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Trouble in Paradise

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Pakistan cricket has been in the news for all the wrong reasons for a while now, whether you talk about the attack on the Lankan team or the spot-fixing recently. Pakistan cricket has had a torrid time but a fact which cannot be denied is that in spite of being in limelight for all the wrong things, Pakistan has done tremendously well. Despite being deprived of hosting the World Cup they came all the way up to the Semis beating the top teams including Australia.
 
It’s a shame for a nation with such great talent to have young players indulging themselves in fixing and drugs. It’s a pity that players of tremendous potential are put behind bars just when their career starts blossoming. Bowlers like Aamir and Asif who have shown exceptional promise at the highest level have been victims of spot-fixing, but to an extent it’s not just the players to be blamed, it’s the entire Pakistan Cricket Board. In a interview I heard Imran Khan talking about monitoring the funds of each player. How effective would that be only time can tell but, putting all this aside, one thing which the Pakistan cricket can be proud of is the talent that that have.
 
A country like India with a population of more than a billion hasn’t really found a fast bowler who can bowl consistently above 145 but here’s a small country with similar conditions, culture, and socio-economic structure, where young fast bowlers seem to be born each day.
 
Pakistan has always produced great fast bowlers right from the start, Pakistan has always created problems for the world’s best batting lineups with deadly fast bowling. The top ten fast bowlers of the world would definitely have more Pakistanis in the list than any other nation barring the mighty West Indies.
 
Pakistan has produced remarkable fast bowling geniuses like Wasim Akram (the best left-handed bowler ever), Waqar Younis (known for his deadly late-swinging yorkers), Shoaib Akhtar (world’s fastest bowler) and deadly Imran Khan. Another Pakistani Test fast bowler who deserves a mention is Sarfraz Nawaz. He is known as the father of reverse swing. Even though today the Pakistan team has lost its premier fast bowlers like Mohammad Asif and Aamir, still in the fast bowling department it continues to shine with the lights of Aizaz Cheema and Junaid Khan coming good and supporting Umar Gul in their debut series against Sri Lanka. Both these bowlers can swing the ball both ways & can cause problems to the best batsmen.
 
Talking about their batting, losing players of the caliber of Yousuf, Younis, and out of favour Shoaib Malik most sides in the world would struggle, a prime example of this is Australia who has lost its grip on dominance in world cricket after losing Gilchrist and Hayden while Katich has fallen out of favour, but pakistan continues to impress with players like Hafeez, Umar Akmal and Azhar Ali standing up and being counted. In fact Umar Akmal is seen as a great talent who, if nurtured well, might become one of the legends of Pakistan cricket. Even with a depleted, or should I say completely new, side Pakistan has managed to beat Sri Lanka 1-0 in the Test series and the ODI series is looking to be a thrilling affair.
 
For a country which has been deprived of hosting any tournaments, where countries are reluctant to play, and which has been involved in scandals, and whose players don’t get to showcase their talent in the IPL, yet Pakistani cricketers have been able to still do so well speaks a lot about the kind of talent this team has which if nurtured properly can work wonders for Pakistan. It is high time that the Pakistan Cricket Board & the people involved in Pakistani cricket take stern steps & be responsible for the state of cricket in Pakistan and the players. I am afraid otherwise a country with so much talent would eventually struggle for existence in cricket. And that will not only be a loss for Pakistan but a huge loss for cricket itself because if players like Aamir lose their way, at the end of the way cricket is the real loser.
 


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