Karachi doesn’t have it anymore

The southern city has mostly played second fiddle to its culturally-superior counterpart.

Anees Mehmood May 11, 2011
The tour of England last summer might have stepped over the line when it came to the variety of news delivered to people’s doorsteps (shock results, records broken, surprises, resistance and controversies) but it also reignited the hotly-debated or argument that has been in existence for far too long: the rivalry between Karachi and Punjab.

The southern city has mostly played second fiddle to its culturally-superior counterpart, the class oozes a tad more in the north and talent has been ever so abundant in Lahore with Karachi feeling left out as a result.

Mohsin Khan was recently unhappy with his boss – and his team that is Pakistan cricket’s selection committee – over the alleged omission of Karachi-based players from the Test squad. Karachi’s own cricket association, the Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA), has shared its displeasure on the same issue time and again, even blaming the selectors for being involved with fixers given their preference for non-Karachi players.

But why can’t they come to terms with the fact that Karachi isn’t producing class anymore? Why can’t they see that there is no comparison between Misbahul Haq and Faisal Iqbal and that Khurram Manzoor is in no way a like-for-like replacement for Azhar Ali? While Fawad Alam’s continuous omission from the five-day format puzzles all – especially given that it is the only format he is still good at – him replacing Umar Akmal was a question best left unanswered. Or not even a question at all given Umar’s resurgence to reach his zenith that once was and Azhar’s defiance that continuously gathers followers with each passing day.

Iqbal hasn’t played for Pakistan since last January and his last six innings have fetched him a solitary half-century. Misbah, now Pakistan’s Test captain, has scored nothing but half-centuries in as many outings, half of them unbeaten. Azhar defied Australia and England last year, learning as he watched the opposition from close – fielding at short-leg – and breaking the 90-run mark twice. Manzoor, despite a 77 against Australia last time he batted for Pakistan, has 12 runs to show from the four innings prior to that.

As the Pakistan Cricket Board vehemently chalks out its plans for the future, of its investment and confidence in youth that will take Pakistan far in the coming years, it has, not for the first time, reverted to experience in the middle. Experience to nurture the youth, to groom the youngsters and to actually produce results for the team since winning is all that matters in this part of the world.

Given the individual performance of those whose inclusion has been questioned by Karachi’s officials, and the team’s show while they act their trade, it is obvious that the city feels left out but with reason. Pakistan does not, and should not, have a quota system for if Misbah is scoring a century, and allowing Azhar to learn on the job, the  KCCA should understand the benefits it has for Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune.
Anees Mehmood A Karachi-based sports columnist.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


HealthMAG | 12 years ago | Reply please dont write articles like this, these just show how divided we are, and the enemeys just make fun of our beloved country.
Yasir Hasan | 12 years ago | Reply Sarfraz and Fawad Alam are the wrong omission.... However, tried horses like Faisal Iqbal, Shahzeb, M. Sami should be dumped for good... Ahmed Shahzad should also spend sometime in the First class... I remember Karachi crowd shouting at Faisal Iqbal during a match in National stadium (blaming him to be Parchi)... I think it is the same case of blaming the big (population-wise province)...when Waqar Younus was left out of the team unjustly, it was fight between two egos (Wasim and Waqar)... However, when it is about Miandad omission, it is highlighted as the clash of the provinces, or Karachi v Lahore to be precise.... It is the pathetic media once again.... This media never mentions that M. Sami is the player who has been given most chances than anyone in our cricket history, where he was from, Karachi... In the slot for keeper it was always blamed that Rashid Latif is being left out because he is from Karachi... well his replacement Moin Khan was also from Karachi... I think we need to broaden our vision and see what is happening from a neutral eye... Injustices have been inflicted on players from all part of the country and parchi system came to help many cricketers from all parts of the country...
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