Yes I agree that Pakistan isn't a hostile environment for holding such global events. People have always been raising eyebrows but the March atrocities have firmly demonstrated those above implications. It’s a nation simply in social turmoil and the centre face of terrorist threats.Although I feel for the patriotic fans to lose out on such an opportunity, the governing bodies had to give security and safety of player’s and fans priority. Therefore I agree with Abbasi's viewpoint on pakspin.
On Thursday the county season 2009 commences with the traditional curtain raiser between county champions (Durham) VS MCC side at Lords. The summer as a whole shall be an interesting and anticipated one as England are hosting the T20WC and of course it’s an Ashes summer and with England having flashbacks of 2005 home glory and considering the decline of the Australian empire they shall certainly fancy their chances of regaining the historical urn. Arguably the biggest cricket feast summer there has ever been!
Firstly let’s remind ourselves of the current holders of the 4 main county trophies.
County Championship= Durham T20= Middlesex Friends Provident=Essex Pro 40= Sussex
The success for Durham’s glory last year was a fiery and fit Steven Harmison . Generally they had a lot of firepower in there seam bowling attack and consistently managed to capture 20 wickets and bowl out oppositions rather cheaply. Fitness is the key if they want to repeat the success.
Other than that Sussex seemed to have dominated the headlines in county cricket in the last years or so. However we shall find out what an impact the absence of Mushtaq Ahmed and Chris Adams will play in their performances. Those 2 names were certainly influential and instrumental candidates in the trophies the Sharks captured.
Also Yorkshire is a team on the rise and competitive force with many exciting experienced and young players in their ranks. Adil Rashid and Azeem Rafiq are the spin twins to watch out for. Also they shall benefit from Michael Vaughn’s presence as well as Matthew Hoggard . Mushtaq Ahmed may have left the county scene but still we have another mysterious leg spinner capturing scalps and operating away in Imran Tahir. He was awesome towards the end of last year for Hampshire, capturing bags of wickets. I wonder if they will be boosted by this overseas signing. He will be the ultimate overseas prospect to look out for this year. Finally I must admit that just a single overseas player is a loss for the English game and not a gain. They create excitement to watch and generally players benefit from their experience and expertise in the background. It produces challenges to relish upon for players when they get to play an international player . Also raised the standard of play which is probably why county cricket was considered the next big thing after international affairs and to accuse them of blocking player pathways is utter nonsense.
Here are my predictions on what shall be an interesting and lively summer of play:
County Championship – Yorkshire
T20- too tough to call but it may well lose its significance and meaning this year and be overshadowed by T20WC and IPL.
FP- Again it’s unpredictable as this one day tournament has been since the decline of the GLOS kings which is a positive aspect suggesting it's a very neck of neck scenario.
Consolidating on the ICL lifting, Pakistan shall certainly benefit from their experience and expertise gained in the T20 format. But above all the ultimate feature which stands out is that they have the uniqueness, flamboyance and intensity to go the extra mile and re-light Pakistan cricket’s image on the global scale. In the last year Pakistan cricket seemed to be a lost soul which lacked valuable talent and that extra spice they were renowned for in order to become a competitive force.
Jump for Joy has been a rarity
Although I applaud the ICL kilari to SCRAP their ICL contracts I still nevertheless would like to see the league receive international recognition as it’s another great advert for the game and development of youth. I don’t blame the Pakistani players to sign the ICL in the first place as the board was treating them as an utter disgrace and of course there were many internal disputes amongst players at the time. But now with a new captain and management the team is looking a much better resource for respect of elderly greats and upbringing of star studded youth. The balance of experience and youth shall be there in dressing room as well as the player unity and energetic determination to succeed.
On that note I would like to name my preferred side against Australia:
Fawad Alam ( young blood)
Kamran Akmarl / Humayn Farhat
Yasir Shah / Tahir Khan
Yeah I agree all the way about Nazir . He is a stylish attacking opener and seems to be one of those players that once gets going can be invincible ,undefeatable and simply dominate proceedings single handily which is a true pleasure to watch and admire. As a bowler u tend to feel your teeth chattering and nerves shaking when you face up to an aggressive batsman of such madness as much as it can be an overwhelming sensational feature when u dismiss them and claim a mighty break though. But I’m in the view that your require uniqueness and intensity to be successful and therefore he would appeal as an automatic selection in my books.
However with cricket moving out of Pakistan the future is looking bleak for the patriotic public and foreseeable future. Now a good first class structure is essential in which u have maximum of six regional sides. This will make the standard raise and as there are a less number of sides the tournaments shall be more competitive and compelling. Currently we have no clear talent indication from this bank and association set up as there is a lack of professional surroundings and perhaps too many minnow or underrated sides. This is a backbone for clear player pathways along with academies. If cricket wants to survive this is the way forward.
Additionally people need to invest in school and club hard ball cricket as a well as providing academy contracts for the abundance of hidden talent there is so they can fulfil their potential by bonding with professional coaches and utilise the facilities in order to raise their game and even make it to the top of the tree. Certainly club and schooling structures are fundamentals for creating opportunities and maintaining cultural participation. Furthermore when the country is becoming a victim of terrorism and social turmoil certainly one shall acknowledge arts which can rescue its image globally.
Finally here is a YouTube link which will be a brand new feature on majority of my threads. It’s a quick 2 minute video reflecting on the golden moments of Pak Cric -featuring legends. Hope u enjoy as they bring back some brilliant memories.