The fact a demoralised looking Pakistan were thrashed by Australia in the second ODI in Sydney yesterday should hardly come as a great surprise. Not only were they up against a better team in pretty much every department, but they also had to cope with a grenade thrown by their own board chairman – Ijaz Butt.
Prior to the game yesterday and in lieu of three further ODIs and a T20I, Butt decided it would be a good time to state that Mohammad Yousuf would be replaced as captain at the end of the tour. Even though it is clear that Yousuf is hardly the best or most inspirational skipper, and he forever will be remembered for his appalling captaincy in the Sydney test, the timing is odd to say the least.
Pakistan haven’t helped themselves with internal bickering, dropped catches keystone cops style run outs and general bad play, but they are handicapped by the fact that they can no longer play international cricket in their own country following the attack on the Sri Lankan team last spring.
They have already managed to lose one captain in the last few months – Younis Khan – thanks to a mixture of a lack of support from his team mates and ridiculous claims by some Pakistani politicians that the team had thrown their Champions Trophy semi-final against New Zealand last autumn.
So for Butt to add to this turmoil now is beyond belief. How is Yousuf supposed to motivate himself knowing that his P45 awaits him when he gets back home? How is he supposed to motivate his team for the remaining three ODI? And why would the team respond knowing that there will be a new captain in a few weeks time? Obviously Butt, or should I say Arse didn’t think about any of this.
Yousuf is a very dignified man and the fact that he managed to score 58 in his team’s sorry total of 127 yesterday despite knowing his fate is a credit to him. The same cannot be said of Ijaz Arse.
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