Thursday, February 3, 2011

Team: Pakistan National Cricket Team

The Pakistan National Cricket Team is an International cricket team representing Pakistan. It is administrated by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Pakistan is a member of the International Cricket Council and has professional teams representing in Test cricket, One Day International and Twenty20 matches.

Pakistan are the ICC Cricket World Cup 1992 champions, ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup champions twice in 2004 and in 2006 making them the first and the only team to become back to back champions in the U-19 Cricket World Cup tournaments and they are also the ICC World Twenty20 2009 champions. Pakistan have been semi finalist 3 times in the ICC Champions Trophy in 2000, 2004 and 2009.

After gaining independence from the British Empire in 1947, Pakistan cricket was played before the first Pakistan national team was granted test match playing status. Documentation and archives show that during the 18th century, cricket was played on the western part of India and many successful Indian cricketers played for the English cricket team. It was not until 28 July 1952 that Pakistan started playing test match cricket. Their first match took place in Delhi against India on October of the same year. Their first international tour was to England during 1954. Over the half century, Pakistan has become one of the most challenging and unpredictable teams in the world, the team won the 1992 Cricket World Cup and were runners up in the 1999 Cricket World Cup. The country has produced several world-class players such as Fazal Mahmood, Hanif Mohammad, Sarfaraz Nawaz, Mushtaq Mohammad, Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Abdul Qadir, Wasim Akram, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Saeed Anwar, Waqar Younis, Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan.

As of October 2007, the Pakistani team has played 332 Test matches, winning 30.29%, losing 26.76% and drawing 42.94% of its games. The team is ranked sixth in the ICC Test Championship and fourth place in the ICC ODI Championship. On 28 August 2006, Pakistan won its debut Twenty20 International match in England and were runners up in the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 in September 2007. They won the 2009 ICC World Twenty20, beating Sri Lanka by eight wickets.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is responsible for all first class and Test cricket played in Pakistan and by the Pakistan cricket team. It was admitted to the International Cricket Council in July 1953. The corporation has been run by former cricketers, professional administrators and trustees, who are often respected businessmen. The Board governs a network of teams sponsored by corporations and banks, city associations and clubs including advertising, broadcasting rights and internet partners.

After taking heavy flak for corruption and match fixing, the PCB re-emerged by taking the initiative to sponsor the wildly successful 2004 tour of Pakistan by arch rivals India. The PCB's experiment with the Twenty20 cricket model has also proven popular and hopes to similarly revive popular interest in domestic games,which it did. The PCB also set up major domestic competitions such as the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and the ANZ Trophy.

The Pakistan women's cricket team has a much lower profile than the men's team. For all national women's cricket teams, the female players are paid much less their male counterparts and the women's teams do not receive as much popular support or recognition as the men's team. The women's teams also have a less packed schedule compared to men's teams and play fewer matches. The team played it first match during 1997, when it was on tour of New Zealand and Australia and were invited to the World Cup later that year and in the Women's Asia Cup during 2005 the team came third place. During 2007, the team with face South Africa and later in the year travel to Ireland to play in the Women's World Cup Qualifier. The team also played at the T20 England World Cup, the team finished 6th place, beating Sri Lanka and South Africa in 2009.

Pakistan's Cricket Team's Logo is a star, usually in the color Gold or Green, with the word "Pakistan" (پاکِستان) written inside in Urdu, Pakistan's official language.

Reverse swing was first discovered by Sarfraz Nawaz in the 1970s, who then passed it on to another Pakistani bowler, Imran Khan. Khan mastered reverse swing and the evidence of reverse swing by him was seen in 1983 in a Test match against India at Karachi, where he took 5 wickets in 25 balls. Imran Khan subsequently passed this skill on to Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram who are considered to have been the finest exponents of the delivery.

On Pakistan's 1992 tour of England, England had no answer to the reverse swing, a new phenomenon to them. Pakistan won the series 2-1. The series was controversial one as the Pakistani team were accused of ball tampering, particularly being discriminated against by the English media.

However, it was later proved that the Pakistani bowlers were simply ahead of their time. Following this episode, reverse swing expanded around the cricket world and more bowlers, including those from England, mastered the technique.

During the fourth Test against England at the Oval on 20 August 2006, ball tampering accusations were made against the Pakistani team, which resulted in the team forfeiting the match. On the fourth day of the Test, during England's second innings, the ball began to late reverse swing for Umar Gul in particular, resulting in him dismissing Alastair Cook LBW to an inswinging yorker. Four overs later, on examining the ball, umpire Darrell Hair decided there was evidence that the ball had been tampered with. He consulted with the other umpire, Billy Doctrove and penalised the Pakistani team for interfering with the condition of the ball, awarding five runs to England. Following the playing conditions for that Test, the England batsmen were allowed to choose a replacement ball from a selection of six provided. Although play continued until the end of the afternoon session, the Pakistani team decided in principle, not to reappear at the start of the third session. This decision was made in protest of what they believed to be an unjust and insensitive decision. However Pakistan's claim that the ball had been damaged by being hit to the boundary. . As a result of the Pakistani team's failure to appear at the field, the umpires awarded the test to England, cricket's first and only forfeiture till July 2008 when the cricket's international governing body International Cricket Council (ICC) changed the result of the test from an English win to a draw (it was then restored to an England win in February 2009).

The Pakistani team was cleared of any wrongdoing and Darrell Hair was banned when further proceedings saw captain Inzamam-ul-Haq found not guilty of ball tampering. However, the team's protest led to him being banned for four games on the charge of bringing the game of cricket into disrepute

During Pakistan Tour of England In 2010 British tabloid newspaper News of the World alleged spot-fixing had been taking place involving 7 of the Pakistani test players.

Immediately following the 2006 ball tampering controversy was the news that front line fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif had both tested positive for Nandrolone, a banned anabolic steroid. Though both denied any substance abuse, on 1 November 2006 both Akhtar and Asif were banned for a period of 2 years and 1 year respectively. However, both fast bowlers were successful in their appeals with the earlier bans being revoked. The World Anti-Doping Agency made an appeal in the Court of Arbitration for Sport over the revoking of this ban. However, the Court of Arbitration for Sport later dropped the case, ruling it had no jurisdiction to challenge the decision made by PCB.


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