Pakistan all-time XI.
Been looking forward to this by Cricinfo and now they’ve finally started selecting the Pakistani team. For the openers, an area where Pakistan have traditionally been very weak, I would go with Hanif Mohammad and Saeed Anwar. My all-time XI would be:
Imran Khan *
Wasim Bari +
Fazal Mahmood/Shoaib Akhtar (can’t decide which one of the two I want)
Imran batting 6 in all-time XI is way too high, but I wanted Pakistan's best keeper in Bari and...well he's not that great with the bat so I'm stuck. I thought about going with 4 bowlers to shore up the batting, but in the end decided I liked the 4 + 1 bowling balance too much. And hey, who needs batting when Imran and company are blowing away the opposing lineups right?
Had a good laugh reading this article from Cricinfo.
The anarcho-syndicalist splendour of PakistanIf cricket teams were political systems, we know what doctrine Afridi and Co would be
June 4, 2010
A few days ago Pakistan's captain Shahid Afridi said that "politics" in the team would not be tolerated. Comrade Shahid should know that cricketers from his land - that patch of earth sandwiched like a thin little sliver of cucumber between the two big chunks of cricketing superpower that are India and Afghanistan - have always been political radicals, revolutionaries, smash-the-system types. We don't just wear the Che Guevara t-shirt, we live the life. (Think of all the beards, and also, at least in Zaheer Abbas' case, of the penchant for cigars).
Now, since Pakistani cricketers are humans (though tests are still being done on Shoaib Akhtar) and therefore political animals, we inevitably squabble and scheme and swear oaths on holy books against team captains. I mean, who doesn't? But in the broader sense, Pakistan cricket is about sticking a middle finger up at politics, at government, at authority. If our team was placed in one of those political-spectrum diagrams I remember from PolSci courses at college, it would occupy the part from libertarianism through to full-fledged Molotov cocktail-flinging anarchism.
Just as taxation is theft, Pakistani cricketers see fielding for the good of the team at large as an unfair infringement on their individual rights. Just as it's the faceless monsters we call governments that send us to war to kill each other, Pakistani cricketers recognise the philosophical integrity of never following orders. The state has no right to tell us what to do; neither does Ijaz Butt. Or, for that matter, the team captain. Or even the batting partner at the other end screaming "Yes, yes, dammit, RUN. I said YES! RUN!" How dare he, the fascist.
We've always been a team of individuals, united by a common cause but not out of subjugation to a higher authority. Sometimes those individuals have been brilliant and we have done well. Other times those individuals have been less than brilliant and we have lost to Ireland.
Since Imran Khan retired in 1992, Pakistan have had 14 different Test captains, a clear case of power-sharing and true people power, as is only possible under our anarcho-syndicalist model. Australia, by comparison, have had just four Test captains since Allan Border retired in 1994. The power-hungry, undemocratic capitalist pigs.
My arguments here also put a new spin on our reputation for lawlessness. No, we were not tampering with the ball or fixing matches or taking nandrolone. We were liberating the cricketing masses from the evil tyranny they are too innocent to realise has kept them on their knees for centuries.
We have also contributed much to world cricket through our irreverence and innovation. As is accepted by everyone who knows their history, or more likely everyone who has seen the Apple "Think Different" advert, it is the wackos and freaks and geeks who change things, who take mankind forward. Think of the doosra, reverse-swing, the reverse-sweep (notice the proliferation of "reverse", i.e. turning things back, i.e. Viva La Revolucion). The system does not breed genius. And before you tell me that Australia have the best players in the world and also happen to have the best cricket structure, yes, before you tell me that, I will end this paragraph.
But what is a Pakistani captain to do? Our greatest cricketing success came under the near-dictatorial rule of Imran. Or so one would think. Javed Miandad actually has a better record as Test captain than the great King Khan, yet his premierships were beset by constant chaos and uncertainty.
So tune in to the Asia Cup and then the series in England this summer: the Revolution will most certainly be televised.
We all know these are dark times for Pakistan Cricket. One of the recent ills facing the team has been the lack of unity, which ultimately resulted in the bans of Yousaf and Younis. I read the article below and reminisced about the two great warriors of Pakistan cricket – Imran and Javed. This articles perfectly captures their complicated relationship and how they put the goal of winning for the country over their own petty differences. Ah, those were the days.
No third man
August 17, 2010
They were matched, yet mismatched; cozy allies, yet bitter rivals; bound by a common vision and purpose, yet also pushed apart by their backgrounds and polarised temperaments. At some point during their contemporaneous careers for Pakistan, Imran Khan and Javed Miandad grasped the prisoner's dilemma that circumstances had thrust upon them. Somehow they saw through the fog of bitterness and understood that they were better off collaborating than fighting. In the process, enough magic was unleashed to launch a golden age.
They say momentous eras are appreciated only in retrospect, but in this case, even at the time, most people were on to the fact. A landmark ODI victory in Sharjah, inaugural Test series wins in India and England, a contest for the ages on West Indian soil, and - the cherry on the cake - the World Cup in 1992. Pakistan had never come upon such riches before and haven't since.
Imran was born in 1952, Miandad in 1957. Their international debuts were four years apart, yet their rise to international fame was separated only by months. In 1976-77, Pakistan's great watershed season, Miandad made 504 runs from three Tests against New Zealand at 126, and Imran took 12 wickets in Sydney in Pakistan's first Test win in Australia. Team photographs from that period show these two standing at the edges with bemused, innocent expressions. They appear to have no awareness of the historic accomplishments that are to be their fate.
From these spectacular starts, they prospered and went from strength to strength, evolving a relationship that, to paraphrase Imran's biographer Christopher Sandford, was to be the making of modern Pakistani cricket. Despite this vital collaboration, it is no secret that these two did not quite see eye to eye. Even today it is difficult to extract praise from one for the other without a touch of grudge.
Much has been made of the Lahore-Karachi rivalry as the basis for the tensions between Imran and Miandad, but it probably had more to do with the taboo subject of social class. Both were burdened by it in their own way - one by having less, the other by having more. Approaching each other warily, they communicated the natural reactions of their ilk, and the resentments built up. Class may be a sensitive and uncomfortable topic, but it is one to which cricket - a sport that once distinguished between gentlemen and players - is hardly alien.
The slights Miandad perceived are specific, while Imran's are vague. In 1982, Imran declared on a featherbed pitch when Miandad was 280 not out and looked good for 400; this still gets Miandad seething. Imran was also the lynchpin in the rebellion against Miandad's initial spell of captaincy in 1981; this also continues to rankle. On the other hand, Imran's gripes are more about Miandad's scheming, penchant for confrontation, and capacity for political intrigue.
There wasn't a eureka moment, but sometime in the mid-1980s a penetrating hunger for team success forced them both to put their visceral feelings aside. Strip Imran of his cricket and he would still be accepted into Pakistan's most rarefied postcolonial enclaves; strip Miandad of his cricket and questions would be asked. The mutual genius of the two was to invert the premise of this hypothetical: instead of eliminating cricket attributes from their assessment of each other, they eliminated class attributes. Miandad still remains Pakistan's best batsman, and Imran Pakistan's best cricketer. This was the stark realisation.
Arguably, Miandad conceded more. Forced to make way for Imran, he was stripped of the captaincy and left friendless. He could have squandered his promise and burned out with anger and paranoia, yet he pulled himself together to faithfully serve as Imran's primary tactical advisor and Pakistan's batting mainstay. His family and friends helped, but the single biggest factor behind this turnaround was that Imran succeeded in earning his respect. The general view of Miandad conjuring up tactics and Imran barking the commands and motivating the troops is largely correct. There have been matches - the Bangalore Test from 1987 is perhaps the best example - when they were practically co-captains. By the late 1980s these two were essentially a team within the team.
Anecdotes are aplenty on this subject. A perennial favourite dates to Pakistan's round-robin match against South Africa in the World Cup of 1992. After a heartbreaking defeat in which Pakistan found themselves on the wrong side of the rain-interruption rule, Imran thundered into the pavilion and flung his bat across the dressing room. The rest of the team made itself scarce.
Photojournalist Iqbal Munir decided this was the moment to take a picture and stepped forward, but Wasim Akram stopped him. "Where do you think you're going?" said Akram. "The only person who can approach Imran right now is Javed." Sure enough, within minutes Miandad was at Imran's side, pacifying, counselling, cajoling.
The one blemish in Pakistan's otherwise idyllic era had been a heartbreaking loss in the 1987 World Cup semi-final in Lahore, where Imran and Miandad were separated during a crucial partnership. But it turned out to be a necessary setback that would prepare them for the ultimate finale. Five years later they found themselves in a World Cup final in Melbourne, and Miandad was walking out to join Imran at 24 for 2. Imran by this time was in the twilight of his career and Miandad nearly so. Pakistan being Pakistan, another wicket meant certain collapse. Miandad notes in his autobiography that they barely uttered a word to each other during what became a 139-run title-winning partnership. After all those years and all those ups and downs, there was no longer any need for it.
Today, Imran may be a marginalised politician and Miandad a marginalised cricket administrator, but in statistical archives, in history books, and indeed in the hearts and minds of the cricket-following public, they sit at the two ends of Pakistan cricket's table of grandmasters. Every now and then they can still be seen delivering some opinionated critique on television. It isn't quite the same as watching them play, but it's not a bad substitute. The style, vigour, wit and - most charmingly - deadpan disdain, are all there.
Recently, during an ODI in Dubai, television cameras captured the two watching the action, seated next to each other on plush sofas, absorbed in conversation. Imran, sporting dark glasses, appeared regal, declarative and forthright; Miandad appeared dismissive, cutting and often incredulous. Perhaps in deference to the die-hard, they seemed to be enacting the same old roles that had made them legends.
It's a fascinating and enjoyable read. One minor quibble was about the game 'on a featherbed' where Imran declared with Javed on 280 and 'looking set for 400'. Reading this, you'd think it was a high scoring draw. In fact, looking at the scorecard, Pakistan won by an innings, probably around lunch time on Day 5. I suppose Javed might be sore that he wasn't able to reach 300, but beyond that Imran got it exactly right in terms on the needs of the team.
Yes, i read that article only last night. That is the reason why they went to become the greats for Pakistan they concentrated more on there game then there differences in the way to play cricket or lead teams.
However, the fact that they were not able to influence similar change of mind in other players who later revolted against Miandad was a big set back and failure.
On top of the quality team they had put together it was there job, especially Imran's to instill in the younger players the same sentiments which very well have continued. Unfortunately, imo, both failed to do that...
Be VERY AFRIDI!!
On this note, Is the rumour that Wasim intentionally under-bowled Waqar during the mid-nineties due to their rivalry true?
Well i think pcb chief butt should be removed asap.
But since pakistan lacks democracy, its a hard nut to crack.
Besider the series in england is going f9 if not best.
Batsmen need to b a lot more patient.
Its better for Pakistanis to avoid ipl alltogether. Dont run behind money.
Playing for one's country is the best moment for'em.
All d best for 3rd test vs england.
We love indo-pak cricket rivalry.
Last edited by four_or_six; 17-08-2010 at 12:10 PM. Reason: Language
But you can't ever rule out these things in Pak cricket. For one thing i do know is that he may have under bowled in Waqar's captaincy....Plus his sitting out in the 1996 WC Quarter Final was also highly controversial...
Not relevant but any one following the T20 tournament in Pak?
I am really enjoying the domestic T20 cup at the moment....Karachi is being given a hard time by the Rams and Stallions got kicked out after 5 years of dominance. Hoping for a Karachi v Lahore...
2nd Semi Final was amazing...i wonder if highlights are available somewhere... what a mammoth total Karachi chased down...
Needless to say, supporting Karachi for the Final...Afridi and Razzaq having a go at each other would be good to watch...
Last edited by Faisal1985; 15-10-2010 at 02:38 PM.
Scorecard | Commentary | Wickets | Partnerships | Player v player | Over comparison | Over graphs | Career averages | Bulletin
Faysal Bank T-20 Cup - 2nd semi final
Karachi Dolphins v Rawalpindi Rams
Karachi Dolphins won by 5 wickets (with 7 balls remaining)
Twenty20 match | 2010/11 season
Played at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
15 October 2010 - day/night (20-over match)
Rawalpindi Rams innings (20 overs maximum) R B 4s 6s SR
Awais Zia c †Sarfraz Ahmed b Sohail Khan 5 6 1 0 83.33
Naved Malik c Sohail Khan b Azam Hussain 32 19 2 3 168.42
Babar Naeem c Asad Shafiq b Sohail Khan 62 38 6 2 163.15
Umar Amin c Tanvir Ahmed b Shahid Afridi 44 31 2 2 141.93
Naved Ashraf not out 22 15 1 1 146.66
Hammad Azam run out (Khalid Latif/†Sarfraz Ahmed) 17 10 2 0 170.00
Sohail Tanvir c Tanvir Ahmed b Sohail Khan 2 5 0 0 40.00
Extras (lb 1, w 15, nb 9) 25
Total (6 wickets; 20 overs) 209 (10.45 runs per over)
Did not bat Yasir Arafat*, Yasim Murtaza, Jamal Anwar†, Raza Hasan
Fall of wickets1-7 (Awais Zia, 1.1 ov), 2-69 (Naved Malik, 6.3 ov), 3-162 (Babar Naeem, 14.4 ov), 4-163 (Umar Amin, 15.1 ov), 5-203 (Hammad Azam, 18.5 ov), 6-209 (Sohail Tanvir, 19.6 ov)
Bowling O M R W Econ
Mohammad Sami 4 0 50 0 12.50 (2nb, 3w)
Sohail Khan 4 0 27 3 6.75 (1nb, 3w)
Tanvir Ahmed 4 0 50 0 12.50 (1nb, 2w)
Azam Hussain 2 0 28 1 14.00
Shahid Afridi 4 0 34 1 8.50 (2w)
Khalid Latif 2 0 19 0 9.50 (1w)
Karachi Dolphins innings (target: 210 runs from 20 overs) R M B 4s 6s SR
Shahzaib Hasan not out 71 93 51 3 4 139.21
Khalid Latif b Sohail Tanvir 2 10 4 0 0 50.00
Asad Shafiq st †Jamal Anwar b Raza Hasan 9 12 9 1 0 100.00
Fawad Alam b Yasim Murtaza 31 20 15 5 0 206.66
Shahid Afridi* c Umar Amin b Babar Naeem 38 12 12 2 4 316.66
Afsar Nawaz c †Jamal Anwar b Hammad Azam 16 20 11 2 0 145.45
Sarfraz Ahmed† not out 22 14 13 3 0 169.23
Extras (lb 6, w 11, nb 4) 21
Total (5 wickets; 18.5 overs; 93 mins) 210 (11.15 runs per over)
Did not bat Mohammad Sami, Tanvir Ahmed, Azam Hussain, Sohail Khan
Fall of wickets1-22 (Khalid Latif, 2.1 ov), 2-40 (Asad Shafiq, 4.2 ov), 3-92 (Fawad Alam, 8.4 ov), 4-136 (Shahid Afridi, 11.4 ov), 5-179 (Afsar Nawaz, 15.5 ov)
Bowling O M R W Econ
Sohail Tanvir 3 0 41 1 13.66 (4w)
Yasir Arafat 3.5 0 31 0 8.08 (2w)
Raza Hasan 4 0 30 1 7.50
Hammad Azam 2 0 32 1 16.00 (2nb)
Yasim Murtaza 4 0 41 1 10.25 (1w)
Babar Naeem 2 0 29 1 14.50
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