The constant drama of Pakistani cricket
So much happens in Pakistani cricket, it resembles a Bollywood drama. Younis and Misbah are back - now what?
So, he's back!
The man who took Pakistan to World T20 glory 16 months ago is back to play cricket for the national side.
No one really knows why he wasn’t a part of the team to begin with, but what matters now is that Younis Khan is back.
So is Misbah as test captain! Will that change too, now that Younis is back?
The chief selector, Mohsin Khan, did say that Younis was their first choice as test captain, but that they opted for Misbah only because Younis was not cleared by the man who has been single-handedly destroying Pakistani cricket (read: Ijaz Butt). So what happens now?
Too much going on
So much has happened in Pakistani cricket over the last two years, it’s hard to keep track of who is in the team, who is out, and why. Shoaib Malik Yousuf, Younis, Afridi, Misbah, Salman Butt, Asif, Aamer and the Akmal brothers have all had their fair share of drama-more than you get in a year's worth of Bollywood movies! No one really knows when all this will be set right, but I do know that things will start looking up once Ijaz Butt leaves the scene.
With the world cup just four months away, this seems to be the best time to make the senior players gel and play as a team. For Pakistan to even have a slim chance at winning, the likes of Younis, Yousuf, Afridi, Shoaib Akhtar and other seniors will have to set their differences aside and step up. They need to take a leaf out of their predecessors: Saleem Malik, Saeed Anwar and others who, despite their problems off the field, performed well as a unit on it.
I know it’s a distant dream to expect the same from this bunch, but with the old stalwarts returning and Intikhab Alam taking charge as manager, it really can't get any worse.
Oh wait...I might have said that before.
Nobody really knows what’s coming
The drama never really ended and every time you think that Pakistan cricket can't sink any lower, someone announces a retirement or gets caught taking some money from shady characters. Where can we go from here? Does no one in Pakistani cricket have their heart in the right place? Misbah was dropped from all formats, with all signs pointing to end of his career, only to return as captain. Malik was retained, despite all the chaos he was causing, and just when it seemed he was turning over a new leaf, he was dumped. Yousuf retired because the PCB did not want him, but then the board begged him to return. Younis was kept off the team for no reason and it took one meeting to get him back in.
Imagine what could happen if Malik returns and Salman Butt's appeal holds and he is reinstated as an international cricketer. Pakistan would be fielding a team with as many as six captains! Yousuf, Younis, Afridi, Misbah, Malik, Butt! That's worse than the situation was in the 90s!
Pakistan is in a dire need of individuals with leadership qualities – on the board and on the team. Someone with vision, someone who can guide the team during troubled times, someone who can plan and implement changes. Until that happens, the drama will continue and we will have yet another disastrous world cup campaign.
This post was originally published here