Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Opinions on... Kamran Akmal

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We have seen spinners bowling with the new ball. Wicketkeepers doubling up as opening batsmen. Spinners bowling in the power play is also not new. In fact this World Cup it self has seen many of these innovations in play; including Munaf Patel holding a catch while sitting on his butt; allegedly because there was no other way to avoid getting hit by the ball.

But Pakistan have gone "out of the box" with their innovation.

Following their game against New Zealand, they have decided to play without a wicket keeper.

No this is not like India in the past and South Africa today where specialist batsmen double up as wicket keepers. Pakistan will field no one in the position of a wicketkeeper.

Instead they will play a bowler extra, something Mahendra Singh Dhoni found extremely logical. Bowling is Pakistan's strength so they should play as close to 11 bowlers as possible he said. He however offered no comments to a team downsizing on the role of a wicket keeper.

Pakistan have a unique problem. An entire generation of mothers since September 23rd 1971, have been unable to conceive, deliver and nurture an International quality wicket keeper. Not yet 40 many wonder why Moin Khan isn't making a comeback.

The PCB in a rare moment of introspection and transparency acknowledged their failure in managing this problem. A few years back a survey of front line Pakistani bowlers had revealed that as long as a wicketkeeper holds on to 50% of the catches that come their way, they should be able to bowl Pakistan to winning positions. So the PCB used fake match fixers to offer Kamran Akmal millions of dollars to drop 50% of his catches.

No one is really sure if Kamran is plan incompetent, dishonest or is wobbly with his math.

But Pakistan's decision to field no wicket keeper is likely to raise a lot of questions. There are pages and pages of rules in the ICC rule book on what the wicket keeper should and should not do, where he should and should not stand (this section has illustrations by Billy Bowden), when he can and can't wear a helmet, where the helmet can and can't be placed and how many runs can and can't be scored if a ball hits or misses the helmet that has been placed where a helmet can be legally placed when the wicketkeeper can't wear the helmet.

However there is no rule which says that fielding a wicket keeper is mandatory.

Other unsolicited opinions on unsuspecting cricketers...

  1. Shahid Afridi
  2. Shakib Al Hasan
  3. Suresh Raina


Soulberry said...

Amazing chap Kakmal! One of the living wonders of the cricketing world.

Golandaaz said...

I commend Shoaib Akhtar for not throttling him.

Vidooshak said...

Well, Haider was doing well until he was spooked into decamping to London. So technically at least one mother should be taken off your list. :-)

Unknown said...

Kamran Akmal's favourite pickup line - "Can I DROP you somewhere?"

Anonymous said...

He drops catches, miss the stumping still smiles. He is not worried about it. I think he himself know it that he wont be dropped from the team. But Why? It remains a mystry.

Anonymous said...

Kamran Akmal is a jocker of the century. He is expert in dropping catches. Best is when he smiles after dropping catches. He is an advantage to the opposite team.