Pakistan still up there with the best: Miandad

Former captain rues the decline in standards overall.


Umar Farooq December 24, 2010

LAHORE: Despite the storm of allegations, under-performance and lack of trophies, former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad believes that the team is still considered a top cricket nation in the world.

While Pakistan won the 2009 World Twenty20, their performance has been less than satisfactory since then, touching an all-time low following the spate of allegations. “Pakistan has had a respectable status in the cricketing world,” said Miandad. “The country has been well respected due to top players in the past which is why as many as nine players have been nominated for the International Cricket Council dream One-Day International team.”

The former coach did acknowledge that the game had changed over the years, blaming the increase in matches the main reason behind the fall in quality. “Previously, we played less but the game was competitive. Every team had star players playing tough and competitive cricket and there were selected teams playing cricket that generated greater interest and excitement.”

Miandad, holder of the record for the longest ODI career – 20 years and 272 days – rued how the “standard of cricket had fallen” and the game is left with less and less players who the fans could enjoy watching.

According to Miandad, who helped the New Zealand bound squad, the current squad had the potential to do well provided the players learn from their mistakes.

“Defeat teaches you how to win. I know problems are there in our players but by losing a single match, you can’t act like you’ve lost everything. Teams achieve greatness only because they’ve learnt how to survive after losing.

“Winning and losing is part of the game but with losing you can understand your flaws that give you an opportunity to come hard with a new strategy.”

Hasan still hopeful

Discarded middle-order batsman Hasan Raza eyes a stunning performance in the domestic circuit to make his international comeback. Raza was not able to find a permanent spot in the team despite consistent performances in domestic cricket.

“Cricket is a game of efforts,” said Raza. “With one good season and innings, I will catch the selectors’ eyes.” He dismissed the ‘domestic cricketer’ tag and insisted he still had hopes of an international comeback.

“I made my debut at a tough time when there were prolific players. Right now, the competition isn’t that tough but it’s all up to the selectors.”

Published in The Express Tribune, December 25th, 2010.

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