Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Talent Cycle

"Give me the same players who were part of the team in the 90s ... and see the result. We don't have the same talent that we had in the 80s and 90s and we have to accept that as a reality."

For once I believe Dr. Nasim Ashraf has made sense.

Its sad but its true.

All countries go through their own talent cycles.

West Indies have suffered the most in this regard dominating cricket through the 70s and 80s only to find themselves low down the rating for the last 15 years or so.

India have experienced the opposite trend with the emergence of new talent that is far ahead of the batsmen and the bowlers of the 90s.

Australia seemed to have overcome this talent-cycle by establishing a strong system that creates and provides a never ending supply of talented cricketers.

Though even they faced a hurdle during the mid 80s with the exodus of a number of big names and it was left to Allan Border to build a young team.

Since then though, Australia has been able to make sure that succession is easy and successful.

Sri Lanka have relied on a number of old hands of the 90s who have continued to play during this decade. Jayasuriya, Murali, and Vaas will soon move on and when Jayawardene and Sanga do the same in 3-4 years they could face what the Windies have and what Pakistan are.

New Zealand have very recently experienced the downward trend of the talent cycle with the departure of players like Stephen Fleming, Nathan Astle, Chris Cairns, Craig McMillan, and Shane Bond.

England and South Africa are 2 countries that seem to intrigue me. I don't think either has faced a downward or an upward trend in the talent cycle.

They have both produced the same boring and unexciting cricketers for years and years with the exceptions of the Steyns (Donald) and the Morkels (Klusener, McMillan) and the Flintoffs and the Pietersens.

Despite all this, I think Pakistan has still done alright.

They are still the unpredictable team they were in the 90s when they had all those supremely talented players.

They were never a consistent team back then, nor are they one now.

So despite not having the Saeed Anwars, Amir Sohails, Inzamams, Miandads, Wasim Akrams, Waqar Younises, Rashid Latifs, Moin Khans, Saqlains, Mushtaqs, Razzaks, Ijaz Ahmeds, and others, not much has changed has it?

Make your pitch on this post...

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4 Pitched:

  1. amk said...

    spare a thought for Aamir shohail , who everyone love to hate when he used to bat, now we can appreciate his importance. As he was part of a opening partnership, which we havent been able to repeat since he left ! ( i still hate his arrogance )

  2. khansahab said...


    I can see why you are making these assumptions and I do respect this view, that there is a lack of talent. But I think the reason why we don't have great players anymore is because of the way so much international cricket is affecting players and how the PCB has also worsened and has become a corrupt and inept organisation.

    The same players- Yousuf, Malik, Younis, Afridi, Misbah, Butt, on their day they can become the best batsmen in the world and are compared with Ponting, Tendulkar, Lara etc. If there was a lack of ability or talent I don't think we would have seen Pakistan beating India convincingly as they did the other day when Younis struck a match winning century. In the same way, remember how Pakistan beat South Africa by a huge margin last year. I think Afridi made 80 odd in that match and Yousuf made a 100.

    Too much international cricket, the pressure, the money and glamour has made these cricketers think of the international game as a process only, something that needs to be done for the sake of doing it. Meanwhile the PCB has just become a battleground for clash of personalities, all the PCB seems to be doing is getting involved in tussles and scandals. Whether that is the problem with players taking drugs, problems with the coach, problems with other cricket boards over tours, or whatever there may be.

    So an organisation that is always involved in scandals and crisis, how can we expect this Board to do good for the Pakistan cricket team? All of this affects motivation and morale of the company and its employees.

    That is why what is needed in the PCB are radical changes. But firstly these players and this coach need to be sacked. The ideal situation is, seniors should be sacked, make Afridi captain and see how he performs leading juniors. It is a gamble, but he is experienced and has a good record captaining domestic teams. If domestic performance is anything to get by he definitely deserves appointment as captain.

  3. Q said...

    I used to like Aamir Sohail the batsman, but ive lost all respect for him since he started commentating.

  4. Q said...

    Khansahab, all the problems that u have highlighted are not new - since I have watched Pakistan play cricket, from the late 80s, they have never been a consistent side.

    I agree that the talent has diminished to a certain extent but the results remain the same.

    Take 1992 for example. We played really badly at the start of the WC and then we turned it around to win it.

    Right after that we lost 4-1 to Eng in an ODI series and were thrashed in the World Series in Australia and lost a lot of ODIs including one in which we got bowled out for 43 - the players were the same who won the WC in 92.

    It went on like that throughout the 90s - we won some matches with conviction that made us look like world champs, but at the same time we lost matches that made us look like a minnow side.

    Im not saying this to cover up the problems facing Pakistan cricket, but all im pointing out is that these problems are not new - they've been there for 2 decades - corrupt officials, favorbale selections, factions within the team, selfish players, unprofessional attitude, and so on. These things have been present in Pakistan cricket for as long as Pakistan cricket has been alive.

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