Monday, July 19, 2010

Pakistan Cricket: Why Shahid Afridi Retired?

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Pakistan Cricket has got another bad blow…They lost their first test against Australia at Lord’s by 152 runs. But the real blow was that their newly appointed captain Shahid Afridi has announced retirement from Test Cricket, allowing Salman Butt to lead Pakistan Cricket team in the rest of test matches Pakistan team is set to play against Aussies and England

Well, this is unfortunate for Pakistan Cricket. Whenever it seems that Pakistan team is showing some signs of improvement, another blow controversy them. Pakistan won the 2-match T20 cricket series against Australia. Their supporters and critics have started to call it a new beginning for Pakistani Cricket team. They started off well in the Lord’s test; especially their bowling has been excellent. But their weak point was inexperienced and inconsistent batting line-up. And that’s what cost them the match. They were bowled out for a mere 148 in the first innings.

Although they started off well in 2nd innings chasing 420, Pakistan got a good start, thanks to Salman Butt. They looked focused until Salman Butt was stumped off the bowling of North. And after that, the Pakistan batsmen looked like they were playing a practice match. Coming in, slogging, and getting out cheaply. No one looked like playing a test match.

And just after this defeat, Shahid Afridi came out and announced his retirement from Test cricket.

All this was very sad. I think Afridi led the side quite well. Pakistani Cricket team played reasonably good cricket except their poor batting performance, which was very much expected. But, I think, the abrupt announcement of Shahid Afridi’s retirement was the biggest drawback. 

Yes, Afridi was never a test cricketer. But he has accepted the test captaincy. He should not have accepted the responsibility if he was not sure about his place in the Test XI. All this has sent a message of chaos and uncertainty, which the Pakistani team wanted to get rid of.
All this shows how Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is handling the cricket affairs of Pakistan. I must say, PCB chairman Mr. Ejaz Butt is the most incompetent chairman in the history of PCB, or even in the cricket world. This man has only brought crises after crises in Pakistan cricket. From the attack on Sri Lankan team to the pathetic series in Australia, Pakistan cricket had to pay (and is still paying) the price of the hasty, short-sighted and dishonest decisions from Ejaz Butt. He is such a mis-fit in PCB that without his exit from PCB, I don’t see any improvement in Pakistan Cricket team.
Anyways, I wish a good luck to Salman Butt and his men and hope that his team performs well against Aussies and England.
Your Turn Now: Do you think Shahid Afridi has done the right thing by taking Retirement from Test? Is Salman Butt a good choice as Captain? Will the Pakistan team perform well now? Or Anything Else…Tell in Your COMMENTS!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Can Pakistan Cricket Team beat Australia at Lords?

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Pakistan cricket team is set to play their first Cricket Test against Australian Cricket team at the Lords from 13th July. This is the first ‘Away’ Test series of Pakistan Cricket team. Pakistani team will play 2 Tests in this series against the Aussies.

Pakistan Cricket is in a recovery phase. The trauma that started from their Australian tour earlier this year in which Pakistani cricket team lost literally every match of series. And the controversies that hit Pakistan Cricket were destructive.

However, Pakistan team has a new captain, Shahid Afridi, the boom boom. Afridi has shown that team spirit and unity can change the whole scenario. The Pakistani team that looked like minnows, has now turned into a cornered tiger. They have already beating Australia in the 2 T20 matches. Yes, the T20 is a lot more different than the Test cricket but victory is a victory at the end of the day.

So, can Pakistan Cricket team win the Test Series? Well, it’s a very tricky question. Let’s analyze the two teams.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day/Night Test: The Only Way To Survive for Test Cricket?

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Cricket needs change! Ever since the first Cricket Test match played between England & Australian Cricket teams, in 1877, Cricket has gone through many changes. And now, most critics believe that some rigorous changes need to be made to the Test Cricket in order to keep it alive!

Test Cricket is the purest form of the game. Cricket, widely considered as World’s 2nd most famous sport, has gone through different forms of transformation in the last 133 years. From 8-ball over to 6-ball over, from white uniform to colored team kit, from Red ball to White ball, and from 5-day cricket to 1-day cricket and now the 20-over cricket and so on.

The most recent change that everyone is talking about is the Day/Night Test. The proposed idea is said to be important in terms of avoiding the death of Test Cricket. Most of the heavy weights have supported this idea. Former Australian captain Steve Waugh, and the Indian Cricket legend, Rahul Dravid, have also supported the D/N Test Cricket idea, so as Shahid Afridi, the Pakistan Cricket team skipper.

Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has also backed this idea of Day/Night Test matches. MCC is widely considered as the Conservative Guardians of Cricket tradition. In recently held meeting of MCC, it was agreed upon that the Day/Night Test matches were the only way to salvage the longest version of the game. The MCC has also raised concerns about the percentage of the audience who see Test Matches in India, which is only 11% of the total Indian audience watching all formats of the sport.

As proposed, the Day/Night Test matches will be played with

Thursday, July 1, 2010

ICC: India Rules Cricket Australia Out?

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Australian Cricket is continuously under pressure. First the Australian cricket team has lost its consistency. And now, the Cricket Australia, Australian cricket board, seems to have started losing its influence on World Cricket affairs.

John Howard, the former Prime Minister of Australia, has been rejected for the post of Vice President of ICC, in the Executive meeting of the Cricket’s governing body held in Singapore on Tuesday. John was the candidate nominated by Australia & New Zealand, but only England (apart from the nominators) voted in favor of his run for the Vice Presidency. A vast majority, featuring the Cricket boards of Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa and West Indies voted against John Howard. Cricket analysts fear that this development has raised the concerns of division of World Cricket in 2 parts: “White” & “Non-White nations”!

John Howard is not a new name in Cricket World. As Australian Premiere, he has raised voice against different issues related to Cricket. Especially, Howard has severely criticized Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe. He has also invited anger from Sri Lanka for supporting ban on Muttiah Muralitharan for his ‘illegal’ arm action. 

In the same meeting of ICC board members, India’s Sharad Pawar has taken up the responsibility as the President of ICC. Pawar was former chairman of BCCI, the Indian Cricket Board. 

Now ICC has asked Australia & New Zealand Cricket boards to nominate someone else for this post.  

To me, John Howard’s rejection is not a big issue. But what is more significant is that the ICC Executive Board has divided into 2 blocs. If you look at the past
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