Posted by: nestaquin | April 22, 2009

A Glittering New Era for Pakistani Cricket

dubai-sports-cityThe ODI series between Australia and Pakistan beginning later today in Dubai heralds a bright new era for Pakistani cricket. They can decisively leave behind the calamity and confusion of the last decade and rebuild their cricketing reputation on the wealthy and stable shores of the United Arab Emirates.

It is obviously not a perfect situation for their supporters in Pakistan but for the team, and especially their many talented youngsters in youth representative cricket, the modern facilities and relative peace of Dubai is a golden opportunity to stake their claim as one of the world’s foremost cricketing powers.

It is the silver lining on the dark cloud that descended on Lahore during their last match and surely not even the dysfunctional Pakistani administrators could ruin this wonderful opportunity to reinvent their cricketing stature.

There is much more I’d like to express about the Australian squad for this series but responsibility and the time restraints therein will not allow such a luxury at the moment. While watching the match tonight I’ll pen my thoughts on selection and other matters.

If you are impatient or interested, the always excellent Well Pitched have a man on the ground in Dubai and I’d recommend that everyone pay Q a visit. He has some great photographs and many an insight you’ll find nowhere else in the media.

QUICK FACTS

The Trophy for the five match series is called the Chapal Cup.

The pitch at the Dubai Sports City Cricket Stadium was laid with soil imported from Pakistan.

It is the first ODI between the combatants in over four years.

Australia have been touring constantly domestically and internationally since last October.

QUOTES

TIM NIELSEN

“Now we are playing on different grounds due to circumstances out of our control, but I think the people in Pakistan and Australia will see us play cricket together, which wouldn’t have happened otherwise. The real positive is that we have Pakistan back into international cricket.”

“It’s fantastic to actually play against Pakistan players who are world class performers and, if nothing else, take some TV pictures back to young Pakistani players and let them see their heroes play against us. I think it will help.”

YOUNUS KHAN

“This is a very big series for several reasons, if we play well – not necessarily win – but play well then we can become like Inzi and Bob Woolmer’s sides in 2005 and 2006. If we perform well – and win – then people will have to take notice because it is Australia. I want to see good moments…after the series I want to be able to look back and pinpoint 7-10 moments where we did really well, with a bowling spell, a bit of fielding, some batting. That will be an achievement.”

“Australia are still very balanced and the style of play and their motivation doesn’t ever change. They are the only team in the world where players come in and go out and it makes very little difference. They are still a top side. If we do well, play to our potential and win a few matches, then I really think we can start getting out of this phase and move on.”

PAKISTAN: Younus Khan (captain), Salman Butt, Nasser Jamshed, Ahmad Shahzad, Shoaib Malek, Misbah Ul Haq, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal, Fawad Alam, Shoaib Akhtar, Suhail Tanvir, Umar Gul, Rao Iftikhar, Yassir Arafat, Saeed Ajmal

AUSTRALIA: Michael Clarke (captain), Brad Haddin (vc), Doug Bollinger, Nathan Bracken, Callum Ferguson, Nathan Hauritz, Ben Hilfenhaus, James Hopes, David Hussey, Ben Laughlin, Shaun Marsh, Andrew Symonds, Shane Watson.

UMPIRES: Billy Bowden (NZL), Nadeem Ghouri (PAK)

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Responses

  1. Yes, this is good for Pakistan while they wrestle with internal demons.

    If things go smoothly I would not be surprised if over a period of time test series can be packaged and played in different centres. Say Ashes…packaged along with the heritage they could perhaps play the first test in India, the second in Colombo, the third in Sydney, the fourth in Kingston and the fifth at Lord’s. I’m certain such a day will come for attractive test cricket as well.

  2. Thanks for the mention Nesta!

    Its been an amazing experience working at the stadium with and around the teams and officials.

  3. u are very good


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