From Pakistan to Paki-fall

Before the ICC Champions trophy started, I said that picking a winner for this edition was like picking the correct lottery numbers. I still stand by that theory.

But what amazed me was the lack of application from Pakistan. I said that Pakistan were a team that can demolish any side in the world or they could look less than ordinary. After the defeat to South Africa, Pakistan still had an outside chance of making the playoffs, but with India crushing the West Indies, that chance has now evaporated. This means that Pakistan are the first team to vacate the tournament, with still their match against India to come.

India, meanwhile, became the first team to qualify for the semi-finals. Their match against Pakistan will determine where they finish on the log.

The match in Cardiff between the Proteas and the West Indies now becomes, effectively, a quater-final, as the winner will join India in the play-offs.

The last time Pakistan crashed out of an ICC event, was in the World Cup in the West Indies in 2007, when they were beaten by Ireland. Tragically, their coach at the time, Bob Woolmer, was found dead in his hotel room, which led the media and public to the immediate assumption that he had been murdered due to the loss. The Jamaican police stated that his death was due to asphyxiation by manual strangulation. But, after the completion of the tournament, Woolmer’s death was changed to death by natural causes and the investigation was closed.

Inzamam ul-Haq immediately announced his retirement from One Day International cricket, and as captain, but stated that he would continue to be part of the Test side, as a player only.

Pakistan have many talented players, but the current coach, Australian, Dave Whatmore, has yet to mould them into a consistant, cohesive unit. Besides lifting the Asian Cup in 2012, Pakistan have yet to really assert themselves on the field. In the Test format, Pakistan have lost four out of their last six test matches, with two draws. The ODI format has not been kind to them either, with only five wins out of the last 15 matches against top opposition, with 10 defeats. Whatmore certainly has a job on his hands, but whether a foreign coach is the right way to go for Pakistan, remains to be seen, as the former Australian international cricketer is the fourth foreign coach of the national side.

Todays game between England and Sri Lanka is vital for the sub-continent side. A victory for Sri Lanka will throw Group A wide open, with only two points separating the four teams, but a victory for the hosts, will send them through to the knock-out phase. A defeat for Sri Lanka will send them packing.

Author: Brendon

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