Miandad's tirade against Woolmer most unfair!

Written by: Suhrid Barua
Published: Thursday, December 23, 2004, 16:12 [IST]
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Javed Miandad has been a great servant of Pakistan cricket. As a player in his salad days, he literally wore the Pakistani colours on his sleeves. Highly passionate and someone who never flinches taking on his opposition players as far as the verbal war was concerned, he gave off his more than hundred per cent when playing for the country.

But Javed Miandad's recent tirade against Pakistan's English coach Bob Woolmer following their pulverizing defeat in the opening Test at Perth has left a bad taste in various quarters.

Miandad, who twice assumed the job of coach of the Pakistan side, had failed to deliver the results expected of him then. Of course, one is not trying to suggest that his stint as coach was a complete waterloo. Just that he wasn't able to live up to the lofty standards he set for himself as a player.

In the backdrop of Miandad not being able to produce results, which prompted the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to appoint Woolmer for the hot seat, Miandad's trenchant criticism of the former South African coach however, cannot be justified in any way.

Remember one thing: Woolmer has taken over the reins of a very young side and a tour of Australia considering that there are the numero uno side in the world, was always going to test the best in the business. It wasn't as if a bombshell of monstrous proportions had been dropped seeing the Pakistanis crumble at the WACA. Given that, the criticism looked touch below the belt.

The Pakistani batting is fairly inexperienced. Barring Inzamam and Youhana; the brigade of Imran Farhat, Salman Butt and Younis Khan, are relatively new to Test match cricket and the pressure-cooking scenario of McGrath and Co breathing fire at the WACA witnessed the young lads wilting under pressure and playing into their hands.

One is no trying to shield the Pakistan players from criticism nor one is trying to save Woolmer's skin. The point is one is trying to make is that Woolmer and his bunch of young lads must have given a reasonable amount of time before they can be judged whether they fit the bill at the top-flight level.

Having himself gone through the ups and downs in his own playing career, Javed Miandad would very well know about the pressures and expectations associated with international cricket. To see Miandad wading into Woolmer time and again was most unfortunate. It's like crucifying someone before being pronounced guilty.

There are still two Test matches to go and the tri-series coming up, Miandad would do well to stand behind the team and come up with moral support instead of rubbing salt to the wounds of the already confidence-shaken Pakistan players.

Miandad is a big hero in Pakistan and even as his left and right criticism of Woolmer was flashed across the dailies in Pakistan; it was like stoking the Pakistani fans which led to fans later burning effigies of Woolmer and Inzamam besides breaking a television set as a way to vent their ire.

Even legend Imran Khan was hurt by an abysmal Pakistani performance in the Perth Test. Like a true sportsman, Imran did not have a go at coach Woolmer. Nor did he have a swipe at skipper Inzamam and his players.

Imran instead took a dig at the Pakistan cricket board and pointed out the crying need to overhaul the faulty cricket system in Pakistan and put a lid on the never-ending flaying of cricketers and sacking of coaches one after another.

That's the great thing about Imran Khan. He sees things in perspective instead of going ballistic and searching for alibis like Miandad's doing at the moment!

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