Posted by: nestaquin | April 11, 2008

Ignored, Fearless and Proud

If you happened to have passed through Cricinfo in the last 24 hours it wouldn’t be easily noticed that an important ODI series is already underway on the hard and fast turf of Pakistan. It seems to have been given short shrift as is almost anything positive that occurs inside the sixth most populated nation on our good Earth.

Just what the Pakistani people need to air their grievances and display their natural generosity I do not know. What I do know is that Pakistan are former World Champions and a proud cricket nation that has always mixed it with the world’s best.

Granted, Pakistan’s little brother, Bangladesh are yet to win an international match on the home soil of their hosts and they have lost every match against top opposition since last year’s World Cup yet there is still much that is of interest to the less fickle of cricketing enthusiast.

When recidivist Australia cancelled their scheduled tour of Pakistan at the last available minute Bangladesh stepped into the breach to give Pakistani cricket fans an opportunity to cheer on their heroes in the flesh. Unlucky runners-up at the T20 Championships, Pakistan have an exciting team that play without fear and when on song and in mood they play a scintillating brand of limited overs cricket.

From the opening partnership of vice captain Salman Butt and rising teenage superstar Nasir Jamshed through the world class middle order that includes run machine Mohammed Yousef, dependable skipper Shoaib Malik, enigmatic late bloomer Misbah ul-Haq, Pathan warrior Younis Khan and the explosive match winner Shahid Afridi, Pakistan have a batting line up that can compete and defeat any side in world cricket.

Opening bowlers Umar Gul and the Wasim Akram clone, Sohail Tanvir (a slow left arm spinner according to Cricinfo) are swift and canny enough to trouble most bats on their lifeless home wickets. With a coach of Geoff Lawson’s standing and knowledge these two young men should reach potential promising a wonderful era ahead for cricket’s finest Islamic team.

WIth the Champions Trophy scheduled at home in September this series is a wonderful opportunity for the Pakistani team to practice strategy and tactic for that important tournament. I’m sure this fact hasn’t escaped the erudite Lawson and the Pakistani public and cricketers owe Bangladesh a rousing reception and a neighbour’s gratitude for their good grace, natural humility and sportsmanship.

Pakistan won the first match in the five match series by 150 runs showing their class and determination to succeed in trying circumstances. It’s never easy being ignored and I have an inkling that the Pakistani team is motivated to such an extent that by sheer will they will make the rest of the world take note.

Tomorrow: A look into the future potential of Bangladeshi cricket.



  1. Tanvir’s only a left arm spinner when he’s too knackered to bowl seam up.. As far as I remember, it only happened in one test match against India, on a dead pitch (quelle surprise, a dead pitch in the subcontinent). He started as spinner as lad, and moved onto fast bowling later on.

  2. Fine, forthright stuff Nesta. All that talent will come together at some point and few will live with them then, especially in the limited overs formats.

  3. Good write-up Nestaquin. We cant wait to play some competitive cricket – with all due respect to Bangladesh, beating up on them doesnt count for much.

    Im not sure if the Champions trophy will happen in Pakistan, I just hope it does. But what Im really looking forward to is some good test cricket…

  4. obaid…

    i think after staging successful champions trophy in pak the other teams (who are not touring) wee see the light and competitive test cricket will return to pakistan…

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