Wednesday, 18 May 2011

The Loss Of Pakistan's Cricketing Heritage!

As Pakistan lurched to a somewhat humiliating loss to the West Indies you couldn't help but be dismayed by their lack of respect to their cricketing heritage
A heritage that has somewhat been lost in the current age with fans being in awe of the Pakistani players natural talents and flashy shot making.Which is duly justified for its truly captivating,but behind the mastery of this for the likes of Javed Miandad,Zaheer Abbass and Inzamam ul Huq forgotten is the true grit and fight of these players.Even outside of these greats the lesser players like Mudasser Nazar and Mushtaq Mohammad to name but two again epitomised the characteristic of the cornered tiger moniker that is often attached to Pakistan.
And it must be said throughout it's cricketing history always embraced.......
This more than anything taught in 1958 by the man regarded as the father of Pakistan cricket in Hanif Mohammad.Who like most of Pakistan's batsman had the flash and the pizazz with his invention of the reverse sweep is testimony to this.
Though more than anything he cast in stone the true meaning behind success and respect in Test cricket for the future Pakistan players to follow.In regards to grit, concentration,fight and persevering no matter what the situation.
A day in Bridgetown,Barbados saw to this legacy in a situation about as dire as you'd get on a cricket field. In regards to being 473 behind on the first innings with three days still to play....
Put down your glasses guaranteed defeat in those circumstances........................!
Though this is where the game was popularised from a splinter sport in Pakistan to the hysterical following it has today.In a stay of over 16 hours at the crease that reaped a remarkable 337 against an attack that had the fire of Roy Gilchrist,the swing of Eric Atkinson and the class of spinners Collie Smith and Alf Valentine. Topped with the precocious youthful talents of Garfield Sobers. So you can see he wasn't playing against mugs to ease the pressure of in this cauldron like situation.In prevailing against these overwhelming odds. Hanif treated every ball as though it was a loaded grenade and saw his side to a draw that must go down as one of the most remarkable in the games history.
One of the truly inspirational individual acts in the games history that in truth gives me chicken skin recollecting on it...
Though in this age where batsmen struggle to bat out a mere session, let alone a day. The inspiration is indeed lost and the message with it.Even more condemning as you watched the Pakistani batsman go down like nine pins with little or no fight in England last year and now against a West Indies Team that hadn't won a Test in two years.
Disturbingly strange in a way when you think of the cultural reverence of Pakistan people in general to the teachings of their elders.And this is no different in cricket with lessons passed on from old to young like Chinese whispers.You only have to think of the generational passage of reverse swing for Pakistan's fine pacemen.
So why can't the current Pakistan batting youth see the relevance in Hanif's lead to restore their sagging image on the World scene?For you don't need the highest talent to show the same application and concentration that this innings embodied.Even if they wanted further proof they only had to look at their chief destroyer recently in Darren Sammy.A man that is universally slated for his lack of talent,but forging success through adhering to the basics of the game.
It seems apparent that the current breed of Pakistan player pays homage to the sexiness and flash of Shahid Afridi and his like,rather than the old school teachings of Hanif Mohammad.Buying into the relative ease of the formers example,rather than forging hard and struggling to adhere to the difficulty of the later and the substance it represents
So with the ignorance to their heritage that Hanif forged in stone for all to follow.Sadly with it the current breed of players will burn Pakistan's image to the ground and leave it in ashes
How Hanif must have his head in his hands in mourning over this in his Karachi home!

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