In search of a Home away from Home

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The Cricketer with Mansoor Ahmed

The ‘homeless’ Pakistan cricket team fail to pin down a 2nd string Aussie team as they continue to find a home away from home.

Following the deadly terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team in March, all tours to Pakistan have been cancelled by understandably frightened touring cricketers. Hopes of keeping the World Cup matches in 2011 were also dashed by the ruthless ICC. Even though the tournament is two years away, the ICC felt the situation was unlikely to improve significantly for matches to played in the country. Considering that Bangladesh also postponed a home series against Pakistan due to security concerns and the IPL was moved to South Africa for same reasons, is there any guarantee that the next World Cup will be held on the sub-continent at all?

Pakistan have played five ODIs against a new look Australian side in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Pakistan’s ‘home’ series was anything but that. As well the sultry conditions, Pakistanis were also fighting against the low and slow pitches. However, a weakened Aussie team proved that their mental toughness and fighting spirit was much better than Pakistan’s.

They may try to make a home in England later this year. But while they are likely to be better supported here, the conditions will probably provide an upper hand to the ‘visitors’. And with the situation getting bad to worse in Pakistan, there is no respite in sight for the cricketers or the public.

It was fantastic to see Pakistani women cricketers achieve something the men couldn’t; get into the Super Six’s of the World Cup. An extremely young looking Pakistan team finished the competition in very a respectable 5th place.

It’s been great to see that my dear friend Imran Ali, who played for Halesowen in the Birmingham League last year, has been picked in the list of 30 Probables by Pakistan for the T20 World Cup in England later this summer. Previous banned ICL players Rana Naved, Imran Nazir and Abdul Razzak will also be included to the list once cleared by the ICC.

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