"Sarfraz is our reserve opener" - Moin Khan
"Sarfraz career will be at risk if he opens" - Waqar Younis
"If there is one thing that can possibly be agreed upon in Pakistan cricket, it is that nobody agrees with anyone. And some will disagree with that." - George Dobell
That pretty much describes Pakistan cricket in a nutshell.
In this cricket crazy country, everyone is an analyst, everyone has an opinion, and everyone believes their opinion is right.
You go to Australia and everyone will tell you that Sir Don Bradman was the best batsman ever to play for Australia. Indians will say Sachin Tendulkar. West Indies' would say Sir Viv Richards.
What about the best batsman to ever play for Pakistan?
You go to Pakistan and you will be greeted to an endless debate about Javed Miandad and Inzamam Ul Haq. Some will throw in Mohammad Yousuf's name, while some will even mention Younis Khan! And then there will be that generation, which will dreamily talk about the era of Hanif Mohammad, Sadiq Mohammad, Zaheer Abbas et al.
Same story if you ask them about the best fast bowler to ever play for their country.
Glenn McGrath for Australia. Kapil Dev for India. Courtney Walsh for West Indies.
What about Pakistan? You'll hear something like this:
"Wasim Akram was the best"
"He tried to sabotage Waqar's career who was far better. If Waqar had not missed those years he would have more wickets than Wasim Akram"
"Imran Khan taught both of them what they knew. They were not better bowlers than Imran"
"Sarfraz Nawaz was the true inventor of reverse swing. Even Imran learned it from. Sarfraz was by far the best"
"You guys were not even born when Fazal Mahmood was putting Pakistan on the cricket map. There is no comparison"
"No one was faster than Shoaib Akhtar. Have you seen anyone clean bowl Sachin like that? Shoaib was the best ever"
"If Asif and Aamer did not listen to Salman Butt, they would have been better than Wasim and Waqar. Aamir will come back and show that hes the best ever"
"Sab choro yaar, Aaqib Javed sab se behtar tha!"
Hell, the debate will be endless even if you discuss wicketkeepers!
Rashid Latif and Moin Khan will be debated and then there will be some who will talk of Kamran Akmal having more catches and more hundreds than either of them. Oh and Wasim Bari for the ones who always talk about that era.
I don't think I can find a single statement that Pakistan's cricket management, experts, and fans will agree on.
Maybe that Imran Khan was the best captain the country ever had?
Not really. I have heard arguments that Javed Miandad was a better captain, and that Abdul Hafeez Kardar was the best one, and some even say that Misbah is better than both Imran and Miandad!
Maybe that Shahid Afridi is the best allrounder to play for the country?
Ha! Forget what the numbers say. Imran Khan, Abdul Razzaq, Azhar Mahmood have their backers. Even Wasim Akram has a few for that status!
What about Pakistan's team of the 90s being the best Pakistan team ever?
Nah, Imran Khan's team of the 80s was superior say many.
Oh wait I have found one I think.
1992 was the best World Cup ever for Pakistan!
That can't be disputed can it?
Ofcourse it can! 1999! So what if we lost the final? The team was stronger than the one in 1992. Yes, you will hear that!
Saeed Anwar is the best ever opener produced by Pakistan!
I think that might be it. The one statement that everyone will agree on.
Or do we have people who believe that Hanif Mohammad, Sadiq Mohammad, or Mohsin Khan were better?
Someone please find me one statement regarding our cricket that we can agree on.