Kamran Akmal | Sportzwiki

Kamran Akmal

Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)
Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)
/

Ramiz Raja As A PCB Chairman Will Benefit Pakistan Players, Says Kamran Akmal

Kamran Akmal, Pakistan veteran former wicketkeeper-batsman has reacted to rumours of Ramiz Raja being in the mix to become PCB’s chairman. With Ehsan Mani’s tenure as chairman likely to end soon, Ramiz Raja is one of the prime contenders for the job. Kamran Akmal expects Ramiz Raja to lift Pakistan cricket to big heights should he take the post.

It was reported that Ehsan Mani will meet Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday (August 23) as convened by the latter’s wishes. Ehsan Mani’s time in the position ends a couple of days after that. But he intends to retain the spot moving forward, adding to his three years of service.

Ehsan Mani
Ehsan Mani

Kamran Akmal: A Cricketer Coming In As A Chairman Would Benefit Domestic Cricket And Benefit Players Financially

Speaking to Cricket Pakistan, Kamran Akmal recognized that Ramiz Raja’s hiatus from commentary duties could be a signal about his immediate future. The 39-year old feels a cricketer becoming the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman will benefit the players on all fronts since he has previously served as the national team’s skipper as well.

“He hasn’t been going for commentary duties in the last couple of series and that gave us some signals for the future. A cricketer coming in as a chairman would benefit domestic cricket. It will bring in money.

“There was a lot of talk about bringing in money by commercialising so that players get money. Ramiz (Raja) bhai coming in will benefit players financially. Maybe the teams might improve as well. Management might get better as well because he has been a captain himself.”

Kamran Akmal Photo AFP
Kamran Akmal Photo AFP

Akmal added: “Cricket doesn’t improve at the international level. If you want good cricketers, you have to make them at the grassroot level. Unfortunately, no one has been paying attention to it in the recent past. This is why cricketers at the lower level are ignored. We have all seen how sensitive he (Ramiz Raja) is regarding cricket with his words. It is time to walk the talk now.”

Ramiz Raja has played 57 Tests and 198 ODIs. He represented Pakistan (sometimes as captain) during the 1980s and the 1990s. Since retiring from cricket, he has been a commentator in international cricket matches. Ramiz Raja played international cricket for 13 years, appearing in 57 Test matches, with a career average of 31.83 and scoring two centuries.

In the One Day International arena, he played 198 matches and scored 9 centuries. He was a member of the national side that reached the semi-finals of the 1987 World Cup and played a pivotal role in Pakistan’s 1992 World cup win. Ramiz Raja didn’t respond to calls and messages but media reports said that Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is also patron-in-chief of the board has decided against giving Ehsan Mani an extension after his term ends this month.

Kamran Akmal : Ramiz Raja Has  Been In The PCB In The Past

Kamran Akmal further stated that Ramiz Raja has previously been in the PCB and brought some transformations as well. The 39-year old pointed out that the cricketer-turned-commentator often pointed out the ways of planning and how development must take place. Thus, Kamran Akmal predicts Ramiz Raja to make better decisions if he becomes the chairman and raises the graph of the Pakistan cricket team.

“He has been in the PCB in the past. He made region cricket and changed the system from division cricket. There is a new system now that was the Prime Minister’s vision. We have always heard him talking about how the team should plan, become mentally strong and develop.

“When he comes in as chairman, he will have an opportunity and would want to see how to raise the graph of our cricket team. This will happen if he makes correct decisions and looks after cricket.”

Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of ARY Sports

Pakistan has been one of the most inconsistent teams in recent times. They have some world-class players in their ranks but have failed to sufficiently move forward. The batting line-up sans captain Babar Azam has remained a consistent issue across formats in recent times.

Apparently, Imran Khan, himself a former captain under whom Ramiz Raja played the 1992 World Cup, feels it is time a former player runs the cricket affairs in the country. Another source said Ehsan Mani had also expressed reluctance to continue for another term due to health issues.

BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
/

BCCI Writes To ICC Urging It Not To Recognize KPL

BCCI has written to the ICC urging it to not recognize the Kashmir Premier League (KPL), the Pakistan domestic T20 tournament which is due to begin on August 6.
The PCB expressed its unhappiness over what it considered the BCCI’s attempts to interfere in the PCB’s internal affairs. That was based on reports that the BCCI had been in touch with a number of other Full Members to try and prevent players from those countries from appearing in the league.
BCCI, ICC, PCB
BCCI, ICC, PCB

BCCI Writes To The ICC Urging Not To Recognize The Kashmir Premier League

Herschelle Gibbs, the former South Africa opener, who is expected to play in the league, said on Twitter that he had been threatened that he wouldn’t be allowed entry “into India for any cricket-related work. Ludicrous.”
But it has emerged now that the BCCI had also reached out to the ICC. The basis of the BCCI’s complaint seems to center around the status of Kashmir as a disputed territory – and whether matches can be played in such territories – and its central place in the long-running dispute between the two countries.
The status of Kashmir has been the cause of several wars between India and Pakistan from the moment India gained independence and Pakistan was created in 1947. Both countries control parts of the region but govern it separately. Political and diplomatic ties between the two countries have fluctuated over the years, and are currently going through a prolonged low.
Former South Africa opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs. (Getty Images)
Former South Africa opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs. (Getty Images)
Relations between the two boards generally follow on from the political atmosphere of the day, and this latest spat will merely exacerbate an already strained relationship. But there would appear to be little the ICC can do about this. Approval for such domestic leagues is given by the Full Member country in which the tournament is being played, and not the ICC, and the KPL has the PCB’s approval. There is also nothing in any ICC regulations about matches in disputed territories.
The KPL is a six-team franchise-model league, PCB-approved, and to be played at the Muzaffarabad cricket stadium in Pakistan-administered Kashmir from August 6. Squads were selected in a draft last month and, according to the organizers, would be captained by Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal, and Shadab Khan.
The BCCI’s concern centers, however, on the foreign players signed up with the league, on the basis that international players turn the tournament into something more than just a domestic event and give it international legitimacy of sorts.

Monty Panesar Pulls Out Of KPL

Foreign players on the roster are mostly retired and include Monty Panesar, Matt Prior, Phil Mustard, Tino Best, Tillakaratne Dilshan, and Herschelle Gibbs. Through conversations with several boards, the BCCI has made it clear that these players would be considered rebels and would be treated by them as would the participants of any unrecognized league.
Monty Panesar declared that he will not be participating in Pakistan’s ‘Kashmir Premier League’ and also warned the other participating players to think about the consequences first before taking part in the Pakistan Occupied ‘Kashmir Premier League’.
Monty Panesar pulls out of Kashmir Premier League after BCCI threat following Herschelle Gibbs statement
Monty Panesar pulls out of Kashmir Premier League after BCCI threat following Herschelle Gibbs statement (Source: Twitter)

The two sides have not played each other in a bilateral series since 2012-13 or a Test match since 2007-08, though they do face off regularly in ICC events. PCB has accused the BCCI of not honoring their agreement, signed in 2014, to play bilateral series between the two nations. PCB claims that this has caused large commercial losses to them.

According to the agreement signed in 2014, India and Pakistan were scheduled to play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023 with four of those to be hosted by the PCB. However, BCCI has claimed that they have no authority on the same and have to follow the Indian government orders, that have prohibited any bilateral cricket between the neighbors, following which PCB claimed losses.

Former South Africa opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs. (Getty Images)
Former South Africa opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs. (Getty Images)
/

Herschelle Gibbs Terms It Unnecessary Of The BCCI To Stop Him From Playing In KPL But BCCI Says They Are Within Their Rights

Herschelle Gibbs, former South African batsman, and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) were slammed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) saying the Indian board is well within its rights to take decisions with respect to the cricketing ecosystem in the country.

This response from the BCCI comes on the same day when former Proteas’ batsman Herschelle Gibbs criticised the Indian board for allegedly stopping him to play in the Kashmir Premier League.

Herschelle Gibbs, one of the accused in the 2000 match-fixing scandal, has signed up to play for KPL franchise Overseas Warriors. (AP File Photo)
Herschelle Gibbs, one of the accused in the 2000 match-fixing scandal, has signed up to play for KPL franchise Overseas Warriors. (AP File Photo)

Herschelle Gibbs Termed It Unnecessary Of BCCI To Bring Their Political Agenda With Pakistan But BCCI Is Within Their Rights To Take Decisions: Official

Herschelle Gibbs plans to play for the Overseas Warriors in the six-team Kashmir Premier League, which runs from August 6-17 and includes several retired international cricketers.

“While one can neither confirm nor deny the veracity of the statement made by a former player who has figured in a CBI investigation into match-fixing earlier, the PCB must understand that even if Herschelle Gibbs’ statement is assumed to be true, the BCCI would be well within their rights to take decisions with respect to the cricketing ecosystem in India.

“The fact that the Indian cricketing ecosystem is the most sought after for cricketing opportunities globally, should not be envied by the PCB,” a BCCI official said.

PCB is coming across as confused. Just the way the decision to not allow players of Pakistani origin to participate in the IPL cannot be construed as interfering in the internal affairs of an ICC member, the decision, if any, to allow or disallow anyone from participating in any manner with cricket within India is purely an internal matter of the BCCI,” the official added.

Herschelle Gibbs have made some serious allegations on BCCI.
Herschelle Gibbs has made some serious allegations on BCCI.

Herschelle Gibbs, one of the accused in the 2000 match-fixing scandal, has signed up to play for KPL franchise Overseas Warriors. The official also said that the PCB can take up the matter with the ICC, but in the end, everyone knows why the Pakistan board is behaving this way, and what is motivating their actions.

“They are welcome to raise the matter at the ICC and one can understand where this is coming from but the question that they need to ask themselves is whether it is on account of government interference in their working since the PM of Pakistan is officially their Patron as per their own constitution. It is time to consider whether this issue also ought to be raised at the ICC,” said the official.

Earlier on Saturday, former Proteas batsman Herschelle Gibbs took to Twitter to say: “Completely unnecessary of the @BCCI to bring their political agenda with Pakistan into the equation and trying to prevent me playing in the @kpl_20. Also threatening me saying they won’t allow me entry into India for any cricket related work. Ludicrous.”

After this, the PCB also issued a statement, saying: “The PCB believes the BCCI has once again breached international norms and the spirit of the gentleman’s game by interfering in internal affairs of the ICC Members as the KPL has been approved by the PCB.”

Not impressed by this statement, the BCCI official added, “The PCB would do well to peruse the ICC’s classification of official cricket. In the eventuality that a retired player is participating as a player in a tournament, it would not quite be official cricket and any permission granted would be moot. I am not really sure how they are reading this to mean what they are intending it to mean, but then the PCB‘s positioning is always bemusing. They should allow cricket to entertain rather than their decision making.”

Tensions have been high between the neighboring countries Pakistan and India since New Delhi unilaterally changed the semiautonomous status of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, which is split between Pakistan and India but claimed by both in its entirety.

Pakistan has reduced diplomatic ties with India since then, vowing there will be no peace talks with India until the 2019 move under which New Delhi divided the Indian-administered part of the Muslim-majority Kashmir into two federally governed territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh — is reversed by the Indian government.

Pakistan also wants Kashmiri people to be given the right to self-determination under a 1948 U.N. resolution that called for a referendum on whether Kashmiris wanted to merge with Pakistan or India.

Kashmir Premier League’s Inaugural Edition Will Be Held With 6 Teams From August 6-16

The tournament is likely to see six teams- Overseas Warriors, Rawalakot Hawks, Muzaffarabad Tigers, Bagh Stallions, Kotli Lions, and Mirpur Royals. Players like Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Herschelle Gibbs, Monty Panesar, and Kamran Akmal are expected to participate in this team.

Wasim Akram (right) and Shahid Afridi (left) Getty Images
Wasim Akram (right) and Shahid Afridi (left) Getty Images

The first KPL edition is scheduled to be held with six teams from August 6 to 16. Five of those teams will represent cities in PoK, while the sixth franchise, Overseas Warriors, is reserved for overseas Kashmiris. The tournament’s launch saw a mix of politicians and former Pakistan cricketers.

Wasim Akram is KPL’s founding vice-president, while Shahid Afridi is the league’s brand ambassador. Inzamam-ul-Haq, Shoaib Malik, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, and Abdul Razzaq were present at the launch as well.

Kamran Akmal Photo AFP
Kamran Akmal Photo AFP
/

BCCI And ECB Must Play A White Ball Series Parallel To The 5 Tests: Kamran Akmal

Kamran Akmal, veteran Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman feels the BCCI and ECB must play a white ball series in parallel to India and England 5 matches Test series. Kamran Akmal believes there is enough depth in both Indian and English cricket, which can allow them to expose more players to international cricket.

ECB had to field a completely new England team with Ben Stokes as the captain for the ODI series against Pakistan due to the COVID-19 cases arising in the English camp. However, the England team still managed to whitewash Pakistan 3-0. The BCCI also fielded a new-look Indian team in the absence of Test specialists in England that beat hosts Sri Lanka 2-1 in ODIs.

Kamran Akmal
Kamran Akmal © Getty Images

Kamran Akmal: RECB And BCCI Must Think About Organizing A White Ball Series In Parallel To The Test Series

In a video on his YouTube channel, Kamran Akmal explained how both ECB and BCCI can provide international exposure to the huge pool of players that they have.

“The way this new-look Indian team has performed has been simply outstanding. The ECB and the BCCI must now think about doing a white ball series in parallel to the Test series.

“They have the ability to make two teams each and can play white-ball cricket with some other country. This will give the players confidence and experience at international level,” Kamran Akmal stated.

Shubman Gill, Avesh Khan & Washington Sundar | Getty
Shubman Gill, Avesh Khan & Washington Sundar | Getty

The main Indian team that is preparing for the Test series in England is ravaged by a number of injuries. After Shubman Gill was ruled out due to a shin injury, Avesh Khan and Washington Sundar will also miss the series due to injuries sustained in the warm-up game against County Select XI.

Kamran Akmal: Things Might Get Difficult For India As Virat Kohli Has A Stiff Back While Ajinkya Rahane Has A Hamstring Issue

But the two biggest injury concerns will be skipper Virat Kohli and deputy Ajinkya Rahane, who missed the warm-up game due to a stiff back and a hamstring issue respectively. Kamran Akmal feels the Indian team will have a hard time in England having to deal with so many injuries.

“There so many injury concerns in the Indian camp that is preparing for the England series. First Shubman Gill was injured, then Sundar got injured. Skipper Kohli had a stiff back and it will be interesting to see whether he sits out of the first Test. Rahane has a hamstring issue to so without these 2-3 players, things might get difficult for India,” Kamran Akmal concluded.

Virat Kohli backs Ajinkya Rahane Image Source : GETTY IMAGE
Virat Kohli backs Ajinkya Rahane Image Source: GETTY IMAGE

Suryakumar Yadav has received his maiden Test team call-up and he along with opener Prithvi Shaw and off-spinner all-rounder Jayant Yadav will be flying to England as replacements sought by the team management after three players were ruled out due to injury.

Shubman Gill, Washington Sundar, and Avesh Khan have been ruled out from the ongoing tour after suffering injuries. The Test series is due to start on August 4. While Shubman Gill was ruled out due to shin splints suffered during the World Test Championship final against New Zealand, Avesh Khan dislocated a thumb during the warm-up game against County XI while Washington Sundar aggravated his finger injury.

England won the 3 ODIs against Pakistan by 9 wickets, 52 runs, and 3 wickets respectively. Pakistan won the 1st T20I by 31 runs but England won the 2nd and 3rd T20I by 45 runs and 3 wickets respectively to win the series 2-1.

The likes of James Vince(158 runs averaging 79), Lewis Gregory(117 runs averaging 58.5 and 4 wickets averaging 24.25) and Saqib Mahmood (9 wickets averaging 13.67) stood out for England in the ODI series in the absence of senior players.

Pakistan
Pakistan cricketers (Image Credit: Twitter)
/

Kamran Akmal After England’s Win In 1st ODI: ‘The Way Pakistan Played It Felt Sri Lanka Never Left’

Kamran Akmal, who has represented Pakistan in 52 Tests, 157 ODIs, and 28 T20Is, said he never felt that Sri Lanka had left England as he was left disappointed with Pakistan’s performance in the first ODI against second-string England consisting of 5 debutants after the England selectors named a fresh 18 men team after Covid outbreak in the team announced earlier.

Kamran Akmal slammed Pakistan for losing the first ODI in Cardiff on Thursday to an inexperienced England side that had five debutants in. Pakistan was outplayed in all three departments of the game as the hosts took a 1-0 lead.

Kamran Akmal
Kamran Akmal © Getty Images

Kamran Akmal Doesn’t Understand Which Way Pakistan’s Performance Is Heading

Kamran Akmal, who last played for Pakistan in 2017, said neither their cricket nor their selection process is right. The wicketkeeper-batsman said it was hard to understand how an in-form team that had beaten South Africa can go down like this to a second-string England side.

“I don’t understand which way our performance is heading. It should get better by the day but Pakistan had a fully confident team who had played PSL, beaten South Africa. Wins and losses are part and parcel but the character needs to be shown now. Neither our cricket nor our selection process is right,” Kamran Akmal said on his YouTube channel.

Saqib Mahmood dismissed Babar Azam for a duck in his first over Getty Images
Saqib Mahmood dismissed Babar Azam for a duck in his first over Getty Images

Sent in to bat first, Pakistan got off to the worst possible start by losing two wickets inside the first three balls of the match. Saqib Mahmood ran through the Pakistan top-order and he was well supported by Lewis Gregory, who too struck from the other end. Pakistan never recovered from the early jolts and was skittled out for 141 in 35.2 overs.

In reply, Dawid Malan and Zak Crawley struck unbeaten half-centuries as England chased the target down in just 22 overs with nine wickets in the bank.

Kamran Akmal: It Felt As If England Was Playing Against Sri Lanka

Disappointed with Pakistan’s performance, Kamran Akmal, who has represented Pakistan in 52 Tests, 157 ODIs, and 28 T20Is, said he never felt that Sri Lanka had left England.

“The way Pakistan played cricket, it didn’t feel as if Sri Lanka had left England. It felt as if England was playing against Sri Lanka itself. England did something that Pakistan should have done, bowling the opposition out for 141. Ben Stokes’ captaincy was outstanding,” Kamran Akmal stated.

Sri Lanka had lost all the matches of their limited-overs series against England.

“They had so many new players but to bowl out an in-form Pakistan batting line for 141 was creditable. If we had scored 250 then we could have put pressure on their batting line-up. We had a better bowling attack than them. Gregory took the new ball for England, that tells you a story,” Akmal said.

Zak Crawley and Dawid Malan steered England home AFP/Getty Images
Zak Crawley and Dawid Malan steered England home AFP/Getty Images

It has been 36 years since England put out a side with so few caps (135, with Ben Stokes accounting for 99 of them and James Vince 17 more). Ultimately, there were five new caps in the England side, the most since the ODI against Ireland in May 2015.

Top-order batters Zak Crawley and Phil Salt, wicketkeeper John Simpson, seam-bowling allrounder Lewis Gregory and fast bowler Brydon Carse all made their debuts. Zak Crawley and Lewis Gregory had played Test cricket and T20Is respectively, but the other three had no experience of international cricket.

Two days before the one-day series was scheduled to begin, England announced that seven of its personnel — three players and four members of the backroom staff — had tested positive for coronavirus. With the rest of the squad instructed to isolate after being identified as close contacts, the tour — featuring three ODIs and three Twenty20 matches — could have been in jeopardy but the England and Wales Cricket Board hastily assembled an entirely new 18-strong squad from across England’s county game.

England 142 for 1 (Malan 68*, Crawley 58*) beat Pakistan 141 (Zaman 47, Mahmood 4-42) by nine wickets

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
/

Kamran Akmal: Pakistan Has An Advantage In T20 World Cup 2021 In UAE

Kamran Akmal feels the Pakistan cricket team will have an advantage in the upcoming T20 World Cup to be held in the UAE instead of India.

While speaking in a YouTube chat, Kamran Akmal explained why Pakistan would enjoy playing the T20 World Cup in the UAE.
Kamran Akmal
Kamran Akmal © Getty Images

Kamran Akmal: Pakistan Should Have The Advantage In The T20 World Cup

Wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal feels that Pakistan will have an advantage in the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021 which is set to be shifted from India to the United Arab Emirates. Kamran Akmal believes that the experience in the UAE will benefit the team in the marquee event since Pakistan has been regularly playing international cricket in the UAE for around a decade.

While speaking with the YouTube channel ‘My Master Cricket Coach’, Kamran Akmal explained why Pakistan would enjoy playing the T20 World Cup in the UAE.

“Pakistan should have the advantage in the T20 World Cup. We’ve played international cricket for 9 to 10 years in the UAE. That makes Pakistan the most experienced side under the conditions,” Akmal said.

Representational image of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad
Representational image of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad

Following the 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka national cricket team’s bus, no Test cricket was played in the country until 2019. Between 2009 and 2016, their home matches have been mostly held in the United Arab Emirates.

However, due to the increase in security and comparatively fewer terrorist attacks, many teams have toured Pakistan since 2015. These teams include Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Bangladesh, South Africa, and an ICC World XI team, with England scheduled to tour in October 2021. In addition, the Pakistan Super League has seen games hosted on Pakistan soil.

Kamran Akmal: It’s Difficult To Pick A Favourite For The T20 World Cup

UAE has been the base for several T20 tournaments in the last few years. The Pakistan Super League (PSL) was recently conducted in Abu Dhabi while the second phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 is going to be held in September, after getting suspended earlier this year.

IPL 2020 was also held in the UAE for Covid-19. Since many foreign players have been participating in these leagues, Kamran Akmal feels they would also get benefitted from the experience of playing in the UAE.

“Not only players from India and Pakistan but from other countries will also benefit going into the T20 World Cup since a lot of them play in both PSL and IPL. Given the conditions in the UAE, Afghanistan can also prove to be a dangerous side, looking at the players that they have. So, it is difficult to pick a favourite for the T20 World Cup,” Akmal said.

Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The upcoming edition of the World T20, initially scheduled to be held in India, will be shifted to the United Arab Emirates due to the prevalent Covid-19 situation in the country. BCCI President Sourav Ganguly informed that the board has already intimated the International Cricket Council (ICC) about the eventuality.

“We have officially intimated the ICC that the T20 World Cup can be shifted to the United Arab Emirates. The details are being chalked out,” Ganguly was quoted.

The BCCI has communicated to its member associations that this year’s T20 World Cup will be held in the UAE.  They will, however, retain the hosting rights of the 16-team event that is scheduled to begin on October 17, two days after the completion of the IPL 2021 final, also in the UAE.

The T20 World Cup, last held in 2016 in India, was originally scheduled to be held in Australia 2020. With the Covid-19 pandemic disrupting the global cricket calendar though, the ICC postponed the tournament, deciding that India would host it in 2021 with Australia hosting the 2022 edition.

World Test Championship, India
Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]
/

Kamran Akmal Backs Virat Kohli To Continue As Skipper

Kamran Akmal believes that Indian skipper Virat Kohli is a wonderful leader and backed him to continue as Indian captain despite not winning ICC trophies.

Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal praised Indian captain Virat Kohli, stating that the latter cannot be blamed only for his team’s defeat in the inaugural ICC World Test Championship against New Zealand.

Kamran Akmal
Kamran Akmal © Getty Images

Kamran Akmal Has No Doubt Over Virat Kohli’s Captaincy Credentials

Virat Kohli’s leadership skills and his performance with the bat have come under intense scrutiny ever since India lost the WTC Final to Kane Williamson’s New Zealand by 8 wickets in Southampton. It was the third ICC event where India failed to emerge victorious under his leadership.

However, Kamran Akmal believes that Virat Kohli is a wonderful leader and backed him to continue as Indian captain. While speaking on the ‘My Master Cricket Coach’ YouTube channel, the Pakistan cricketer said the Indian skipper is an absolute match-winner but has been a ‘bit unlucky’ on important occasions.

“Virat Kohli is a big player and a fantastic captain. He is aggressive and very emotional. Any captain who has come in has only taken Indian cricket forward. It started with Sourav Ganguly, then Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni took over. Yes, everyone has complained that Virat Kohli hasn’t won any ICC trophy. But, apart from that, he has won almost everything. India has won so many series’ under Virat Kohli.”

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source: AP IMAGE
 “He has been a bit unlucky, but I have no doubt over his captaincy credentials. He is a great captain and match-winner,” Akmal said.

Virat Kohli-led India lost the WTC final to New Zealand. Under Virat Kohli, India has played three ICC tournaments and has failed to win any of them. Lack of match practice, another batting failure, and an ordinary bowling show summed up India’s failure in the match which mattered most-the WTC final.

Kamran Akmal: It Will Be Unfair To Blame Only Virat Kohli

The Pakistan cricketer further opined that the India team management needs to analyze why they are not winning big events.

“It (India not winning ICC events) is not completely Virat Kohli’s fault. What is the guarantee that another captain can come in and win India an ICC trophy? As a team, they have to analyze why they are not winning the big events. They reach the last stages but fail at the final hurdle. It will be unfair to blame only Virat Kohli. According to me, as long as he feels that he can do the job, he should continue,” he added.

WTC final: Pleasing to dismiss Virat Kohli, he's 'world-class' batter, says Kyle Jamieson | Photo Credit: AP
WTC final: Pleasing to dismiss Virat Kohli, he’s ‘world-class’ batter, says Kyle Jamieson | Photo Credit: AP

Virat Kohli scored 44 and 13 in the two innings of the WTC final against the Black Caps. He was dismissed by his Royal Challengers Bangalore teammate Kyle Jamieson on both occasions.

Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin AFP
Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin AFP
/

India Should Never Have Played 2 Spinners On Seaming Pitches, Says Kamran Akmal

Kamran Akmal, Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batsman feels India got their combination for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand wrong by playing 2 spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin together and paid a heavy price for that.

Kamran Akmal stressed that Team India’s batting had been underwhelming in the run-up to the WTC final. So they ought to have strengthened that department given the seaming conditions that were on offer.

Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja Photo Credit: AP
Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja Photo Credit: AP

Kamran Akmal: One Should Never Play 2 Spinners On Seaming Pitches

India was bowled out for 217 in the first innings of the WTC final and crumbled to 170 in their second essay. Thus, in spite of the fact that two full days of play were lost to rain, New Zealand trounced India by eight wickets on the Reserve 6th Day.

Kamran Akmal said on the YouTube channel ‘My Master Cricket Coach’ that India erred in not picking a playing XI based on the conditions unlike New Zealand while discussing where Team India went wrong in the WTC final.

He explained: “The one big danger for Team India in the WTC final was New Zealand’s bowling. India’s batsmen have not scored big runs, starting with the Australia series. Ajinkya Rahane scored a hundred (in the MCG Test), and then Rishabh Pant came in and scored important runs down the order. In the home series (against England) as well, only Pant and (Ravichandran) Ashwin scored some runs.”

Akmal continued: “If we look at India’s playing XI for the WTC, you should never play two spinners on seaming pitches. New Zealand chose the perfect playing XI according to the overcast conditions. They won even after the entire first day’s play was lost to rain. India should have strengthened their batting. “

Kamran Akmal
Kamran Akmal © Getty Images

“As it is, their batsmen weren’t among the runs. Virat Kohli was not in form; the opening partnership was not working well. India should have analysed all these issues before finalising their playing XI. They played the same combination of two spinners, which they had in Australia and at home, a move that backfired.”

Ravindra Jadeja had an off Test as he scored 15 off 53 balls before dismissed by Trent Boult in the first innings. When it came to bowling, the all-rounder returned figures of 1/20 in 7.2 overs. In the second innings, he could only score 16 off 49 deliveries and only bowled eight of the 45 overs in the second innings, going wicketless and conceding 25 runs.

Unlike India, New Zealand went into this big match with four quicks, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wagner, and Colin de Grandhomme as their pace bowling all-rounder at no. 7.

Kamran Akmal: New Zealand Had An Advantage Since They Had Played England Prior To The Final

Kamran Akmal, however, backed Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s views that the marquee WTC final should be a best-of-three affair. He further suggested that the summit clash should be played at a venue where neither finalist has an undue advantage.

He elaborated in this regard: “New Zealand had an advantage, as they had already played two Tests in England. They were used to the conditions.”

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source: AP IMAGE

While Kamran Akmal backed the decision to give the India players a break ahead of the gruelling England Tests, he opined that the side could have shortened their three-week break and played some practice games against a few counties. According to the Pakistan player, India needs to get used to seaming conditions in England.

“Team India players deserve a break. They played in the IPL and here in the WTC final. They have been under constant mental stress due to the quarantine. So this break should help to refresh them ahead of the England series. India have a good chance of winning in England, but that will depend on how they play seam-bowling. “

“England will prepare pitches to exploit India’s weakness. So India could have cut short their three-week holiday and instead could have played practice games against some counties to get used to the conditions. Still, I feel India have a great chance to win in England this time.”

India is supposed to play two intra-squad matches in Durham ahead of the five-match Test series against England. They are unlikely to play any warm-up games against any of the county sides, owing to COVID-19 protocols as the England board is unwilling to change its stance.

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
/

Pakistan Should Give Youngsters Longer Run To Prove Themselves, Says Imam-ul-Haq

Imam-ul-Haq has explained that one of the things that are pulling down Pakistan cricket is the unwillingness to give the younger players a long rope.

During the 1990s and 2000s, the contests between India and Pakistan used to be pretty evenly-matches. However, over the last few years, the contests have become a lot more one-sided. While India has developed a strong pool of players, Pakistan has not been able to do that at the same level as their rivals.

Imam-ul-Haq © AFP
Imam-ul-Haq © AFP

Imam-ul-Haq Spoke To Eoin Morgan And Virat Kohli As He Feels Pakistan Is Lacking As Their Cricketers Isn’t Given A Proper Run To Prove Themselves

Opening batsman Imam-Ul-Haq has explained that one of the things bothering Pakistan cricket is the unwillingness to give the young players a long rope, something that cricketing nations like India and England have excelled at.

India’s pool of players is vast and highly talented, whereas England isn’t much behind. Pakistan, on the other hand, have depth in their line-up of their youngsters, but Imam-ul-Haq reckons the management needs to show faith in their abilities and give them considerable opportunities to help them nurture.

Eoin Morgan, Virat Kohli
Eoin Morgan, Virat Kohli
Image Credit: Getty Images.

“I have spoken to Eoin Morgan and Virat Kohli, two of the most successful captains in white-ball cricket. I have heard from them and their players that the cricketers get a full go and a proper run to prove themselves. I think this is where we are lacking,” Imam told sports presenter Sawera Pasha on the YouTube show ‘Cricast’.

“I think if we find that consistency, we will get better results. In South Africa, we managed to chase 330, because the core of the ODI side has been the same for a while.”

 Pakistan batsman Imam-ul-Haq has opined that players being underpaid compared to nations like India is one reason youngsters cannot express themselves freely out in the middle. Like the IPL, Pakistan has its own T20 league (PSL). However, according to Imam-ul-Haq, players don’t get paid enough, be it in the franchise or domestic cricket.
The 25-year-old revealed that he has even spoken to legends like Eoin Morgan and Virat Kohli on why their (white-ball) teams are incredibly successful and how they managed to maintain consistency.

Imam-ul-Haq: IPL Has Made A Big Difference In India

Another reason why Pakistan is behind in terms of producing quality young cricketers such as India points out Imam is not getting the chance to play the IPL. Pakistan cricketers have been banned from playing the IPL, with their only appearance coming in the first-ever edition back in 2008. Imam-ul-Haq says a tournament of the calibre of IPL has gone a long way in shaping youngsters.

“So when they face these bowlers in international cricket, there is less of a mental barrier. For Pakistan, a player is directly drafted in from domestic cricket, so he finds it difficult to make that immediate adjustment,” Imam explained.
Sohail Tanvir IPL
Sohail Tanvir IPL. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Apart from Pakistan’s Sohail Tanvir (Rajasthan Royals), other Pakistan cricketers like Shahid Afridi (Deccan Chargers), Shoaib Malik (Delhi Daredevils), Shoaib Akhtar (Kolkata Knight Riders), Misbah-ul-Haq (Royal Challengers Bangalore), Mohammad Asif (Delhi Daredevils), Kamran Akmal (Rajasthan Royals), Salman Butt (Kolkata Knight Riders), Umar Gul (Kolkata Knight Riders), Younis Khan (Rajasthan Royals), Mohammad Hafeez (Kolkata Knight Riders) participated in IPL 2008.

Sohail Tanvir represented Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the inaugural edition of the T20 Championship and scripted history by claiming the Purple Cap. Rajasthan Royals was on a roll during IPL 2008 as they became the first franchise to lift the elite Trophy. Sohail Tanvir played a major role in Rajasthan’s success as he picked 22 wickets in 11 matches including a best of 6 for 14, which stood as an IPL record for many years.

Sohail Tanveer. (Photo credit should read CHRIS RATCLIFFE/AFP via Getty Images)
Sohail Tanveer. (Photo credit should read CHRIS RATCLIFFE/AFP via Getty Images)
/

Sohail Tanvir Maintains He Initially Had No Idea What IPL Was

Sohail Tanvir, a former Pakistan seamer was one among a handful of Pakistan players who received a chance to feature in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Sohail Tanvir represented Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the inaugural edition of the T20 Championship and scripted history by claiming the Purple Cap.

Rajasthan Royals was on a roll during IPL 2008 as they became the first franchise to lift the elite Trophy. Sohail Tanvir played a major role in Rajasthan’s success as he picked 22 wickets in 11 matches including a best of 6 for 14, which stood as an IPL record for many years.

Sohail Tanvir IPL
Sohail Tanvir IPL. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Sohail Tanvir Was Young And Inexperienced When He Played IPL In Its Inaugural Edition In 2008

The veteran opened up on his stint in the Indian Premier League saying that it was an enriching experience and gave him a platform to play against some of the best players. Sohail Tanvir admitted that initially, he had no idea regarding what the IPL was.

In an interaction on the YouTube channel My Master Cricket Coach, the 36-year-old said, “When I played IPL back in the first edition in 2008, I was young and inexperienced as I had not played too many international games.”

“That time, I think we were playing a series against South Africa and league cricket hardly used to be played, so I had no idea what the IPL was. The cricket board told me that we have got you a contract and you have to go to play IPL in March-April,” he said

“And, when I went to play in the IPL, there were so many big stars. I had never thought about something like that. The best bowlers from all over the world were there. So, to go there and perform so well…” Tanvir added.

The Rajasthan Royals (RR) is a franchise cricket team based in Jaipur, India, which plays in the Indian Premier League (IPL). They were one of the eight teams that competed in the 2008 Indian Premier League. They were captained by Shane Warne. The all-rounder Shane Watson won the man of the tournament award for scoring as many as 472 runs and picking 17 wickets.

Shane Watson With Rahul Dravid (PTI)
Shane Watson With Rahul Dravid (PTI)

Rajasthan Royals finished winners in the IPL and qualified for the champions league T20. The team won the inaugural edition of the IPL under the captaincy of Shane Warne, despite being written off as a title contender by the media and fans. The Royals were also the runners-up of the 2013 Champions League Twenty20 under Rahul Dravid’s captaincy.

On 14 July 2015, Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings were suspended for two years over a 2013 betting scandal, meaning they could not participate in both the 2016 and 2017 IPL tournaments. They returned to the competition for the 2018 season.

Sohail Tanvir: Everyone Knows About The Fan Following Of Pakistan Players In India And If Pakistan Players Are Allowed To Play In IPL, It Will Be Beneficial For Both Players And League

2008 was the last season when the Pakistan players played in the Indian Premier League. Due to the political tension between the two neighbouring nations, India and Pakistan face each other on the cricket field only during the ICC events. However, the veteran seamer is hopeful that relations between India and Pakistan will improve soon and the Pakistani players will be allowed to feature in the tournament as it will benefit both the players and the league.

“If Pakistani players are allowed to play in the IPL, it will be beneficial for both the players and the league. Players from all over the world except Pakistan play in the IPL. Everybody knows about the fan-following of Pakistan players in India. I have witnessed that while playing for Pakistan and also in the IPL.”

Shoaib Akhtar, Shah Rukh Khan Photo Credit: PTI
Shoaib Akhtar, Shah Rukh Khan Photo Credit: PTI

“When I played IPL, I learned a lot. Since I did well, it played a major role in me gaining confidence going ahead. So it would be great if our players get to play in the league. But, these things are not in our control. There are many other factors at work. Hope it happens sooner or later,” Sohail Tanvir signed off.

Apart from Pakistan’s Sohail Tanvir, other Pakistan cricketers like Shahid Afridi (Deccan Chargers), Shoaib Malik (Delhi Daredevils), Shoaib Akhtar (Kolkata Knight Riders), Misbah-ul-Haq (Royal Challengers Bangalore), Mohammad Asif (Delhi Daredevils), Kamran Akmal (Rajasthan Royals), Salman Butt (Kolkata Knight Riders), Umar Gul (Kolkata Knight Riders), Younis Khan (Rajasthan Royals), Mohammad Hafeez (Kolkata Knight Riders) participated in IPL 2008.

1 2 3 6