What‘s the story?
Pakistan Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq has lashed out at former Australian skipper and veteran commentator Ian Chappell for publicly asking Cricket Australia to not invite them for future tours. He alluded to Australia’s dismal recent record in the subcontinent and warned him of Asian teams utilising the same logic.
In his column for cricket.com.au, the 42-year old wrote, “I believe those comments were uncalled for and unbecoming of someone who has a vast experience of playing and watching cricket. Australia themselves have been on the losing side in the recent away tours. If we apply Chappell’s comments to Australia, does that mean if they continue to get whitewashed on the subcontinent on a regular basis then they should also not travel there?”
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Pakistan were whitewashed 0-3 in the recently completed Test series in Australia. The result took them to their 12th successive Test defeat down under including 4 consecutive clean sweeps.
Subsequently, Chappell claimed that somebody should give Pakistan ‘a kick up the bum’ and urged Cricket Australia to stop inviting them in the near future unless they showed identifiable improvement.
The heart of the matter
The twisted logic behind Chappell’s assessment has managed to draw ire from one of the game’s well-mannered cricketers. Misbah pointed out to Australia’s nine successive defeats on Asian soil including three consecutive whitewashes – 0-4 in India, 0-2 against Pakistan in UAE and 0-3 in Sri Lanka.
Aside from taking note of the inexperienced composition of the Sri Lankan team which brushed them aside on viciously turning tracks, he also referred to Australia’s 0-5 loss in the ODI series in South Africa. Misbah’s disbelief was evident when he expressed disappointment that those statements ‘did not suit a cricketer of Chappell’s stature’.
Australia are set to play Indian in a gruelling 4-Test series from February to March. Although Chappell has repeatedly alerted Steven Smith’s side to be prepared for a hammering at the hands of the top-ranked team, the tour is keenly awaited by one and all.
Chappell’s comments were needless and not befitting his reputation as a highly respected personality in the game. It is pertinent to note that non-subcontinental teams use the term ‘conditions’ a lot when dissecting their woeful performances on Asian soil.
However, they repeatedly target Asian sides’ mettle while criticising their overseas records. After all, cricket is cricket whether it’s played in Australia or UAE or England or India.
Here are a few of Misbah’s recent tweets on Pakistan’s performance in Australia.
I have nothing but respect for the 1999 team. @wasimakramlive who was captain then, is someone who I've worked with, & has helped me a lot— Misbah Ul Haq (@captainmisbahpk) January 10, 2017
My reply was that 99 team was our best team. My aim wasn't to disrespect them. I wasn't trying to use them as an excuse. They're our legends— Misbah Ul Haq (@captainmisbahpk) January 10, 2017
Published 13 Jan 2017, 20:08 IST
Clarification on the 1999 tour. @MazherArshad asked me in press conf about if this was the best team for Pakistan in Australia.— Misbah Ul Haq (@captainmisbahpk) January 10, 2017