Thursday, October 9, 2008

Lots of Questions Marks

This week has been an eventful one for Pakistan cricket.

In the span of 2 days one witnessed the Law Minister holding a meeting with 5 leading cricketers, the announcement of Pakistan's squad for the 20-20 quadrangular in Canada, the announcement of a new PCB Chairman, and the resignation of the Chief Selector.

Were all these events connected to each other?

As news reports would tell you, they most definitely were.

But there's more to it than meets the eye.

The appointment of Ijaz Butt was expected months ago. Cricket Files and Leg Slip had both discussed it in August soon after Nasim Ashraf's resignation.

Then why did it take so long for the announcement to be made public?

Why did Najamuddin Khan, the Sports Minister, and Farooq Naek, the Law Minister, get involved in these cricket politics?

Why did Salahuddin Ahmed resign as soon as the Pakistan team for Canada was announced?

Who inducted Shoaib Khan into the squad instead of Saeed Ajmal?

Who included Khalid Latif in the squad in place of Nasir Jamshed?

Who picked 6 fast bowlers and no spinners in the 15 man squad?

Why was the issue of Shoaib Akhtar's fine ignored all of a sudden?

Were Mohammad Yousuf's and Yasir Arafat's visas for Canada really rejected?

Why haven't Saleem Jaffar and Shafqat Rana, the other 2 selectors, resigned?

Why did Saleem Altaf, who had been sacked by Nasim Ashraf, accompany Ijaz Butt to the press conference?

Why is the Pakistan media projecting an amicable resignation, while Cricinfo is reporting one done through disgust?

There is a lot happening behind the scenes in Pakistan and I don't have the answers to a lot of these questions. But I sure do want to know.

Probably more stories will come out in the open over the next few days.

Either way I am sure to have more answers than questions after the weekend.

Pakistan also begins its T20 quadrangular campaign tomorrow against Canada followed by matches against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe on the next 2 days. I will cover this after the weekend as well.

Till then...

Make your pitch on this post...

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4 Pitched:

  1. Anonymous said...

    Yeah I also thought about the visa problem. I don't think Yousuf is T20 material but what was wrong with Arafat's visa?

    I don't think anything was wrong. I didn't like Arafat when he made his debut but now he has improved a lot and deserves to play at least in T20 and ODI's.

    Either he doesn't have sources or he has been involved in match fixing or something dodgy.

  2. Anonymous said...

    I guess Ejaz Butt promised the highest cut to Mr 10%, it took him a while to win the job as other offers were also being weighed.

    It was reported in Jang that PCB sent the list of players to Ministry of Sports in which Saeed Ajmal's name was included as a replacement for Yasir Arafat but whosoever approved the list scratched the name of Saeed and put Shoaib Khan's name. It was done before Ejaz Butt took charge or the notification of his appointment was made public.
    Khalid Latif was selected by Mr Sallu.
    Mr Sallu also selected 6 fast bowlers but he included Saeed Ajmal as Yasir Arafat's replacement.

    I think Pakistan will be OK in the spin department both Afridi and Malik bowled well in the RBS, Fawad should play as a batsman only he is in good batting form, the thing which is going to hurt Pakistan the most is the lack of an enforcer up top and lower down the order, Khalid Latif is not an aggressive batsman and Afridi's batting woes are still there. Sohail Tnvir hasn't improved his batting.

    Saleem Altaf is doing the same what he did when Nasim Ashraf took control i.e Licking the balls of the new boss.

    The big question is who is going to be appointed as the new chief selector? I know Aamir Sohail has close association with Ejaz Butt, I think Ejaz Butt will make a huge mistake if he appoints Aamir as the chief selector the guy is a lose cannon. Although Aamir was not involved in match fixing but he doesn't have a stable mind. He might end the careers of several key players as he did last time on the job.

    PCB is gradually progressing towards neutral venues something which I suspected to happen when the Dubai deal was made, that deal is shady, no details about the deal have been made public so far as promised by PCB earlier, and I won't be surprised if Pakistan's domestic matches transfer to Dubai as a part of that deal, thats where probably Mr 10% will get his cut from, and probably thats why the announcement of Mr Butt was with held for so long, now he can easily say the deal was done before his appointment.

  3. Q said...

    Khansahab, I dont think Arafat is involved with match fixing... he's too raw for that.. he's just under rated i think. I remember earlier how the presence of Razzak and Azhar Mahmood kept him out of the side but after these 2 allrounders he was the natural replacement.. he's a very good bowler!

  4. Q said...

    Thats an interesting point u make about Dubai Wasim. Could be true considering Zardari's connections with Dubai.

    As for Aamir Sohail - he needs to be kept as far away from the board as possible!

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