This summer Pakistan won 6/15 of their games or 40% of encounters across all 3 formats which included 2 wins from each so 2 T20 wins, 2 Test wins; all of these which I covered in individual articles dedicated to them but also 2 ODI victories in September which I did not cover, but which took the ODI series to a decider to conclude an eventful summer of cricket on and off the field on the 22nd of September at the Rose Bowl which England won comprehensively to take the series honours. Which means they beat Pakistan in all 3 formats this summer. It's been a memorable summer of proceedings in many more ways than one for both sides! Pakistan showed their power and classy uniqueness or numerous occasion, but were unable to reflect it in the results as often as some would have liked. The discoveries and revelations of debutants provide promise and potential to succeed in the long term vision. So it wasn't a bad summer for Pakistan by any stretch of the imagination. Arguably, they could have done better ,but realistically speaking I am satisfied overall.
England on the other hand, have ideal preparation for the Ashes which I don't see them winning to be frankly honest. Winning down under will be an astonishing achievement undoubtedly and even with the best spinner in the world in their ranks, it looks beyond their capability. I predict 3-1 to Australia. Ironically, I would like to see England retain the urn down under because I live in England, support every team which takes on Australia and actually support England as a "second team" unlike other cricket followers from Asian descent and therefore would be supporting them to accomplish the mission, but we must get down to reality. Additionally, how can one actually be hopeful when the last visit resulted in a 5-0 humiliation and then there were high hopes as well? Just reinforcing a reality check here, would like this to all be proven wrong but tell me how this is going to happen then?
Looking ahead at what's to follow, Pakistan will be playing 20 international encounters this winter before the WC in mid February across all 3 formats which includes 5 T20s, 11 ODIs and 4 Tests combined against SA and NZ respectively. I expect us to win at least half of those encounters. All of this will be valuable preparation towards the big sub-continental spectacle in Spring 2011. With the way the tournament is structured anything can happen which will suit Pakistan's overall chances of success and even triumph!
I am just hoping against all hope that Aamir and Asif will be back for Pakistan. They are two gems and clear match winners and world class performers. Its highly unlikely they will return or if they have not been involved in match fixing or something of the sort but talent and ability wise Pakistan need them, no question about that, ideally speaking. But if can't happen that is totally understandable.
We want Younis Khan back as Test Captain and ODI player. The guy is a world class player and excellent leader who is being wasted by the clueless PCB management. I stand by Younis Khan. Come back soon.
In short, it shall be a very well anticipated winter which lies ahead where there is plenty to look forward to as the 2011 WC approaches. Pakistan will be looking to consolidate on their achievements and learning experiences gained this summer and should be looking to win a much larger proportion of fixtures in the exciting winter calendar. The PCB needs a new chairman who has the awareness, experience and vast understanding to guide Pakistan cricket forwards rather than someone who is destroying pride, humiliating reputation and behaving foolishly and shamelessly in Ijaz Butt. We can hope with a fresh and much needed change that Pakistan can taste the victorious flavour more often and will no longer be the laughing stock of world cricket which has to continuously bow its head in disgust. Surely there has to be light at the end of the tunnel where the cornered tigers can rise emphatically with strong leadership, sound management and a sophisticated systematic infra-structure which enables dreams and talents to be accomplished and strengthened?
7 years ago