Mickey Arthur is about to commence a project which will make him smile some days and want to tear his hair out on other days. Whether this project is practically possible and successful will largely depend on the Pakistan Cricket Board’s support and backing for Arthur and whether they are prepared to allow him to change part of the culture and inner workings of Pakistan cricket.
The arrival of the Zimbabwe team has created a buzz in the city of Lahore which aims to wipe out the painful memories of the tragic incidents of 2009.
The news of a so-called rebel cricket league has been making the rounds in the media recently. This league will supposedly be organised by Indian billionaire Subhash Chandra, owner of the Essel Group, which was responsible for the short-lived Indian Cricket League (ICL), which ran from 2007 to 2009. Last week it was revealed that Essel Group had registered a number of business names in Australia and other nations which suggested the setting up of a global Twent20 competition independent of the game’s governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC). One of the names registered was Australian Cricket Control Pty Ltd in Australia, while in New Zealand the name New Zealand Cricket Limited had been attempted to be registered.
Last Saturday evening, a jubilant and a visibly relaxed, Pakistani Head Coach strode into the media room to speak to the press at the end of the game against South Africa that very few expected Pakistan to win. The Cornered Tigers had of late been playing like timid kittens but Saturday was different and the results were there for everyone to see.
Undoubtedly, Pakistan will produce more match-winners in the future but none of them should be allowed to break or bend rules as they wish and when they want. This is needed to establish the rule of law in our game and stop it from being a free for all. It may have been something we tolerated in the past but in today’s world, the superstar syndrome is damaging Pakistan cricket and it must be stopped.
As I write this article there are 55 days to Pakistan's opening match at the World Cup; the mouth-watering clash against arch rivals India. Worryingly though, 55 could also amount to the number of permutations the selectors have in their minds for Pakistan's starting eleven against India.
The time was about 6pm at the Dubai Sports City press conference room. Younis Khan and Ahmed Shehzad had just finished their press conference on Day four of the 1st Test and were being accosted by the usual melee of Pakistani journalists, jostling to get their own pictures with the two batsmen, some even trying selfies with the visibly tired players. In this din, I heard my phone beep and an SMS appeared - “Please be at the hotel at 8 pm sharp”, said The Boss.
Where are the heroes of the future? Where are the legends of this era that little kids will try to emulate when playing cricket on their streets? It seems as though our current lot of players are destined to walk into the sunset mocked, scorned, barely liked and conveniently forgotten. However, as a fan of this beautiful game and one who longs to see the days of glory return I, for one, am still optimistic about our future. All we need is a little more chaos and greatness will follow.
In this week's "Beyond the Boundary" we look from the point of view of fans, at the recent controversies surrounding the leadership issue at the PCB and ask if anything good can come out of such uncertainity
Fresh from his stint as a worker during the recently concluded first leg of IPL in UAE, a member gives the inside scoop on how the IPL was organized and expresses his hopes for a similar show by the PCB in the near future