Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Response to Dr. Nasim Ashraf

Dr. Nasim Ashraf (DNA), the man repsonsible for running Pakistan cricket, has written a strong worded letter to the Pakistan team management and asked them a number of questions regarding Pakistan's pathetic display in the field against India on Tuesday.

Directed to Talat Ali and CCed to Geoff Lawson and Shoaib Malik, the letter appeared in today's edition of DAWN, Pakistan's daily newspaper.

In the letter, DNA requests a response to all his questions within 24 hours.

I don't know when or how Talat, Lawson, and Malik are going to repsond to the letter but I thought I would also take a shot at answering some of the questions DNA raised.

I will answer them with my answers as well as what I think the Team Management (TM) will say.

However, before that, I would like to ask one question of my own.

Why or how is a letter, that should be stamped "Private & Confidential", get into the hands of DAWN?

On to DNA's questions.

DNA: "...... you clearly told me that Malik was 100 per cent fit and therefore was the second spinner in the side. What happened to that? Why did Malik not bowl?"

TM: Doc Saahab, Malik was 100% fit going into the match and he had planned on bowling but during India's innings, Malik felt pain in his shoulder which prevented him from bowling. His shoulder is 100% now and he will take the field on Saturday if we reach the final.

Q: Malik was the 2nd spinner in the team but he was not confident of bowling. The Indian batsmen were in very good form and everyone was being hit around so Malik did not want to bowl on such a situation. He is 100% fit and the shoulder was just an excuse. His lack of coinfidence is very visible, please replace him as captain as Pakistan requires a more aggressive and confident captain.

DNA: "After the Indian opening pair started to hit us all over the was fairly obvious that something needed to be done to break their momentum. .... Nobody suggested to the captain that he must have a mini conference ..... Even the commentators (about) bringing in Shahid Afridi at an early stage"

TM: We had planned to bowl only the fast bowlers in the first 20 overs and we stuck to that plan which paid off when Wahab Riaz got the wickets of Sehwag and Gambhir. With the way they were batting Afridi would not have been a good option as he also would have gone for runs.

Q: Sir with all due respect, at first I would like to point out that if we started listening to commentators, you would not be Chairman, Malik would not be captain, and half of Pakistan's squad would be sitting at home watching the match on TV. Secondly, I do agree with you though, Malik should have been more proactive and should have brought on Afridi earlier. He failed to budge from what was discussed in the team meeting. He has shown a lack of creativity, thus I request you to think about a new captain.

DNA: "Even if that was not the strategy, at least the fast bowlers should have been advised not to over extend themselves (more than 22 wides and a total of 38 extras) ....It seemed as if we were just continuing with tactics that were clearly not working! We need to be more proactive on the field!"

TM: We had asked the fast bowlers to stick to a line and length but their plans did not come off. They had an off day. We are confident that they will come good soon.

Q: Exactly what I said in my previous answer sir. Let me also correct you that they are not fast bowlers but medium pacers. The extras has been a problem since you sacked Waqar Younis as bowling coach. I request you to re-hire him.

DNA: "Wicketkeeping was pathetic, especially after Kamran Akmal dropped the catch and pretended that he had held on to it. This is unsporting behaviour..... I do not want such behaviour from any Pakistani player.....We ought to be looking at playing another ‘keeper."

TM: Kamran did not realise that he had dropped the ball. He is working hard in the nets and we hope that he will come good.

Q: Sir, the players behavious is similar to your board. They say one thing, do another thing, act as if they have done something else, and then talk about what they haven't done. As for Kamran Akmal, please read this.

DNA: "If you look at Sehwag run map, he almost had 50 runs on the leg side which is something that he has never done in the past."

TM: The fast bowlers could not stick to one line as the left-right combination was disturbing them. They are working hard in the nets and will come good soon.

Q: I am truly impressed with your analysis of Sehwag's innings. I did not know that you analyze innings to such an extent. That said, the bowlers should take this into account when they take the field next time against him. Even if Sehwag is strong on the off stump, he has fallen on numerous occasions while edging to the keeper and the slip cordon. The pacers will be informed about this.

DNA: "The positives were that Afridi bowled very well and Malik got his 50 but then Afridi threw his wicket away in a most irresponsible manner."

TM: Afridi has done a very good job with the ball and we are pleased that Malik is back into form. Had Afridi stayed longer at the crease, Paksitan could have got closer to the target.

Q: Afridi is out best bowler sir and he showed that in the match, however we cannot expect a lot of runs from him. Those expectations are wrong. Malik did get a 50 but it was in a losing cause and his innings did not mean much. He should be batting higher up and scoring more runs that will have an impact on the match. Please replace him as skipper so that he can be used as a batsman like before.

DNA: "At least our strategy after losing early wickets should have been to bat out the 50 overs."

TM: We had to go for the runs and thus lost wickets in our effort to chase.

Q: It was a pathetic batting display but the batsmen couldn't do much after the bowlers had given away 330. The batsmen had no hope of getting there.

DNA: "I intend to reach Dhaka on Saturday, Inshallah, at noon time and would like to have a meeting first with you, the captain, the coach and the vice-captain immediately, and then later in the evening a meeting with the full team."

TM: We are waiting for your arrival Doc Saahab. The team needs you.

Q: Sir, with all due respect, I do not think it is a good idea for you to come down on Saturday. It will put undue pressure on the team, which is already very high following the largest defeat at the hands of the Indians. The team would like to concentrate on the cricket and the upcoming final, thus it would be a better idea if the team is given time to prepare and think among themselves of how to best approach Saturday's final.

Thank you for your support.

Best regards,

Talat Ali, Geoff Lawson, Shoaib Malik.

And Q.

Make your pitch on this post...

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6 Pitched:

  1. Anonymous said...

    what's wrong with the pcb ... they now have sacked saleem altaf ... the never-ending drama chronicling the death of the game in the country continues under the inapt direction of doc saab.

    though altaf shouldn't have been in the setup in the first place ... it's just that the doc sahab has a serious problem with managing PR for himself and his org ... making sure that his stupid mail is in the bylines of the newspapers for another week or so.

    anyways - is it just me or others too feel slightly sorry for the man who appeared with a vehemently perturbed waqar - to take the fall of one of doc saab's innumerable blunders on national television?

  2. Anonymous said...

    Q no inside sources in PCB ? Give us some info on firing of Saleem Altaf ( am i the only one happy abt it ?)
    From the news reports it sound more like a spy agency then cricket board !

  3. Anonymous said...

    Priceless one, Q.

  4. Q said...

    I saw that anon.

  5. Q said...

    AMK, I've heard too many stories about Saleem Altaf and his stints in AD and with the PCB - it really doesnt matter whether he was fired or not because the PCB is full of people like him.. firing him will not do much good, they need to get rid of all of them.

  6. Q said...

    Thanks VM.

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