Friday, May 18, 2007

PCB plays the blame game

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has recently faced a barrage of scandals involving their international cricket team, starting with the infamous row with umpire Darrell Hair at England's Oval cricket ground in August 2006.

Pakistan's shock elimination from the 2007 Cricket World Cup, the mysterious death of the Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer, and a ferocious public backlash has forced the PCB to look for answers.

A commission set up by the PCB has blamed their legendary batsman and former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, for their first-round exit from the World Cup.

"Inzamam's attitude was haughty and that of a dictator and more than one incident proved that," Ijaz Butt, head of the committee, told AFP. "Inzamam should have been removed from the captaincy. As a player he was world-class but his attitude was haughty during and before the tournament."

PCB's commission demonstrates a defeatist attitude. PCB's woeful management is at the heart of the problems faced by their team. Pakistan cricket has reeled from one controversy to another during the last eight months. The alleged ball tampering furore at Oval resulted in the only Test match forfeiture in cricket history.

From a doping saga involving key players, to captaincy issues, an overhaul of the cricket board, player-breakdowns and, of course, the age-old spectre of infighting, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong.

Inzamam was captain of the Pakistani cricket team from 2003 and blaming only him sounds like a cheap shot. It is a farcical gesture by an inapt PCB.

Following an absurd system of "hierarchal" leadership - where the most senior man, irrespective of the leadership ability is made captain, Inzamam was made the captain.

He was never a strong leader. His careful style of captaincy, which has submerged his batting brilliance, has been catastrophic for him and the team.

To singly blame Inzamam for Pakistan's apalling world cup defeat is an unfair assault on the integrity of a person who has brought much joy to fans all around the world.

The incompetence lies with the PCB for failing to put the house into order.

Post script: Inzamam repudiates the commission report, as being biased since two of the three-panel judges that condemned him are paid members of the PCB. It appears they only managed to find a scapegoat.

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