March 19, 2009 2 Comments
2008 was a unique year in the history of Pakistan Cricket. It was a year, when no Test Cricket was played by Pakistani team anywhere in the world. Yes, it was not just the cancellation or postponement of domestic Test matches in Pakistan, but amazingly no international tours were planned throughout the year. The situation has further aggravated this year (2009) with no planned Test matches for the whole year anywhere in the world. And after the cancellation of India’s tour to Pakistan and abrupt but unfortunate end to Sri Lanka tour of Pakistan (where only one full and one half test was possible), Pakistan Cricket Board has failed to schedule any international Test series. So in essence, 2009 will also be a barren year for cricket fans around the world.
Turmoil in Pakistan and the Taliban infestation has caused cancellation of numerous tours to Pakistan. However, it still does not explain effectively why Pakistan is not touring abroad. Currently, almost all Test playing nations of the world are busy playing matches somewhere. For example, India is touring New Zealand, Australia in South Africa while England in West Indies. Yet, Pakistan is sitting at home and no tours planned for the rest of the year.
These tours are decided and scheduled years in advance with consultation of ICC (International Cricket Council) with national cricket boards. Hence, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) led by Nasim Ashraf should have scheduled and confirmed some foreign tours for Pakistan Cricket since he took over in 2006. His failure to secure matches abroad is now creating a second year where Pakistan team will not see action in the field. When Nasim Ashraf took over as the head of PCB in Fall of 2006, Pakistan Cricket was ranked among the top three teams of the world in Test Cricket as well as One day internationals. Today, however, we are not among the best.
ICC statistics show that Pakistan has played the lowest number of test (22) in the preceeding years. While teams like India (43), South Africa (41), and England (47) have played twice as many tests than Pakistan. Even Bangladesh, the lowest ranked Test team has played more tests (23) than Pakistan during the same period. Source CricInfo.
This once again points us to turmoil within Pakistan Cricket. It is not just the players, or the Taliban causing mayham. It is the ineptness and sloppy management of the board who have not only failed to organize any form of cricket anywhere in the world but also failed to promote it to its full potential. Barring a few “begged” tours (with Sri Lanka recently) and with now postponed tour with lowly ranked Bangladesh, Pakistan really has nothing planned for the foreseeable future.
Today, Nasim Ashraf and his cronies are replaced by Ijaz Butt and his new board team. Let’s see if he can organize the game better. Otherwise, Pakistan’s cricket future continues to be bleak.