By Obaid ur Rehman
In the last couple of years, Pakistan Cricket has been through to massive downfall due to poor performance of team and infrastructure of Pakistan Cricket Board. Since the shocking earlier exit of Pakistan Cricket team from 2007 Cricket World Cup in Caribbean, Pakistan cricket could not really maintain the top rankings on the table, particularly in ODI Cricket. A lot of changes have been made in cricket team particularly in last four to five years. Too many captains were being introduced for different sides, various national and international coaches also tried their best to deliver good results, but it was a dilemma, we can say, that Pakistan Cricket could not revive its long lost status in spite of all the so called efforts from PCB.
After extremely disappointing performance in Asia Cup and World T20 a couple of months ago, Cricket of Pakistan became the hot topic to be discussed everywhere. Due to the constant decline of our cricket, we are not even sure that either Pakistan would play the 2019’s Cricket World Cup or not, because by the end of this year, World Number 9 Pakistan needs to be in top 8 teams in ICC ODI Rankings, otherwise Pakistan who became World Champions in 1992 and ruled the cricketing world in the era of 90s, might even have to go through to the qualifying round to play the 2019 World Cup. God Forbid, if that happens, that would be the darkest era of Pakistan Cricket and embarrassing moment for this nation. As per the current position of Pakistan Cricket team, it somehow looks doubtful about getting into top 8 in rankings by the end of this calendar.
Considering these probabilities, Pakistan Cricket Board has decided to take bold initiatives. Finally PCB has realized that matters of cricket should be supervised by experienced and qualified people. PCB has first appointed one of the greats of Pakistan cricket and ex skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq as the Chief Selector of PCB and Mickey Arthur, former South African and Australian Coach, as the new Head Coach of Pakistan Cricket Team. These recent appointments in Pakistan Cricket Board reflect that something good might be going to happen in Pakistan’s cricket. Inzamam and Arthur are two big names in cricket, Inzamam has been one of the greatest batsmen ever the cricket has produced so far, whereas Mickey Arthur has been the coach of South Africa and Australia and he bears strong international exposure of coaching.
Inzamam-ul-Haq being as one of the greatest batsmen of Pakistan cricket and now as the Chief Selector of the national side, will ensure the selection of eligible players completely on merit so that Pakistan Cricket starts producing better results being on the right track. Selection on merit has always been a major concern in Pakistan’s cricket. Appointing Inzamam-ul-Haq as the chief selector gives us a hope that now there won’t be such kind of issues regarding to the selection of players because of Inzamam’s strong character as a person and his dedicated commitment towards his job. The vast cricket experience that Inzamam has will also be definitely helping Pakistan’s cricket and our batsmen too. On the other hand, Mickey Arthur has an impressive coaching background being as the Head Coach of South Africa and Australia for several years. His services will surely raise the standards of Pakistan Cricket team.
With Inzamam-ul-Haq as a chief selector and Mickey Arthur as head coach, we can certainly expect that in near future, Pakistan would start giving better performances against the cricket giants as well. These new dynamics hopefully will contribute to their level best so that we can rule the ranking-tables once again. It will definitely take time, but positive approach from every department can produce such kind of amazing results, without any doubt. Right now, Pakistan’s position in cricket is not impressive except Test Cricket where we are World Number 3. PCB should revise its plans and try to organize Pakistan’s tour to those countries where there are bouncy tracks so that our players can get useful of such pitches. A couple of tours to the countries like Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, England every year will be very useful for our players to get adjusted and make themselves use to of playing in difficult conditions.
Apart from that, it also becomes the responsibility of players as well to give their hundred percent for Pakistan. Players not only need to play for their country with extreme devotion without having any personal interests but they also have to respect their captain whoever he is and be the team men. They should be disciplined and try their level best to avoid any controversy too. Pakistan will be touring England this July to play Test ODI and T20 Series. This tour will be very important for Pakistan as it will determine our strength on bouncy tracks. Being Pakistanis, we wish our green shirts all the best and we hope that men in green will give impressive results and win the series for the country.
The writer is Islamabad based Journalist and a Research Analyst.