Sir: Again we lost to India a match that was very winnable. The only problem with our cricket is that it is being led by nincompoops, who may be very good in their own spheres of professional and sporting activity, but alas, know nothing about the leadership requirements of cricket. On this account, there is no need to single out the incompetence of the Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) or his think-tank wizards. It is sufficient to explain the problem with the relevant definition of a leader: “A good manager ensures that ladder is being climbed efficiently by his men. However, a good leader is responsible for the ladder leaning against the right wall.”
Despite the fact that all the requirements for winning the T20 World Cup were known well in advance to all and sundry in the PCB after an analysis titled How the Asia Cup was lost was published, still the PCB think-tank, comprising the manager, chief batting consultant, head coach and the captain made certain cardinal blunders during the match versus India, explained as follows. First, it is a rule of thumb to ‘select horses for the right courses’. But the PCB ‘brains’ made sure that the wrong players were selected for the One Day International (ODI) and T20 games, over the fresh legs of many other budding youngsters. Rather than losing with oldies, who have passed their expiry dates, we should not be afraid of losing with players who can truly be called a future investment. Second, there was no need to play unfit players. There is no harm in sending them back and calling in replacements. Third, most T20 games are won or lost in the first six power-play overs. In fact a team should aim for a minimum of 60 runs in the first six overs. Our team scored just over half of that target, i.e. 34 runs. Fourth, playing dot balls must be avoided, as it is the biggest crime in ODI and T20 games. What we did was amazing, to say the least. We played 51 dot balls out of the total available 120 balls, which meant that instead of utilising 20 overs, we wasted almost nine and played only 11. One can’t imagine beating a team weaker than India after batting for just 11 overs. Fifth, it was obvious that there was no room for certain players and their performance was no surprise to any person with rudimentary knowledge of the game, considering their technique, past performances and age. But this glaring issue that is destroying our team’s balance is not being addressed by our so called think-tank at the PCB. It seems this ‘tank’ is doing everything except thinking. Sixth, the weaknesses of our team’s fielding is not being attended to by the so-called fielding coach, about whom the captain already gave his opinion in a media interview before leaving for Bangladesh. Seventh, the captain must be asked to explain his reasons for giving the fourth over of the match to Umar Gul, who had an economy rate of 10 runs per over in the match, while keeping his own and Junaid Khan’s overs unutilised though their economy rates on the day were 4.66 and 7.66 respectively.
Also, we must find the PCB staff member responsible for purchasing sub-standard kits for the Pakistani team. The shape and stitching of the cap our captain wore was pathetic and was in no comparison to the cap of his Indian counterpart. The Chairman PCB must conduct an urgent inquiry into the purchase of miserably substandard and pitiable kits for our national team and hand over the person responsible to the law enforcement authorities for defaming Pakistan’s prestige, image and reputation. The inquiry should also encompass the possibility of any direct or indirect connection of any PCB insider with the firm that provided the kits to the PCB. This step will help ensure transparency and enhance its image and reputation. I also have many more suggestions for the improvement of our team that maybe the PCB should listen to.
SYED NAYYARUDDIN AHMAD