After losing both their One-Day and Test match series at the hands of a brilliant Sri Lanka side, Pakistan are yet again looking for excuses as to why their success in the World Twenty20 was followed so quickly by a horrendous run of defeats.
There have been many rumours throughout the tour of rifts between a number of the senior players in the camp, with many suggesting that Younus Khan’s captaincy is to blame for the losses. However Younus, who is never short of an opinion, has hit back at his players saying that he can only captain the team that he has inherited. This sparked a row that saw Younus wanting vice captain Misbah Ul Haq dropped from the team, which he was for the last two one day internationals. Although, this didn’t seem to resolve the on field issues as they crashed to another defeat to Sri Lanka.
After that most recent loss, Younus Khan, now fishing for any excuse possible, has criticised the domestic structure back home in Pakistan and placed blame on it for all of the losses during the tour of Sri Lanka and has stated that the domestic game doesn’t produce players with a good enough technique to succeed at the highest level. Interestingly enough though, the players that have come into the team from domestic cricket recently, such as Fawad Alam and Umar Akmal, have performed well, perhaps better than some more established players. It does now seem that Younus is on a hunt for excuses to keep the media criticisms off his own back.
To further harm Pakistan, there have been allegations that bookmakers were staying in the same hotel as the Pakistan team in Sri Lanka. The Pakistan Cricket Board have been in contact with the ICC who have now sent their Anti Corruption Unit to investigate the matter which they were apparently ‘aware of’. This is the last thing that Pakistan cricket needs in the wake of the current on field crises and hopefully all will be resolved without any major repercussions on the team itself.
In a cricket mad country such as Pakistan, it is the norm for the fans and the media to come crashing down on the team when it suffers such dismal defeats as those suffered in Sri Lanka, but one needs to remember that only two months ago, their team was on top of the world having just won the ICC World Twenty20. Perhaps this triumph gave the country false hope going into their tour to Sri Lanka, after all, the team has been far from consistent in the last decade or so. Whatever happens, Pakistan will need to show a more united approach to their future tours as they will not have the backing of their fans in later series as they have been forced out of playing international cricket on home shores due to the horrific terrorist attacks earlier this year. The team will need to come together more than ever if they are to recreate the success that gave their country so much hope at the beginning of the summer.
© Cricket World 2009