No Place for Old Men; Stupid Stars

May 12, 2016 | By

Every game changes with the passage of time; be it as popular as football or even cricket that is played (at international level) in selected countries. But it seems that Pakistan is the only country that refuses to go with the flow; we have people in the management who were alive when Don Bradman was playing; and players who consider themselves nothing less than the Don!

Let’s talk about the Stupid Stars who have failed whenever needed, missed whenever required and flopped when the rest haven’t. They are selfie-kings Ahmed Shahzad and Umar Akmal whose very presence threatens peace and harmony in the side. Their off-the-field activities keep them in the news whereas their on-field performance doesn’t warrant them a place in any side – be it international or domestic. They compare themselves with India’s Virat Kohli when they can’t be compared with Sikandar Raza of Zimbabwe who gives his 100% when on the ground, unlike the Pakistani cricketers.

Ahmed Shahzad was a regular in the side when Shahid Afridi was the captain; as soon as Afridi left the captaincy, luck deserted Shahzad. He scored runs for Peshawar and even led the team in Younis Khan’s absence but the new selection committee under Inzamam ul Haq believes in ‘one battle doesn’t win a war’. In their opinion, one good performance can’t account for the many failures that have embarrassed Pakistan on world stage. Ahmed will have to play like a world-class cricketer if he wants to make a comeback; criticizing appointed-coach Mickey Arthur on TV will not do him any good.

As for Umar Akmal, he has been around for 8 years and has a pathetic record in every format of the game. It was ex-coach Mohsin Khan who axed him from Test cricket but instead of ousting him from the other formats, he was kept in ODIs and T20I for unknown reasons. He has failed in more innings than any batsmen in the world because no one gets so many chances after failing repeatedly. Had he been in Australia, England or any other side, his career would have ended in 2010, the year when he refused to don the gloves so that his elder brother could revive his career.
And then there is the fittest man on the circuit – Intikhab Alam who a few years back claimed that he was fitter than most of the players. Yes our players might not be that fit but they are certainly more fit than Intikhab Alam who has always been at the center of controversies. When he was captain in the 70s, Pakistan drew matches instead of going for a win; when he was manager everyone listened to Imran Khan and not him; when he was coach, he was highly unimpressive and when he was in the management, nothing ended well. Even the match-fixing saga of the 90s began under his management and had he been in any other country, his career wouldn’t have progressed beyond the 70s. It was only because of Mushtaq Mohammad and later Imran Khan, that Pakistan managed to start winning Test matches otherwise we would have been playing for a draw; such was Inti’s influence on the players.

If Pakistan wants to become one of the leading sides in World Cricket, they must do away with the old men of PCB. Shaharyar Khan must leave his chair for someone who is younger, fitter and understands the game. The other countries in the world have opted for people with brain rather than experience and so should we. We don’t need Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shahzad to take our cricket forward; we have so much talent that if you make a list, these two and players like them will end up at the bottom of the table.

Omair Alvi

Omair Alvi is an author at ScoreLine and has written numerous articles published at

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