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Member hk031992 writes about the age-old fascination with the well cliched term of talent in cricket and explains why in his view, there isn't much of it in Pakistan!


By hk031992 (8 January 2022)

Seriously i do not understand this. Yes, we have produced some talented players. But there is no evidence that we have produced an extremely high number of talented players. Yet the myth of our endless domestic talent persists.

Take a look at Australia. Their population is around 25 million people. Ours is at least 7 times higher. In Aus, cricket is the second most popular team sport behind Aussie Rules or Rugby League depending on the state.

Yet despite their population being 7 times less than ours and cricket being #2 in team sports there, they have produced at least 5 world class opening batsmen in tests since 1990. Mark Taylor, Michael Slater, Justin Langer, Matthew Hayden and David Warner.

And what have we produced? Saeed Anwar is the only true world class opener we have produced in tests over the course of 32 years. Please do not mention Azhar Ali. A negative player like Ali isn't remotely in the league of a Langer or a Slater despite whatever stats he has.

So a country with 7 times smaller a population has produced 5 times as many great test opening batsmen in 32 years compared to us.

What about bowling? Since 1990, we have had ATG's in Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis with Shoaib Akhtar coming close. Ok that's 3 great bowlers.

Since 1990, Australia has had McGrath and Cummins, both of whom are ATG's or on their way.

The difference is the number of world class bowlers they have had during that time. They have produced so many very good quicks like Mitchell Johnson, Jason Gillespie, Ryan Harris, Craig McDermott, Josh Hazlewood, Bruce Reid, etc.

Please don't tell me we have produced as many quality quicks as them. Yes, we have had 3 great bowlers but we simply haven't produced nearly as many very good bowlers as they have.

Forget about Aus for a second. Take a small (5 million or so) country like New Zealand where cricket is a distant #2 behind rugby. A terrific fast bowler like Shane Bond is more talented than anyone we have produced since the 2 W's (and please don't compare Amir to Bond; Bond is miles ahead).

A country like England where cricket is only followed by some of the population has produced all rounders like Ben Stokes and Freddie Flintoff, who are both more "talented" than any Pakistani allrounder in the last 22 years.

Jimmy Anderson and Joe Root are both more talented than any Pakistani cricketer of the last 15 years at least.

I just don't understand. For all our "talent" which is seemingly endless, we have produced 4 great quicks (Imran, 2 W's and Akhtar) in our entire history and not a lot of world class quicks that are just a notch below (like Gillespie or Mitch).

We have produced one great off spinner (Saqlain), two very good leggies (Qadir and Yasir), 3-5 very good/great batsmen (Anwar, Miandad, Inzi, Yousuf, Younis and maybe Babar).

We have never procuced a genuinely quality wk batsmen like Gilchrist.

We have allowed players like Shahid Afridi and Younis Khan to play hundreds of ODI's each even though no other serious cricketing nation would have given either of those 2 more than a 100 ODI's each.

Where is all this magical "talent" coming from? I just don't get it. We have produced perhaps a couple of dozen high quality players despite essentially being a one sport nation (field hockey and squash are sports of the past for us sadly).

I just do not understand where this mythical talent exists. Shaeen Afridi and Babar seem like the only 2 genuinely talented players in the team.