Scheming against Pakistan

March 15, 2015

What he has done to the team whenever he has been its coach is unpardonable

Scheming against Pakistan

One does not understand why this man who denied Sarfraz his right to play for Pakistan from the first match of the World Cup has been given so high a post.

It is true that he was a great fast bowler of his time and served Pakistan well in his playing days but what he has done to the team whenever he has been its coach is unpardonable.

First he destroyed the career of Shoaib Akhtar who could have served the country for a few more years.

Then he targeted Abdul Razzaq, who nevertheless proved himself more resilient than Akhtar and managed to survive till late 2013.

He also forced Shahid Afridi who was leading the ODI team very well to quit captaincy in 2011.

His cricketing career was also not unstained as far as scheming is concerned. He was the one who deprived Wasim Akram of captaincy in 1993 by forming a group of his own during the tour to West Indies.

Already, the selectors of Pakistan cricket team have been very unfair to Sarfraz over the past seven years. He made his ODI debut in 2007, but the match against South Africa was only his 37th.  Likewise, he made his Test debut in 2010 in Australia under the captaincy of Mohammad Yousuf, but has only 13 Test caps so far.

Sarfraz was not even 14 when he played a match of under-19 tournament for KCCA Zone I at National Stadium academy ground, but he was supremely confident and undaunted by anyone.

Many people, including Zone I secretary Aftab Bhai, expected him to become a star for Pakistan. And they were not wrong.

Much less talented players were given opportunities in these years, which was unjust not only to him, but also to the country. It has been beyond my comprehension why Adnan Akmal was given so many chances. Adnan’s batting skill is much inferior to Sarfraz’s. Neither is Adnan a better wicket keeper.

Sarfraz averages over 42 runs in first class cricket, way ahead of Adnan’s 26. In 127 first class matches, Adnan has only four centuries, while Sarfraz has 10 in 106 matches.

Pakistan would have been served better in all these years had our selectors not done this injustice.

But let bygones be bygones. Now that he has proved himself a master batsman besides being a reliable man behind the stumps, there should be no more experimenting.

He must be consistently given chances even if he fails in a match or two.

Just look at his Test record last year. He scored as many as three centuries and four half centuries. Not even Moin Khan managed such a feat although he too was a very good wicket-keeper batsman. Moin has only four centuries from as many as 69 matches.

Similarly, Zulqarnain Haider and Mohammad Salman were inferior to him, but still they managed to play for Pakistan abroad, while Sarfraz was piling runs at home.

Now look at his ODI scores before the match against South Africa: 22, 34, 65, 32, 26, 23, 30 not out, 18, 26, 5, 13. What more can one expect from a wicket keeper who is batting in the lower order!

Scheming against Pakistan