Death, taxes and Lahore Qalandars finishing last

Published March 12, 2019
Lahore Qalandars have finished last in all four PSL editions, including the 2019 event. — PSL
Lahore Qalandars have finished last in all four PSL editions, including the 2019 event. — PSL

"Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action."

The great Ian Fleming did not even bother to mention what four times is because by that point only a fool would need further commentary.

In the context of Pakistan Super League, one theme that has recurred time and time again without fail is Lahore Qalandars finishing last. So where on previous occasions experts and analysts and pundits have tried pinning Lahore's awful awfulness on bad luck, poor combinations, form issues and other such drivel, truth is that they have just not been good enough.

It's not even about their current roster or any past roster. The problem lies with the way they compose their playing squad, which means that there is every chance their future lots could also possibly be just as rubbish, if not more.

Read: Here's how PSL is better than IPL — and all other cricket leagues

A quick glance at all the Qalandars' past and present squads shows that they tend to blow their top pick and a bulk of their cap space on foreign superstars who are either way past their primes or whose weary legs just have too much mileage to last an entire tournament.

Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum were their prototypical foreign saviours who couldn't perform, whereas AB de Villiers could perform but was too fragile — at least that's what we're told.

Last off season, they used their other pick to draft Mohammad Hafeez, which at that time looked a reasonable choice before his thumb injury proved us wrong. As they say winners make their own luck — so perhaps losers ruin their own?

What's quite clearly missing from the equation are national stars that are in the primes of their respective careers, with the exception of perhaps Fakhar Zaman.

Trade opportunities are supposed to remedy draft shortcomings but the Qalandars came up short even there. They traded away Umar Akmal and Sunil Narine for Rahat Ali and Hassan Khan.

Granted that Akmal was in a rut and needed to be dealt, but him and Narine were clearly more valuable assets than the duo they got in return. Not to mention that neither of their acquisitions addressed their batting woes, which have been their main problem since times immemorial.

Clearly whoever is calling the shots at the Qalandars has to shoulder the blame, and by the looks of it, the mastermind of this mess is Aqib Javed. Shouldn't the buck stop with him?

In all commercial leagues the first casualty of failure is the coach. The Qalandars have opted for the less-taken alternative route, overhauling nearly their entire squad (only four players that featured in their last PSL 2018 outing played their first PSL 2019 match).

Ditching one set of players for another equally flawed loss hasn't worked. How long before the franchise ownership realises that the fault line lies elsewhere? Wouldn't it be an easier and effective fix to remedy the mechanism that keeps making mistakes than just fixing mistakes?

Judging from his on-screen persona, Fawad Rana looks like the nicest of owners in all of PSL. But there comes a time where every owner has no choice but to wield the axe to stop the rot. That time is now.

In the end, a moment of silence for all those who thought Lahore Qalandars would go all the way.

The writer is a cricket enthusiast from Karachi.

Opinion

Editorial

Unyielding onslaught
Updated 13 Jun, 2024

Unyielding onslaught

SEVEN soldiers paid the ultimate price in Lakki Marwat on Sunday when their vehicle was blown up in an IED attack,...
X diplomacy
Updated 12 Jun, 2024

X diplomacy

Both states can pursue adversarial policies, or come to the negotiating table and frankly discuss all outstanding issues, which can be tackled through dialogue.
Strange decisions
12 Jun, 2024

Strange decisions

THE ECP continues to wade deeper and deeper into controversy. Through its most recent decision, it had granted major...
Interest rate cut
Updated 11 Jun, 2024

Interest rate cut

The decision underscores SBP’s confidence that economic stability is gaining traction.
Rampant zealotry
11 Jun, 2024

Rampant zealotry

Decades of myopic policies pursued by the state have further aided the radicalisation of significant portions of the population.
Cricket breakdown
11 Jun, 2024

Cricket breakdown

THERE was a feeling that Pakistan had finally turned the corner in their T20 World Cup campaign. Sadly, it was only ...