The Big Fall of Pakistan Cricket

The Big Fall of Pakistan Cricket

With the early exit of the Pakistan team in the 2024 T20 Cricket World Cup, Pakistan Cricket continues to see a huge decline and today is just a shadow of their glorious past.

It is time for Pakistan to reinvent its game, rejiggle its team and selection panel, and bring accountability to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for the decisions made for the sport’s development and progress, which has currently hit rock bottom.


Why has Pakistan Cricket Failed?

The fortunes of Pakistan Cricket and its current state of affairs are due to a systematic failure in administration and the lack of direction for the sport in the nation. The constant change in team and leadership has only added fuel to the fire along with the overall political instability in the country.


The Big Fall of Pakistan Cricket: Unstable Government

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is influenced by the ruling Government. The Cricket Board and its affairs are closely monitored and Board representatives get changed overnight with the slightest change in guard in the political scene in Pakistan. The cricket board in Pakistan changes with the change in government which happens frequently.


Political relationship with India

Like the Ashes, an India-Pakistan series in the 70s, ’80s, and ’90s was possibly the most awaited cricket series.

The strained relationship between India and Pakistan has seen India severing cricketing ties with Pakistan except to play them in ICC events as an exception. This has financially broken the back of the Pakistan cricket board. This has led to huge revenue loss for the Pakistan Cricket Board as the India-Pakistan match brings a lot of advertising for both boards, especially for the cash-strapped Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).


The Big Fall of Pakistan Cricket: Pakistan is not an ideal place for visiting teams

Pakistan cricket was rocked when in 2009, the touring team Sri Lanka, was attacked by terrorists and some players were seriously injured.

Pakistan has not been able to host cricket series at home regularly since then. It has resulted in a loss of domestic revenue and the morale of Pakistani players is at an all-time low. International teams are wary of visiting the country rocked by instability and corruption and also facing a huge financial mess. UAE became the second home for Pakistan cricket and all home tours were conducted in the UAE as an alternate. While this helped in reviving cricket, the revenue earned was far less compared to a home series.


The Big Fall of Pakistan Cricket: Unstable Cricket Board

In the last decade, the Pakistan Cricket Board has changed its chairperson six times. The new chairperson of the PCB will reinvent the administrative wheel of the board and thus not have any continuity from the previous regime. Money is the biggest motivator, not the game for the administrators and this lost focus on actually putting efforts to improve the quality of cricket. This also led to a corrupt administration. When a new board comes to power, player lobbies and favoritism plague the progress of the game. Players who suit the new board’s narrative suddenly make debuts and comebacks. The bad blood between players and the board has resulted in mistrust and a gradual decline in Pakistan cricket.

Pakistan has seen more than 30 coaches being appointed since 1992.


The Big Fall of Pakistan Cricket: No IPL for Pakistan players

Pakistan players are not allowed to participate in the cash-rich Indian Premier League which has not helped the current crop of Pakistani players adapt to the modern T20 game style. Though Pakistan also has its own T20 league, PSL, the cash-strapped league is not able to attract big names from other international teams except for some retired international players.


Pakistan Super League

Though Pakistan has the Pakistan Super League, its own T20 league, it lacks the quality and competitiveness of IPL. Due to its strong domestic cricket system and a rich cricket board, IPL attracts international players and a strong domestic talent pool is created who gets to taste international competitive cricket at a very young age. In comparison, PSL lacks the financial backing to be compared with IPL.


The Big Fall of Pakistan Cricket: Match Fixing Controversies

With Match-fixing controversies and later players being found guilty of malpractices, Pakistan cricket lost a lot of credibility amongst fans and the international audience.

Many young talented players were banned in a period when many of their key cricketing stars were retiring. This created a huge vacuum in the team setup.


Constant need to compare themselves with India

Pakistan cricket and Pakistan cricket fans are obsessed with India and Indian cricket. While they project themselves to be against everything that is Indian, they invariably tend to compare everything they do with Indian Cricket and India. This obsession has destroyed the very ethos of Pakistan cricket which was very competitive till the 2000s.

Indian Cricket today is the powerhouse of cricket and to compare with the current Pakistan cricket is like comparing apples with oranges. If a Pakistan Player shows some glimpse of talent, he is immediately compared to a current Indian great which gives a false narrative to the cricket fans who then get disappointed if the player is unable to deliver at that level.

Domestic Cricket and Pakistan Board

India, Australia, and England have a great domestic cricket structure. The Pakistan domestic structure is poorly funded and poorly run. The A team tours help cricketers to develop themselves for the international level. The poor first-class structure has not allowed Pakistan to develop a Pakistan A team. So, when a new player makes his debut for the national team, he is found wanting and unprepared especially when the team is traveling and exposed to overseas conditions.


The Big Fall of Pakistan Cricket: Fitness issues

Pakistan always was blessed with raw talent like Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akhtar in the past. Unlike in the past, Fitness today plays a crucial role in the modern era of cricket. Pakistan falls behind here too. Teams cannot just rely on raw talent.


The Big Fall of Pakistan Cricket: SuperSports Views

Cricket deserves to be an Olympic Sport. But the fall of Sri Lanka, West Indies, and Pakistan Cricket is making cricket less competitive and hence being an Olympic sport is a distant dream.

Blaming Babar Azam and seniors for the T20 early exit will not solve the problem and there is no hope for Pakistani cricket till the PCB is de-politicized. With all its imperfections, Pakistan still unearths raw world-class talent and will continue to do so. The game of cricket is one of the few sports Pakistan is truly good at. It’s part of their fabric.

While Test and 50-over cricket has taken a backseat, Pakistan is competitive mostly in T20Is. The shorter the format, the better they do. That’s the reason they’re still a relevant side in cricket.

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