Posted by: nestaquin | January 21, 2009

Pakistan: Panache Personified

howzatOne of the most regrettable aspects of professional cricket in the first decade of the 21st century is the virtual exile of Pakistan from the international roster. A misfortune, as we all know too well, that is not of their making. The players, the Pakistani people and their supporters worldwide are all victims of events well out of their control.

As a precocious prepubescent in the late 70s I had the pleasure of watching Imran Khan play World Series Cricket regularly and ever since I’ve adored the way Pakistan approach the game.

Fearless and passionate, quirky and proud, they attack at every opportunity and when Imran held the World Cup aloft in front of 100,000 at the MCG in 1992 the majority of Australians were as pleased, but nowhere near as excited, as their counterparts in Rawalpindi, Karachi and Lahore.

Even today, Imran Khan is a most respected and revered man, perceived within Australia as on a par with the greatest of leaders and gentlemen that cricket has produced in living memory, Richie Benaud and Sir Garfield Sobers.

While watching the current crop of Pakistan’s finest comfortably dispatch World Cup runners-up Sri Lanka tonight, I was struck with a momentary melancholy that this squad brimming with experience, youth and incomprehensible talent have not had the opportunity to consistently test their skills and nerve against the top tier nations.

It was a tremendous thrill to witness their unique and challenging quartet of quicks (Tanvir, Gul, Iftikhar, Shoaib Akhtar) and the opening partnership between the young level-headed Khurram Manzoor and the ridiculously gifted Salman Butt was a joy to behold.

Any team that also includes Younis Khan, Afridi, Misbah-ul-Haq, the diminutive gloveman Kamran Akmal, and captain Shoaib Malik is a force to be reckoned with and the sooner the international cricket community embraces our brothers in Pakistan the richer the game of cricket will be.

Perhaps with a change of leadership, attitude and ideology in cricket ignorant Washington, events will soon settle down so that the natural flair and depth of Pakistan cricket can once again blossom, flourish and be mutually enjoyed throughout the global cricket community.

Indeed, after being reminded of the style, power and panache of the Pakistani game I can hardly wait till November when the squad arrives to match it with Australia in three Tests, five ODIs and two T20 matches.

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Responses

  1. Well said nesta.

  2. I always thought that a certain segment on The Twelfth Man’s Wired World of Sports was responsible for Imran Khan’s … errr … enhanced stature in Australia :-)

  3. Seconded Nesta.

    I have tickets for Pakistan vs England in the World T20 in June. There’ll be good support for the men from Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad (and, I sincerely hope, the mad one from Peshawar) and I’m hoping that we see the Pakistan that might make 240 or bowl England out for 60 – because we all know that they might make 60 just as easily.

    Cricket is much poorer for the absence of the men who wear the big star and it was great to read of them firing on all cylinders today. Let’s have more of it.

  4. You had to mention last nights game did you ? If not the post is top notch

  5. Thanks guys, and I could of mentioned how poor your boys were Damith but I refrained and focused on the positive cricket played by the home team.

    They get a chance to redeem themselves shortly but one question needs to be asked, just what the hell is going on in the Sri Lankan national team?

    They can barely beat Bangladesh and Zimbabwe while Pakistan, admittedly a team with plenty to prove but not much international experience of late, brushed then aside very easily.

    Is it time for some new blood? One last comment, I’ve never seen Murali bowl so many short balls as he did last night. Is he losing his magic?


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