Akhtar a must for Pakistan
One of the most exciting moments in a game of cricket is to see a
fast bowler tearing in and letting go at opposing batsman who are
ducking or weaving trying to avoid the missile of a delivery.
Over the years many countries have produced fast bowlers who were
sights to behold, with their superb run ups and excellent jumps at the
wicket before delivering.
Most countries used to rely on vicious spinners to win games for
them. The dazzlers from the Caribbean changed all that firing pace to
dump their opponents.
The 70s and 80s saw the Windies bowling raw pace with some of the
finest speed merchants that the game has seen. The names are too
numerous to mention. But can we forget the jet pace of Wesly Hall, Roy
Gilchrist, Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Colin Croft, Malcom Marshall
and Joel Garner to mention a few.
One of the bowlers carrying this excellent tradition and who was a
fearful sight to watch and batsmen to face was that Pakistani 'Rawalpindi
Express' Shoaib Akhtar.
Akhtar everytime he ran up to deliver made batsmen shake in the
knees. He was not only sheer speed and venom and was deadly accurate.
Many are the batsmen who have been struck and would vouch for the devil
One batsman who was felled by Akhtar was the great Brian Lara during
a game in the Champions Trophy in England last year. The way Lara was
hit unable to read a missile from Akhtar and the manner in which he
crumbled to the ground looked frightening.
Thank god Lara did not suffer some permanent damage.
The question on every cricket fans lips is: why is Akhtar not with
the touring Pakistanis in the Caribbean?.
When the Pakistanis fronted up to the Indians, Akhtar was recovering
from injury. But he rested, recovered quickly and was confident that he
would be on the flight to the West Indies.
But it was not so. According to the selectors he was still not fit.
But that excuse does not seem to go down with Akhtar's supporters. They
reckon that captain Inzamam Ul-Haq is not hitting it off well with the
fast bowler or vice versa.
If this is true then it is a sad reflection on those who steer
Pakistani cricket. It is accepted that sport is a great leveller. The
men who matter should have got them together and made them mend fences
and had Akhtar been in the Caribbean he could have given the Windies a
dose of their own medicine.
Pakistani batsmen of the past too, suffered at the hands of the
Windies pace brigade and Akhtar could have returned that with compound
We hope that Akhtar's return to the Pakistani side would not be long
in coming, because not only is he a sight to behold, he is a top class
Good on the Interim Committee for considering to compensate the
cricket selectors. Every aspect of the game today is professionalised
and it is but right that the selectors too be granted a stipend and
In the past it was not easy finding selectors, because it was an out
of pocket job and many were those who used to shun holding office as
Selectors have also been accused of not being present at the venue
watching the players whom they want to select in action.
Now that they are going to be compensated, no excuse would be good
enough if they are not at the scene of action.
Now that selectors are to be compensated, there would be a rush of
personalities to take on the selectors job.
Today those in the selection committee are lucky in that they too are
allowed trips abroad.