Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Losing Yousuf

PCB has proven to be brainless in many ways, and scheduling the Champions Trophy entirely in Ramadan is perhaps the most incredible move of all. Not only is it a bit of a logistical mess, it also means Pakistan will lose its most solid batsman:
Cricinfo has learnt that Yousuf will be unavailable because the tournament will be played during the month of Ramadan. "Yousuf has asked to be excused from the Champions Trophy as it will be held during Ramadan and he does not want to be playing during that month," a source close to the selection committee told Cricinfo. "We have respected that decision and not picked him in the squad." [LINK]

I'm not one for mixing religion and anything, but I find Yousuf's decision completely fair. It is PCB who should be slapped a million times over in the face for this horrific scheduling.

Outside of the Yousuf situation, think of all the security officials, the crowds, the groundskeepers, players, etc. - all who will probably be fasting, and will want to break their fast at one specific time. Not only that, they will probably want to say their prayers too, as is customary at breaking fast time, so you need facilities for that. And it also involves washing up in a bathroom, which means thousands of people will attack the stadium bathrooms at the same time. I do not envy the head of logistics and operations for this tournament!

A couple of positive notes - the innings break can be easily timed with the fast breaking (iftari) time, which helps a bit. And, Pakistan won the 1992 World Cup during Ramadan.

I really wonder if there's any sane person in the PCB. I'd love to blame DNA & Co once again, but I think the dates for the Champions Trophy were decided together by the ICC and a previous PCB administration. So the stupidity just comes with the territory I guess.

Make your pitch on this post...

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8 Pitched:

  1. Anonymous said...

    PCB had to do something to keep the team's vulnerability intact, the inclusion of Shoaib perfectly compensated with the loss of Yousuf.

  2. Q said...

    I believe it is the ICC that schedules the dates of the Champions Trophy as per their FTP... I doubt the hosting country has any say - they r given the dates and they have to hold it..

    Though there is something called negotiation and the PCB are very good at that so if they really wanted to could had their way and held the tounament at some other time..

  3. BiLo said...

    I don't think anyone, currently, can be even close to be compared as a replacement for Yousuf. And also shoaib is a bowler, and from my limited experience and knowledge you would require a batsmen to replace a batsmen.

    I also, wanted to punch in a few words in admiring the commitment of Muhammad Yousuf towards his religion. I think PCB should have objected the scheduling in the first place even if the dates were proposed by ICC

  4. Anonymous said...


    I guess you failed to understand the sarcasm.
    During the last three years for some strange reasons Pakistan has barely fielded its #1 squad or full strength squad in any series, either its the bans, or fitness problems,or players pulling out for strange reasons just before the series or soon after the series,hence making the team vulnerable.
    The inclusion of Shoaib was a good omen and just when everything was looking fine first the Asif incident and now Yousuf Pulling out has again nullified the inclusion of Shoaib.

  5. SledgeHammer said...

    @bilo: I think the PCB didn't object because they had no clue. ICC said September 2008, PCB said sure. They didn't even bother to think about any potential conflicts, e.g. Ramadan.

    What I like about Yousuf's attitude in this case is that he is keeping his beliefs personal. He didn't criticize ICC/PCB for holding the tournament during Ramadan, he isn't asking other players to skip either. It's his own personal belief. And that's the way it should be.

  6. Anonymous said...

    Q am dumbfounded... so what is the message that PCB is conveying to the rest of the team and the world... as far as i'm concerned, he is using the indispensable clout... it is growing big in him.

  7. SledgeHammer said...

    @scorpicity: Well, that is true. Technically the PCB could say that Yousuf's place is in jeopardy for future series based on this decision. But, here are the two problems:

    1) Yousuf is, as you say, basically indispensable.

    2) PCB will get royally screwed if they took any action against a person taking a break for Islamic reasons, esp Ramzan. It's just not worth the bad publicity, the possible reaction, etc.

  8. Q said...

    Scorps, I agree with Sledge here.. to point fingers at someone because of his personal religious beliefs would have been a problem in Pak..

    Plus also as Sledge pointed out, the fact that YOusuf has done this without imposing his views says a lot about the man.

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