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Under-19s exposed

Once again Pakistan’s humiliating defeat against arch-rivals India — the margin was 203 runs — ...

Under-19s exposed

Once again Pakistan’s humiliating defeat against arch-rivals India — the margin was 203 runs — has exposed PCB’s way of thinking and planning. India dismissed Pakistan for a paltry score of 69.

Pakistan Under 19s surrendered to Afghanistan in Asia Cup and now in World Cup semi-final to India. It is mind-boggling that a country which has little cricket infrastructure has defeated us at the under-19 level thrice and that too in a humiliating manner.

Whoever is responsible for this decline at junior level, the blame will have to be taken by the chairman PCB Najam Sethi who appointed the selection committee and the coaches.

He cannot save himself by saying that he looks after the international affairs of Pakistan cricket and PSL. The chairman PCB is the custodian of entire cricket of the country.

How Pakistani fielders were dropping catches and missing run-out chances isn’t expected in a semi-final of the Under-19 World Cup. One felt that they were table tennis players, not cricketers.

Who is responsible for changing five players who played in the Asia Cup? Both events were played within a month. So what was the reason behind changing the five players?

India had the services of Rahul Dravid, one who played 150 Test matches and hundreds of ODIs. And we had Mansoor Rana whom few people know. The same policy of musical chair goes on in the PCB.

Younis Khan and Muhammad Yousuf, two of Pakistan’ greatest batsmen, have expressed their willingness to coach Pakistan junior cricketers. So why doesn’t the PCB welcome them? They must know cricket a lot better than Mansoor.

Why don’t we use the services of former fast bowler Aqib Javed, who is a highly qualified coach and has the experience of coaching young cricketers? He produced good results when he coached Pakistan Under-19s in the 2004 World Cup. Wherever he has served, he has produced great results: at Pakistan’s national cricket academy, with Lahore Qalandars, and the UAE national team.

Pakistani fielders dropped at least four simple catches and missed three run-out chances during the first ten overs in the semi-final. Pakistani batsmen’s technique was exposed.

Thrice did they get out for less than 100 runs in the Asia Cup and the World Cup, two times against Afghanistan and once against India.

This semi-final win against Pakistan in the Under-19 World Cup marked a hat-trick of wins for India (2012, 2014, 2018).

It seems all that PCB is doing is organising the PSL. It has left the domestic cricket system and infrastructure uncared for.

The PCB’s domestic cricket committee has destroyed the domestic system. All it has been doing is restricting the role of the regions who are the real producer of future stars.

India’s 203-run win against Pakistan in the semi-final of the U19 World Cup is their fifth biggest win in the history. The biggest came against Scotland in 2004, when India won by 270 runs.

India is the only side to have qualified for the final of the Under-19 World Cup six times. Of the previous five occasions, India have won the title thrice.

This poor performance shows that the future is not bright for Pakistan cricket. There are no future stars coming up. And it happened because PCB has destroyed the domestic cricket and paralyzed regions due to its wrong policies. It is just the beginning. If PCB continues with this attitude, the game of cricket in Pakistan will slide as hockey has done.


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Syed Intikhab Ali

One comment

  • Frank analysis. I hope the questions are heeded, for cricket’s sake. T20 is a poor replacement for test cricket. Poor fielding is a hallmark of Pakistani cricket teams for some time now. Coaches, local and foreign have failed to rectify the situation.In the age of professionalism, this is inexcusable. Watching Pakistani batsmen struggle on the international stageis painful. Poor technique, lack of temperament is self evident. PCB would be sacked, if ya performance was independently assessed.

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