The Cricketer with Mansoor Ahmed
By the time you read this piece, hopefully my tip Sri Lanka would have beaten Australia in the final to win the World Cup for the 2nd time and the most colourless and boring World Cup ever would have come to an end. Apart from early exits of India and Pakistan, and tragic death of Bob Woolmer, there is nothing worth remembering. I am struggling to recall any exciting games, most were played in front of small crowds, who incidentally weren’t allowed to bring their musical instruments in the grounds until the last 3 or 4 games, nobody has stood out as the star of the tournament‚ like Lance Klusener and Jayasuria in the past. The old farts at ICC will rue the missed financial targets and possible losses, but for me it’s a relief that it’s finally over. In fact, they should have called it off when Bob Woolmer was murdered.
Both Indian and Pakistani Cricket boards are still suffering from shock. Greg Chappell has left and Ravi Shastri has been put in temporary charge of the Indian Team and several senior players are being rested for the tour of Bangladesh. Clueless PCB have appointed Shoaib Malik captain ahead of Mohammed Yousuf and are searching for a homegrown coach. Assistant coach, Mushtaq Ahmed, should be the obvious choice but it appears that PCB want someone who is not so religious, presumably to take the team back to the dark days of clubbing and late night drinking. It would have been sensible to appoint MoYo captain for a couple of years and make Malik his deputy to gain some experience but things are never that simple in Pakistan. Most astonishing has been the decision by Younis Khan, vice captain for past 2 years to reject captaincy. He felt that pressure was too much! Why the heck did he agree to being vice captain then? Perhaps he wants to spend a full season with Yorkshire.
As the new English season kicks in and first test match only a couple of weeks away, I am quite excited about Yorkshire’s 19 year old leg-spinning all rounder, Adil Rashid. I believe his international debut is not far off. He has made a huge impact already in his brief career and is set to be a star. On a separate note, it was a pleasant surprise to see that Warwickshire have finally signed an Asian overseas player (dis-counting Waqar’s brief stint couple of seasons ago). Even though he is unlikely to attract as many Asian spectators as Mohammed Asif or Yuvraj Singh but it’s a start.