Crushing cricket capitulation


Greenshirts’ familiar and depressing roller coaster ride in ongoing Australian tour


The national cricketers have again lived up to their infamous unpredictability and inability to sustain pressure situations. They submitted meekly in the second innings of the Melbourne Test yesterday to a gritty Australia, gifting them a most unlikely victory and the series 2-0. Pakistani cricketers have perfected the art of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory or even from a face saving draw. On this occasion the team collapsed for a pathetic 163 in 53.2 overs after a record Australian score of 624/8 declared. And this was apparently the same side that had scored 443/9 declared in its first innings.   


From the sublime to the ridiculous is but a step for our anti-heroes. In the first Test at Brisbane two weeks ago, they nearly pulled off an impossible win in chasing the highest ever total in Test match cricket, falling only 39 runs short of the 490 needed. Despite the defeat, their spirited fight back was applauded by the local fans and the cricket pundits worldwide. But the humiliating surrender following it is inexplicable and difficult to swallow.   


Something is rotten in the PCB’s realm. A couple of current players are over forty and showing their age, but no replacements have been found for the ‘old maids’, who have otherwise rendered yeomen service to Pakistan cricket till recently. The majority of those selected in the national side repeat the same mistakes, team spirit is absent, the batting lacks character and spine, the bowling is wayward, and the fielding, especially the sloppy slip catching, has robbed us of many successes. The standard of domestic cricket is declining, new talent is hard to come by, and no Pakistani cricketer has been included in the ICC’s Test and ODI Teams for 2016. There is more politics in the PCB than in the Parliament.


But the superannuated duo at the PCB remains in a state of denial. Lacking an intimate knowledge of the noble game, they cling to their lucrative offices of patronage, secure in their misconceived indispensability.



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