Have Whatmore and our selectors failed us?

Pakistan needs to take extreme steps; replace aging players like Misbahul Haq and Younus Khan.

Fawad Hussain February 27, 2013
If the Pakistan Test team was a stock, and Dav Whatmore was a chairman of the board, the stock price would have fallen through the floor and Whatmore would have been replaced. If the PCB selection committee was the board of directors, they would be fending off angry shareholders and most likely in danger of losing their seats as well.

Unfortunately, the Pakistan Cricket Board has no shareholders to answer to.

It’s been one year since Dav Whatmore took over, and the same goes for the selection committee. The company has gone bankrupt. What happened in South Africa underlines the fact that both Whatmore and the national selectors have failed to deliver the goods. The former Australian Test cricketer was picked after much lobbying by a high-powered committee headed by senior PCB official and former national coach Intikhab Alam.

Alam’s panel was adamant to rope in Whatmore who is still remembered as a mastermind of Sri Lanka’s maiden World Cup victory in 1996 besides guiding Bangladesh to their first World Cup Super-Eight qualification in 2007.

Whatmore was appointed at the cost of ex-Test opener Mohsin Khan after he guided Pakistan to a stunning 3-0 whitewash against England, the then number one Test team, early last year. The argument was that Whatmore was more experienced and qualified as a coach and a tough task-master, but with all due respect to the Aussie, Pakistan has hardly made any progress under him.

The Asia Cup triumph may have been right after Whatmore took charge, but he cannot be credited with this achievement. The team, which was on road to recovery in Tests after a disastrous tour of England in 2010 failed to win a single Test out of six matches under Whatmore, losing the series against Sri Lanka before suffering a thrashing at the hands of the Proteas.

The team’s ODI performance has not been much better apart from a 2-1 win over India, in India. Pakistan lost a five-match series to Sri Lanka by 3-1 and lost the home series against Australia in the UAE by 2-1.

Alam told me at the time of Whatmore’s appointment to not expect anything overnight. I think a year is long enough.

Selectors’ disappoint as well

The recent loss has also triggered calls for the resignation of the selection committee and these are not entirely without merit.

Iqbal Qasim, a former Test cricketer and a humble personality hasn’t learned from his last tenure as chief selector which ended in a resignation after Pakistan’s winless tour of Australia in 2009-10.

Pakistan needs to replace aging players like Misbahul Haq and Younus Khan — the former left-arm spinner showed little spine and lack of consistency in selection. And the recent capitulation with the recall of Shahid Afridi also shows that there is no vision and future plans. The committee did introduce precious few new faces – Shakeel Ansar (wicket-keeper), Ayub Dogar, Rahat Ali, Afaq Rahim (Azad Kashmir), Asad Ali, Ehsan Adil, Zulfiqar Babar and Haris Sohail but none of them were given a consistent chance.

Bowlers like Atif Maqbool and Aizaz Cheema were ignored despite their phenomenal performance this domestic season.

If Pakistan cricket is to be revived, extreme steps have to be taken.

Read more by Fawad here.
Fawad Hussain
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

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