Two days before their encounter in Cardiff, Pakistan vs England in the Twenty20 international series was once again postponed due to a dispute between the teams. After an hour-long session on the field in Cardiff, the players and umpires were unable to conclude the series. The postponement comes just ahead of the scheduled start of the series. This time the entire Pakistan team has left for the England side to prepare for the four-day match. Right Wing, Left Wing and Bowling Ground are the three venues that have been given for this ongoing fixture.
During this T20I series, which went underway in Cardiff, Australia, last week, hasan Ali took six wickets in only ten overs. The tall left-handed middle-order batsman, who added two more wickets to his name, received two consecutive official warnings by the umpires while running onto the ground. Full cricket scorecard: Pakistan Vs England 5th ODI in Cardiff. After the fifth over, he was not found anymore and the decision was made to dismiss him. The Australian captain, Michael Yarde, and some of his assistants tried to pacify the English side by offering hassan bhai.
However, the batsman kept insisting that he had been playing only for fun. The decision was finally made to dismiss him after Paksaid was informed of the length of time he had been on the field. Despite being one of the best all rounders in the country, hasan Ali was hardly able to impress during his two appearances against the English. In the first day of the t20i, he was not able to make a century, but he managed to grab one as the last wicket fell to him. Two days later, he was unfortunately run out when playing on his off stump, taking a further four wickets, all from his partner, Alastair Cook.
After this, it appeared as if Alastair Cook was the man who would carry Pakistan to victory over England in the next Investecision T20I in Sharjah. As it happened, however, that same day Pakistan were also knocked out of the tournament by the same team – England. This left Pakistan with only one T20I against England and their other schedules remained unchanged. Only two matches remained in the ongoing odi series between Pakistan and England; and both of them went into extra sessions.
Two days later Pakistan were eliminated in the same tournament by Sri Lanka. What made this situation even worse for Pakistan fans is that their entire IPL season was already over. They were due to face India in the final, but were pulled out early due to financial problems. Then their captain Musharraf was arrested for allegedly fixing a match, while their coach Waqan Ahmed was given a yellow card for leading his team to a defeat. With both players and coaches being suspended, the team was without a manager and with only three members in the outfield, their entire cricketing future was in doubt. All hopes of coming out of this IPL mess were dashed.
Now, a week after the end of the Pakistan tour, both teams have been given another chance at redemption. Pakistan will travel to India for their next IPL tournament and England are hoping to win the domestic league for only the second time in their history. If they can win against an inferior opponent like India, then it would be more than enough for Pakistan to win against any other top-class team. But with injuries to key players, such a result is not guaranteed.
In fact, while England have finally got their money’s worth out of this international break, Pakistan have been left to rue their poor performances in the previous IPL season. They made no bones about wanting to win the IPL title but ended up unable to even make the starting line-up and were swept out of the competition in the first round. This was perhaps their biggest chance to prove that they can challenge for world rankings and challenge for the top position in the world, but unfortunately they were unable to do so. They need to build on this disappointing performance and win the remaining four matches of the IPL – against stronger teams such as Australia and New Zealand.
The last opportunity for Pakistan to prove themselves this IPL season was during their IPL 4 tournament against the eventual champions, Mumbai Indians. Azam was out-bowled by debutant opener Ajmal Khan but with great support from veteran players such as Junaid Khan and overs of unbroken off-spin, Pakistan was able to earn a draw and move into fourth position. This was still a decent enough performance, though, and it gives hope to Pakistan fans that with time their team will begin to rival the IPL’s big names. With the IPL becoming increasingly dependent on overseas stars, it could only be a matter of time before Pakistan cricket became the mainstay of Indian sports.