I’ve never been as positive about the Pakistan cricket team as I was at the end of the third ODI against the West Indies.
After the spot fixing scandal, the string of defeats, the Zulqernain debacle, etc., etc., there was a change that everyone was talking about. The team looked like a unit under one captain. And the coach seemed to be well placed with the players.
This materialized into victories. No one expected Pakistan to get to the semi finals, especially in the style that they reached it, beating Australia and Sri Lanka.
“So what!” I said when they didn’t beat India; although I must admit I was extremely depressed. I started looking forward to 2015. Actually the Coke commercial got me thinking about it ;).
The party continued when we demolished the West Indies in the first three One Day Internationals. Losing the next two was a bit of a shock, “but no problem”, I thought, “The Test series is ours!”
You all know the story from here. Yes… We lost the first test in pathetic style!
Now the cynic inside me took over “Yeh to hona hi tha!”, “Pakistan Pakistan hi rahay ga!” and many more such statements were made.
But let’s analyze why things went down the way they did.
Why does Pakistan always go back to being… well you know… Pakistan?!
For this we’ll have to step in to the Delorian, gun it to 88 miles per hour and step back in time, just a few days back though.
Afridi: “Although the differences in team management are not such which could not be solved, I feel everyone should do his job and need not interfere in other’s work,”
The Pathan was of course talking about coach Waqar Younis.
How many times have we seen this happen within the team? The power struggle! Remember Javed Miandad’s stint as coach? No wonder he didn’t take the job of batting coach this time around. He must be a fortune teller!
There is no clear chain of command in the Pakistani dressing room….maybe never has been. There has to be one leader, period! And in my view, that’s the captain. After all he’s the one who leads the team in the field.
It’s quite simple… report to and take orders from ONE man only, otherwise you’ll get into politics. Selfish interests and player power come as part and parcel of this, with players forming groups and infighting making headlines.
Remember Shahid, Younis vs. Shoaib Malik anyone?
Do you have any idea how many people are involved in making decisions in the dressing room in modern day cricket? Here’s a list:
Captain, head coach, vice captain, bowling coach, batting coach, fielding coach, mentor, trainer, dietitian, masseur, manager, assistant manager, selector and computer analyst!
Hmmm… and Pakistan’s dilemma? No proper chain of command.
Who takes in all this input and makes the final decision? It can never work unless there is one supreme authority. One whose say is the “pathar ki lakeer”
Like I said, this is not the first time this has happened. You’ve see the news… every other series, you hear about the captain bad mouthing the coach or the coach making statements against the selection committee or the selection committee having had it with player power.
I just hope sooner than later the team management realizes where they’re headed if this situation prevails.
The captain is the one who should be at the helm of things and have the final say. The cricket team as per design is made for the captain to lead and disaster is inevitable if the dynamics are fiddled with.