bla,
    he was terrible in tests but we are talking about LOI.i will take fakahr if his avrage is 35,,mean less than him qith strike rateabove hundred for that much amount of matches which salman played.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bewal Express View Post
    And do you think anyone in the PCB gives a monkeys? No is the simple answer, they are political appointees out to make a quick buck.
    When your pockets are being filled.
    When you and your family are travelling around the world for free.
    When you are an official and do nothing on a tour.

    Then there will be no complaints.



  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRsohail View Post
    his record was decent..33.5 average is not bad if u exclude his record against india and that was during one ball rule with no free hit and bla bla,
    he was terrible in tests but we are talking about LOI.i will take fakahr if his avrage is 35,,mean less than him qith strike rateabove hundred for that much amount of matches which salman played.
    Only against India and Bangla he has a good ODI record. Against all other teams its pathetic not too mention his poor SR.

    So NO he was not a good loi opener 10 years ago and also not now.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by pakistani pride View Post
    Only against India and Bangla he has a good ODI record. Against all other teams its pathetic not too mention his poor SR.

    So NO he was not a good loi opener 10 years ago and also not now.
    everyone has bad recoerd if u do like this.over all he was a good bat and we had not many options.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRsohail View Post
    everyone has bad recoerd if u do like this.over all he was a good bat and we had not many options.
    Yes cause the indian and bangla bowling are the standard in world cricket.

    Good batsmen dont struggle to hardly bat at a 70 odd SR.

  26. #26
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    Former chief selector Aamer Sohail believes Pakistan’s left-handed opener Fakhar Zaman has lost his Midas touch since being found out by oppositions after his 2017 Champions Trophy exploits.

    Fakhar scored a century in the final of the said event before pacer Mohammad Amir wreaked havoc on the India batting line-up to help Pakistan claim the coveted silverware.

    “It is a little sad to note that for all the success that Fakhar experienced during the Champions Trophy in the summer, he has been unable to repeat that in subsequent games,” Sohail wrote in an article for PakPassion. “The reason is simple and that is the fact that during the Champions Trophy, not many sides knew much about Fakhar. He was new and a surprise package for many opposing teams. Since then, other teams have worked him out and come up with ways to neutralise his threat.”

    Sohail then identified Fakhar’s weakness and rued the lack of support he’s been given to iron it out.

    “In my opinion, it is his back-lift and how he crouches before deliveries is where all his problems stem from. Regardless of what the actual issue is, the shocking aspect of all this is that despite having an army of coaches, no one has been able to help Fakhar resolve his problems,” he explained.

    He also complained about the useless information provided to young Pakistani players, which in his opinion, cause more problems than solving anything.

    “These coaches are incapable of helping a struggling batsman to improve his technique by giving him the right kind of information. Although there seems to be no dearth of unnecessary information provided to the player which only confuses the batsman without any obvious benefit. Without precise information, a player will continue to struggle and Fakhar is a good example of that failing,” Sohail concluded.

    https://tribune.com.pk/story/1580083...-aamer-sohail/


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    Quote Originally Posted by babajee View Post
    He lost me at Salman Butt and Asad Shafiq ....
    I know, It should have been Haris Sohail and Babar Azam.

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    In my view, the few decent batsmen apart from the likes of Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq that Pakistan has produced in recent times are Asim Kamal, Salman Butt and more recently, Asad Shafiq.

    The case of Taufeeq Umar is well known in this regard. To my eyes, he was the most talented and gifted opener, but we wasted him and discarded him.



    Do not let this man ever get a position for scouting talent...Just seem's like a classical former Pakistani player: Wonderful at complaining about everything under the sun with next to nothing in terms of substantial ideas, only dry comparisons with the old days and this and that needs to improve.
    Last edited by MenInG; 14th December 2017 at 20:14.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuzaifaE View Post
    In my view, the few decent batsmen apart from the likes of Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq that Pakistan has produced in recent times are Asim Kamal, Salman Butt and more recently, Asad Shafiq.

    The case of Taufeeq Umar is well known in this regard. To my eyes, he was the most talented and gifted opener, but we wasted him and discarded him.



    Do not let this man ever get a position for scouting talent...Just seem's like a classical former Pakistani player: Wonderful at complaining about everything under the sun with next to nothing in terms of substantial ideas, only dry comparisons with the old days and this and that needs to improve.
    so from the whole article, you could just find this? What about his views on quality of pitches/cricket etc? Do you have any views on that?


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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    so from the whole article, you could just find this? What about his views on quality of pitches/cricket etc? Do you have any views on that?
    There isn't really much to address, we KNOW infrastructure is an issue, we KNOW the pitches are horrible, we KNOW the ball quality is shocking. Nothing he said is a new perspective, the issue remains that when you have your talent coming through a system so vastly different to international cricket in terms of literally the game itself, from different pitch standards to ball changes, the very same technique and skillset that allowed you to come through the ranks is no translation of success.

    If you play in the Shield in Australia, you are playing on similar decks, facing similar challenges to what you would if you slapped on a baggy green, that is completely not the case for our cricketers. That's why I don't go after selectors for not giving a Sadaf or someone else a go - the job of our selectors is much more than that of accountants, we can't afford to filter our FC games by average and see who the best is, doesn't necessarily work like that like it does for Australia perhaps. It's about finding the players who can perform in international conditions, not who are best equipped to survive the QeA trophy.

  31. #31
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    Great match.


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  32. #32
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    An interim committee replaces another one?


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