Cricket: Is anyone in Pakistan fed up?

I received this email from a reader in Australia. Happy to note that we are allowed to post it. Readers are invited to comment and offer their views (Raza Rumi).

Dear Raza

I’m a lover of cricket in all its forms. I played it, my son still plays it as do two of my grandchildren. I like to see tough contests, and unlike many other Australians I don’t mind if we lose if the opposition is clearly better (OK, may not quite so with England).

I was strongly looking forward to the current tour by Pakistan, but I’m almost breathless at the way the teams shoots itself in the foot, the toe, the mouth and whatever else they can find. I remember the Pakistani greats – Imran, Javed, Wasim, Waqar and so on, and they must feel really embarrassed by this tour.

Yousuf is fine batsman, but he’s no captain at this level. Trying to beat Australia in Australia with defensive tactics almost beggars belief. Political figures should step out of team matters and leave appointments to those who know them best.

Is anyone in Pakistan fed up? How do you feel about this matter?

Feel free to post my views on the Pak Tea House site because I’d like to see what response it gets


Michael Whitting – Aussie Tragic



Filed under Pakistan

18 responses to “Cricket: Is anyone in Pakistan fed up?

  1. neel123

    Cricket is sport, not war.

    Every team has its good and bad times, there are ups and downs.

    It is not a great time for the Pakistani team, Mr Michael Whitting is disappointed for not being able to see a well contested cricket, what is the big deal ?

  2. yasserlatifhamdani

    I know I am going to get flak for it but the problem with Yousaf is his flowing long beard… and religious conviction.

    Mullahs should be confined to mosques… not leading cricket teams.

    Younis Khan is a good captain… let him take it up.

  3. googly

    @I know I am going to get flak for it but the problem with Yousaf is his flowing long beard… and religious conviction.”

    Perhaps this article will be useful as far as beard and cricket is concerned. According to Nadeem Paracha seems like beard is the problem.

    “””The fallout of this culminated in the team’s disastrous show at the 2007 World Cup, when the team’s media manager, PJ Mir, accused the team’s captain Inzimamul Haq of being more interested in preaching than in playing cricket. So when did the Pakistan cricket team become a propaganda and preaching platform for the Tableeghi Jamaat? Writers like the late Khalid Hassan and Amir Mir point to the year 1999, when Wasim Akram quit as captain and was replaced by Waqar Yunus.”””

  4. maryanne khan

    Actually, Mr. Michael Whitting and I have been corresponding for some time and the point he is making is one of the (lack) of strategy the Pakistan team captain is demonstrating over here.

    This lacuna is something that the very Australian commentators dwell upon at great length. The Channel Nine commentators (Richie Benaud, Mark Taylor, and the like — all ex professionals) speak with a great deal of sympathy for the Pakistan team, who suffer disadvantages in opportunities to play Tests at home and so on, that are connected to unfortunate political realities.

    During this Australian tour, there has been a groundswell of recognition that the Pakistan players are thoroughly lovely people . . . courteous, amiable, sportsmanlike, also off-field when they are not in the business of competing. The Australian fielding coach had a word with little Aamer after he dropped the infamous catch, showing him how to hold his hands. Shane Warne was at the Pak nets until officially sent away. Yesterday, Channel Nine and the manufacturer presented the Pakistan team’s Aussie fitness trainer with heart monitors to take back to Pakistan. . .

    There’s lots of Aussies over here who care more about the Pak team’s strategic woes than just ‘seeing a competitive game of cricket.’

    I’m an adoptive Pakistani (I visit NWFP to see my husband’s family there) and I was yelling for you guys to get a win, believe me! (And so were Whitting and his wife, by the way.)

    This discussion eschews any political implications. We’re talking about sport.

    m khan

  5. Junaid

    I know I am going to get flak for it but the problem with Yousaf is his flowing long beard… and religious conviction.

    In other words, deeply religious people should restrict themselves to the mosques and should not participate in any other facets of life.

    A good example of tyranny and secular bigotry masquerading as liberalism and freedom. Symptoms normally observed in highly educated , foreign qualified, degree holding Pakistanis.

  6. sun

    @ m khan
    Had pakistani been winning the contest instead of australia , they would have given all credit to the superiority of islam & alla over other religions.

    Muslims are very affable till such time u concur with them & support them, try different point of view suddenly one becomes enemy kaffir.
    try it on ur next visit

  7. yasserlatifhamdani

    Junaid mian,

    I never thought that you were very bright… but must you prove it every time you post?

    There is no problem with having a deep religious faith (Imran Khan, Hansie Cronje) or a long flowing beard (W G Grace) …. the problem is with what Muhammad Yousaf represents…

    Muhammad Yousaf is a tablighi… tablighi Mullahs and Islamists of the sort are not interested in worldly things… not interested enough to actually make a difference.

    By the every thing about Muhammad Yousaf is suspect… from his new found penchant for faith to his new found penchant for expensive cars.

  8. yasserlatifhamdani

    I used to know a haircutter once upon a time… a local “Tony”… he was a hardworking chap… and was actually a practising Muslim.

    Then suddenly one day he was off to tabligh… after that his family would starve and his haircutting saloon just withered away.

    This is true of generally everyone who joins this ridiculous cult of tablighi jamaat and lotas.

    Is this Islam? I don’t think so.

  9. yasserlatifhamdani

    “””The fallout of this culminated in the team’s disastrous show at the 2007 World Cup, when the team’s media manager, PJ Mir, accused the team’s captain Inzimamul Haq of being more interested in preaching than in playing cricket. So when did the Pakistan cricket team become a propaganda and preaching platform for the Tableeghi Jamaat? Writers like the late Khalid Hassan and Amir Mir point to the year 1999, when Wasim Akram quit as captain and was replaced by Waqar Yunus.”””

  10. AP

    Leaving aside all this tableeghi thing for a second, i still think pak team can shy away half the embarrassment, just by applying the strict code for media interaction. Too many comments are coming out from PCB head to coach, to captain, to players and that too on almost daily basis.

  11. hoss

    I completely agree with YHL on the religion issue. It is alright to be religious but professional sports require single minded devotion. Once a professional starts thinking of other things–such as spreading religion or preaching in the locker room, he has clearly lost his single minded devotion to the game and his concentration would suffer.
    Pakistan lost two enormously gifted players Saeed Anwar and Saqlain to this preaching stuff. Yousef did better initially but since he got deep into the preaching mode, he is losing it too and I think this might be his last year in top level cricket.

  12. hoss

    It is good to see Michael’s support for the team but I beg to differ with him on defensive tactics.
    I think Yousef was correct in being defensive on the fourth or fifth(?) morning. His goal was to not let Hussy score and he expected his bowlers to clean up the tail, which they obviously did not do. Also remember that when Hussy was first dropped in the morning by the WK, the Australian lead was barely 80 or 90 runs. The second time he was dropped, the lead was only 125 runs. You don’t give three or four chance to a top class batsman. He will make you pay and that is exactly what Hussy did.
    Pakistan team needed to be defensive when they started batting. The target has gotten higher and attack was not the right strategy.

    We also need to realize that Australia in Australia is a
    formidable team and the presently touring Pakistan team is probably the weakest that has left Pak shores in years. The best Pakistani team under Waseem also lost three Tests I believe in 1999-2000.

    Can we stop this pak-indian mudslinging on this thread? I thought we are all grown ups and this thread is about cricket and not politics.

  13. Shahbaz Ali

    @ m khan
    It is such a nice gesture from the Aussies. They truly are champions. Winning or losing a particular match/series does not matter as long as it is done with good sportsman spirit and good form. Most Pakistanis were shocked at the defeat in the test match because it seemed that the team was not fighting back. We also lost the first one-dayer but atleast we seemed to be playing.

    I agree with you regarding the religious-ness of our captain. I believe the problem is not of the talent in the team as it of their mindset. M. Yousaf’s & Co. and their attitude is a problem precisely for this reason. I do not have an issue with the level of their religiosity, I do have an issue with the mindset they bring to the ground. Concentrate on the game and leave the rest in the dressing room.

  14. Ali Abbas

    While Pakistan was always unpredictable, it was never short of serious talent. Also, all credit to Imran Khan for infusing a resilient spirit in the cricket team which continued to endure till fake piety took over.

    Since important members of the cricket team were sucked into the Tableeghi Jamaat vortex, the team’s focus has shifted from cricket towards outward displays vacuous and sanctimonious piety. There appear to be two camps in the team; the one lead by Younis, a secular, determined and patriotic Pushtoon Pakistani was more interested in cricket. He had the support of Umar Gul, Afridi and both Mohd. Asif and Shoaib Akhtar were also not too much in favour of the imposing Tableeghi proselytizing either. Most sane and honest ex-cricketers like Rashid Latif, Wasim Akram, Aaqib Javed, Abdul Qadir, Zaheer Abbas, Miandad, Mohsin Khan are generally concerned but few can speak out against the aggressive Islamist groups.

    The latter are backed by Junaid Jamshed, Inzimam, Mushtaq, Waqar Younis and Saeed Anwar on the outside and Salman Butt, Yousuf, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Misbah ul Haq. One cannot be sure who else they have sucked into their vortex either. During the Sri Lanka tour earlier, these players conspired to undermine Younis and eventually pressured him to step down. Even Ian Chappel has said something to this effect in his interviews during the current tour. (Not the critique against the Islamists, simply the player’s revolt against Younis Khan)

    The way this Tableeghi group has behaved has been disgraceful and they have cost Pakistan its standing in world cricket. They have put fake displays of piety over core values of honour, hardwork and dignity. In that, they are no different from their fellow Islamist subsidiaries like Jamaat Islami and the Taliban who have disgraced Pakistan on a much larger level. Ofcourse, those who don’t agree to their ways are pressured to accept or get lost..

    This pathology of the Tableeghi Jamaat does not understand that to improve character, one can resort to universal values. Simply masking bad character with fake and exagerrated displays of sectarian piety acomplishes NOTHING and simply hides the rot of the soul from the self.

  15. Michael Whitting

    Thank you for the responses. The decision by Younus to step down has now been made clear to me. Every cricket fan in Australia likes the Pakistan players and sincerely wants them to play better, but if there are devisions in the team of the sort mentioned in the postings then it would take something extraordinary to beat Australia at home. I was at the Sydney Cricket ground on the fourth day of that Test match, and I repeat: the decision to set defensive fields against Hussey cost Pakistan the match.

  16. maryanne khan

    Sahabaz Ali

    that is exactly what I was saying. They lost last night but the tail-enders showed heartening spirit and the ability to play, snatching gutsy singles until they looked like they had a chance. THAT was what the senior players should have done and did not. You probably don’t get the commentary that we do, but the presenters again were excited and urging them on –and by that I don’t just mean giving the opposition team credit where it was due, but literally applauding their efforts as if it were the home side.
    Something you may not know: the Commonwealth Bank donates AUS$1,000 to cancer research for every six hit during the series. One of the Pakistani players who got six after six (Rana?) was dubbed with the title “Mr Cancer Research” by the commentators.


    I will never be treated like an enemy kaffir by my wonderful Pakistani family who love me for who I am. In fact, my Pakistan family puts western families to shame for the degree of care they have for one another and for me.

    In fact I am a writer and have had stories about ordinary life in Pakistan published (both in Australia and the States), in which I show the different realities in Pakistan in terms of Pakistani values, not in the imposed Western culture that the neo-colonialists are trying to force on perceptions of Pakistan.

    I was there last October, in the midst of the furore over the Kerry/Lugar Bill and Hilary Clinton’s (not so) veiled threats, the bombing of the Army HQ in Pindi . . . when Pakistan’s national sovereignty was under attack. If any Pakistani thinks that my being a non-muslim makes me ‘enemy’ they should think again. In my writing, I am trying to give westerners an idea of the realities of which they are ignorant. Understanding, not entrenched opinions is what is required on the part of the west.

    But back to cricket. Let’s see if they win on Friday. They can if they follow the example of the young, enthusiastic players last night!

  17. Athar

    maryanne khan:

    Keep up great work. We are very proud of you. Don’t give a heck about detractors – who would rather do mudslinging instead of introspection.

    As far as cricket is concerned – it is a leadership issue and needs to be addressed. Younis Khan led the team to T20 World Cup victory. Anybody, who revolted against him, needs to be ousted – and, be done with it. Discipline is first requirement for leadership.

    And, after the house is brought in order – emerging talent from Under-19 team should be considered for national team – – who will be playing Australia’s U-19 team in Final on Sat. 🙂


  18. maryanne khan


    well thank you — mate!

    My novel, Walking to Karachi, is in the hands of a major Australian publisher as we speak and I’ll have an answer soon on whether they’re going to publish it. It’s a big book, based on my husband’s life in NWFP during the 60’s to the early 90’s, and is written about the dramas faced every day by an ordinary person in ordinary circumstances. No preaching, no judgement, just ‘this is how it is.’

    (Well I do mention the US-Ul Huq nexus that has partly led to today’s issues. . . but only because my husband was involved in construction of the Jalozai refugee camp and was living cheek-by-jowl with the Khyber Pass and saw what was going on.)

    If it is published, it will make westerners think, and hopefully realise they don’t understand what ordinary life is like over there. And maybe with more understanding will come less miscomprehension.

    As you say, peace