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Fawad Alam
Fawad Alam

Last year was probably Pakistan’s best-ever and worst-ever in a cricketing sense.

We all know that under the watchful eye of old man Misbah, the Test team rose to the best in the world. However, in an effort to prove to us that they haven’t really changed, they then subsequently lost five in a row.

The ODI side was also only a fingernail away from missing Champions Trophy qualification. Let’s not even discuss the shambles of the ICC World T20.

In any event, it’s over.


Fawad Alam’s hair, Kohli’s pants, Bravo’s singing ... and other predictions for 2017


You can put a cork in last year and store that bottle somewhere deep in your basement. Let it ferment a while. Possibly for about 20 years. Then re-open it over a feed of biryani at the damaad’s villa and explain to him why Pakistan of 2036 is so much worse than Pakistan of 2016. You know it will be.

But 2016 was yesterday and 2036 is too far ahead, so let’s just focus on 2017.

Unsure of what the coming year will hold in a cricketing sense? Well, I’ve consulted with the cricketing gods and here is what they tell me will happen, country by country:

Pakistan

Misbah will retire, but Younis Khan won’t.

Younis’ gift to 2017 will be to mistakenly join the IPL draft when he accidentally nominates “Australia” as his nationality on the entry form.

The Pune Super Giants will pounce and bid 1.2 million US dollars for his services.

In his first match, Younis will make the first triple hundred in tournament history and celebrate by doing a walking handstand, backwards, around the stadium.

In the post-match interview, he will state that “push-ups are yesterday’s fad.”

Fawad Alam will continue to pile on the runs in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy.

This will be a source of utter embarrassment for the national selection panel as they refuse to select him on the grounds of over-manicured facial hair.

Inzamam will appear on national television acknowledging that although they let Misbah wear a beard that “in all honesty looked rather weird”, a line in the sand needed to be drawn.

It will force Yasir Shah to abandon his plans of sporting a green mohawk in the Champions Trophy.

The hype surrounding Mohammad Amir will die a quick death after pundits acknowledge that an average of over 38 for his 10 Tests in 2016 was not what they were expecting. After being sacked from the team, he will return as a medical professional, assisting players to recover from suspected career-ending knee injuries using secret methods that he perfected at the Gabba.

India

Virat Kohli will step down as the Indian captain, noting that the opportunity to be a vice president at India Cements was too big to ignore.

When asked what tasks the vice president’s role entails, Virat will say: “I’m not sure, but it will allow me to wear sensible pants for a change.”

Ravi Shastri will continue to search for meaningful employment with the BCCI after being overlooked for the coaching job in 2016.

He will finally land a role as ground announcer at Wankhede Stadium, after posting a YouTube video of himself lip-syncing to Taher Shah’s Eye to Eye that will go viral.

Demonetisation will continue to take its toll, with Brett Lee starring in the Bollywood film I’m All For Plastic. It will flop, but not before Shane Warne thinks it is a documentary about his face.

England

Voting to leave the EU means that the team representing England and Wales can no longer claim to be the best side in Europe. This title will now vest with Ireland.

Alastair Cook will hold onto the English captaincy for the year, citing the fact that he is the only English-born player left in the side.

Piers Morgan and Kevin Pietersen
Piers Morgan and Kevin Pietersen

England will look at taking their all-rounder selection policies to a new level. Not content with the multi-talented Woakes, Stokes, Ali and Bairstow in the team, it will become a pre-requisite that every player picked must be able to execute on at least two cricketing disciplines, no matter how poorly.

Therefore, Piers Morgan will be selected for his ability to remain friends with Kevin Pietersen while hacking into phones.

James Anderson will start bowling Chinamen in an effort to take wickets when not bowling on greentops.

Australia

The fascination of trying every known player at number 6 will continue.

The Australian Prime Minister will offer Stuart Binny citizenship and subsidised lodging if he will take up the challenge.

Binny will decline once he learns that it is a condition that he also change his surname to Marsh.

Glenn Maxwell will get a surprise recall to the Test team after David Warner goes down with a hand injury after punching Hashim Amla.

When asked why he threw the punch, Warner will reply, “I thought he was impersonating Hashim Amla.”

New Zealand

Following the retirement of Brendan McCullum, the Kiwis will go from being known as the nice guys of world cricket to utter brutes when they introduce the Haka war dance before every match.

In a T20 against Sri Lanka, young off-spinner Dhananjaya de Silva will inadvertently turn his back on the ceremony when he bends down to grab a drink from a Gatorade bottle.

For his petulance, Rod Latham will bring him down with a diving tackle that will break his collar bone and ruin his year.

Imagine the NZ cricket team here
Imagine the NZ cricket team here

Ross Taylor will reveal that he is reverting back to his full name of Luteru Ross Poutoa Lote Taylor. He will request the cricket media to refer to him as LRPLT for short.

Harsha Bhogle will get it wrong by putting ‘P’ and ‘L’ in the wrong order during a press conference. For his petulance, Rod Latham will bring him down with a diving tackle that will break his collar bone and ruin his year.

South Africa

Cricket South Africa will announce a controversial new “White Quota System”, wherein every national team must have no more than one player “of a colour that even loosely resembles low melanin levels in their skin.”

Farhaan Berhardien will need to Google the word melanin to see what this means for his career.

He will discover that, irrespective of the amount of melanin in his skin, his career is still going nowhere.

Rich food for Philander
Rich food for Philander

Vernon Philander’s special diet of ‘eat everything in sight’ will appear to be working as his Test bowling average drops into the teens but his cholesterol rises into the 400s.

Bangladesh

In an effort to attract more Test cricket, Bangladesh will vote to change their name back to East Pakistan. The marketing brochure will describe Chittagong as “a safe place for all touring sides to play if you can ignore the smog.”

Subsequent to the name change, the Pakistani army will invade to ‘reclaim what is rightfully ours.’ This move will have the unintended consequence of making Shakib al Hasan Pakistan’s greatest ever all-rounder.

West Indies

D.J. Bravo will release his much-awaited follow-up single to Champion. It will be called Ninth as a tribute to the current West Indian ODI ranking.

D.J. Bravo
D.J. Bravo

Jason Holder will rescind his Barbadian citizenship so that he can become a South African, stating that he hopes to use the move as a pathway into the English Test side.

Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe

Nothing interesting ever happens in Sri Lanka or Zimbabwe. Why should 2017 be any different?

Dennis Freedman is a cricket writer and host of Can’t Bowl Can’t Throw Cricket Show heard on Australian radio and globally via iTunes. Find him at DennisDoesCricket.com or @DennisCricket_

Published in Dawn, Sunday Magazine, January 8th, 2017

DAWN_VIDEO - /1029551/DAWN-RM-1x1


Comments (27) Closed



M. Emad Jan 08, 2017 06:19pm

2017 start with a Whitewash for Pakistan Cricket.

True story Jan 08, 2017 06:40pm

Not so funny. Eh!

Princess_of_DHUMP Jan 08, 2017 06:41pm

Haha... Well written

Houlbelat Jan 08, 2017 06:55pm

A definite laughing stock!

Shobhit Jan 08, 2017 07:15pm

Whatever anyone says, and I understand the comic element, but implying Virat Kohli to be only money minded is too shallow for someone to feature on National news.

Chammara Jan 08, 2017 07:15pm

Hahahaha Epic stuff!!

Bossman Jan 08, 2017 08:13pm

Fawad Alam, we love and support you buddy!

pakcrix Jan 08, 2017 08:13pm

one of the funniest articles i have read...hilarious.....

Dawar Jan 08, 2017 08:24pm

Wow Well written Fawad Alam photo looks good , best player out of team

anees zed Jan 08, 2017 08:42pm

My predictions of the year 2017: 1.Nasir Jamshed will chase a ball and stop it before it reaches the boundary. 2. Kamran Akmal will play a match without dropping a catch.

Vishal Jan 08, 2017 08:55pm

Read the title and expected this to be a sensible article! Wasted opportunity to actually analyse a very interesting year.

Umar Khitab Jan 08, 2017 09:09pm

distasteful and utter nonsense.

Adnan Alam Jan 08, 2017 09:42pm

Wah, Fawad Alam, brother, with those looks the question of selection should surely be resolved.

DELHIITE Jan 08, 2017 09:58pm

Oh lord! This article had me in splits.. Beautifully penned. Claps From Younus to Piers Morgan to Ravi Shastri to Maxwell playing tests in lieu of Warner coz he picked an injury after punching Amla.... Hahaha Fabulous...:D

Cheers~

Honest Jan 08, 2017 10:31pm

So boring...

optimist Jan 08, 2017 11:39pm

Its funny except for the mention of Fawad Alam which is not funny. Time is running away from Fawad who despite being the best and most dependable batsman of Pakistan middle order has been ignored because he belongs to Karachi Urdu speaking. Since Sarfaraz was picked for just one test when Adnan Akmal got sick during the series, after that he has not looked back much to the dismay of Kamran brothers. Waqar Younus, Ramiz Raja and the chief selector But half a dozen poor form batsmen have not helped Fawad, what he needs is another half a dozen middle order who may revolt and refuse to play in Fawad's favor.

Gh Jan 08, 2017 11:58pm

Correction lost 6 in a row to west indies, Australia and New Zealand

yunas Jan 09, 2017 12:19am

Very well written

yunas Jan 09, 2017 12:24am

The writer has rightly pointed at the boring cricket that Srilankan plays.

a_kazi Jan 09, 2017 12:39am

Dull, please try harder

ANALYST Jan 09, 2017 05:51am

Is this just for joke?????

Not even a second grade student won't laugh

Srinath Jan 09, 2017 08:27am

Lol.... I enjoyed that one... Hilarious..

Naz Jan 09, 2017 09:10am

what a waste of time reading this and not even funny !!

EMp Jan 09, 2017 01:02pm

Well written. Haters going to hate, I found it fairly amusing.

DJ Jan 09, 2017 01:06pm

Pakistan is actually whitewashed from cricket.I don't see a single talent in the team. They are good only on dead pitches of sub continent and always badly exposed in England,New Zealand & Australia.

Pra aksha Jan 09, 2017 03:12pm

@Dawar : Wow Well written Fawad Alam photo looks good , best player out of team

The one out of team Pakistan is always, the best player for the Pakistanis! May god change this situation in coming years!

Amir Jan 09, 2017 03:56pm

I suggest tons of tv ads for our team coz i only see them playing well in those....