Abu Dhabi: Is there a fixture in Test cricket that is as neighbourly, as peaceable, quite as friction-free, as a series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka? No two sets of fans are likelier to party together. In fact, following these teams’ most-recent meeting in the Champions Trophy, hordes of Pakistan supporters were seen boogieing to papare outside the ground, at Cardiff. At a time when online exchanges are becoming ever spikier, there is between these supporters, a warm, fuzzy bonhomie.
Some of this is mutual understanding. Like Sri Lanka’s, Pakistan’s domestic system is thought to be too bloated. Like Pakistan’s, Sri Lanka’s cricket administration is reliably counterproductive. And which two other nations are likelier to breed the kinds of bowling oddities that Sri Lanka and Pakistan have produced? To recount the history of the doosra (and it is a history now), you need not really look beyond cricketers from Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Two of the most delicious World Cup campaigns have belonged to them as well.
The parallels are even stronger in this series. Pakistan step forth here, for the first time, without Misbah-Ul-Haq and Younis Khan. No team better knows the challenge of replacing a pair of juggernaut batsmen better than Sri Lanka. And if Sri Lanka’s plight over the last three years is anything to go by, it is not merely on the field that Pakistan will have to contend with their absence.
Like Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, Misbah and Younis were each more institution than individual virtually comprising a two-man finishing school for young players. New entrants into the Pakistan side are likely to keenly feel the absence of that support, as many Sri Lanka batsmen clearly have. Additionally, there are two fewer experienced hands when it comes to the regular business of putting out fires started by the administration. Agencies
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives said on Thursday that despite many challenges, the game-changer China Pakistan...Read more