Thursday, March 1, 2012

Why don’t we appreciate the benefits of stability and continuity in leadership?

These two words tend not to be associated with the Greens if history is anything to go by. Recently they have been applied & associated with the Greens more than ever before. We are seeing professionalism, discipline & healthy controversy free environment which are ingredients you need for consistency in performance over a period of time & for the progress to be achieved without problems occurring along the way. Yet virtually everyone is calling for the head of the captain with only 2 series defeats in 18 across all formats of the game in a year where there is an Asia Cup and T20 World championship scheduled. I find this mind boggling to say the least.

Pak need 1 captain across all formats to avoid politics. They have tried many times to have different captains across different formats, but it’s hardly ever worked has it? Remind yourself of the following incidents:-

Younis & Afridi = Younis was captaining in tests & ODIs whereas Afridi was captaining the T20 side in the latter half of 2009. What happened? Younis lost control & support of the players and refused to captain again.

Butt & Afridi = we found out that Butt was deliberately planning to underperform in the one day series in England so that Afridi could be removed. These are clear signs of internal groups developing.

Misbah & Afridi = Misbah was leading exceptionally in tests, there were question marks over Afridi’s performance, conduct & captaincy skills so much to the extent that Ijaz Butt delayed announcing the World Cup captain & decided to name him officially just 2 weeks before the tournament. Surely we don’t want to see the team to be the laughing stock of world cricket again due to indecisiveness & uncertainty over how they are moving forward?

Historically great captains have captained their sides in all forms of the game for a length of time. All teams should aspire to achieve greatness. In order to stand a chance of even achieving greatness different leaders for different formats is not the way forward.

We need to stop thinking emotionally or on individual likes & dislikes, but rather think logically & realistically about the best way forward for the team which comes before anything else. Continuously changing captains on a yearly basis when there are no major problems or mitigating circumstances will serve no purpose. Misbah has been praised highly from all corners and we should get behind him and more importantly his team. Why can’t we accept that we a need a leader like him at the fore? Is it really that difficult? His rein has been a memorable one. Why suddenly panic?

Reply: “But he’s 37”.......

Age is no barrier, age is just a number. He has the form, fitness and hunger. There is stability and continuity, the time is not right time to move a side or stand down. Misbah started his career late at 25 domestically so the body will still be in shape & not as worn as a typical 37 year old who’s been playing at major levels since 18/19. With the exception of this LOI series the results are coming through extremely well. Many players internationally have played late in their careers & served well for their teams. We play in the present, not in the future. Moreover, at least he keeps a genuine age identity rather than a deceptive one so he’s not all that old by Pakistani standards if we view if from this angle.

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