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Is cricket over for Pakistan?

The Pakistan Cricket Team has always been considered as the cornered tigers. While this term might suggest positive connotations, for Pakistan, it often translates to winning by chance. Historically, Pakistan has clinched six major tournament victories: the 1992 Cricket World Cup, the 1998 Asian Test Championship, the 2000 Asia Cup, the 2009 T20 World Cup, the 2012 Asia Cup, and the 2017 Champions Trophy.
The 1992 Cricket World Cup (CWC) victory is often considered a stroke of luck. In fact, many of Pakistan’s successes in other CWC matches have come about through a mix of fortune, the shortcomings of other teams, and sheer chance.
While cricketing nations remain hopeful for their team to succeed and reach the quarter-finals in a tournament, the Pakistan Cricket Team often relies on a combination of equations, calculations, and prayers. Our hopes sometimes hinge on scenarios as convoluted as needing Australia to beat the West Indies by 170runs, Canada to win against South Africa by nine wickets, England to take all ten New Zealand wickets in 17 overs, the Earth’s rotation speeding up by 0.2 seconds, or the solar winds on Jupiter increasing by ten percent. In essence, our chances of advancing often feel as fantastical as wild tigers in Africa fasting for three days.
Pakistan’s performances in the World Cup have remained puzzling, to say the least. Although they have lost to teams like Bangladesh and Ireland in the past,the recent loss against the USA in the 2024 T20 Cricket World Cup serves as a stark reminder of this reality. With the tied match entering into a Super Over, Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir delivered three wide balls in this crucial part of the match. The USA scored 18 runs in the Super Over and won the match by five runs.
The issue with the Pakistan Cricket Team is not a lack of competence. Rather, it lies in its direction and discipline. A cricket team should be immersed in practice sessions and activities that enhance their mind, body, and soul, preparing them thoroughly for on-field performance. Pakistan’s frequent reliance on fortuitous scenarios to reach the final stages of major tournaments highlights a lack of direction and planning. Unlike Australia, England, and New Zealand, which focus on executing well-thought-out strategies rather than hoping for other teams’ losses or praying for rain, Pakistan often wins through a mix of enthusiasm and compulsion.
Addressing these issues is crucial. Our team needs to adopt a more structured approach, with clear plans and unwavering commitment to those plans. This includes preparing themselves as cricketers and performing as a team. Pakistan Cricket Teamneeds to achieve its desired goals through consistent performance rather than relying on chance. As Wasim Akram mentioned in a viral video, the Pakistan Team must analyze the situation on the field and act to overcome the challenge.
Perhaps it is high time for the Pakistan Cricket Board to select players from the domestic track rather than those who gain prominence by playing in the PSL. It is in human nature to perform averagely when seeking appreciation. Since an event like the PSL provides so much camera time, media attention, and branding opportunities to the players, it can lead them to consider themselves great prematurely. We need players who focus on the game and not on the glory – not until it is earned.

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