An open letter to Dav Whatmore

Dear Dav Whatmore,

First of all congratulations I believe, are in order. Last I heard you were still going be our new coach. Unless you piss off Intikhab Alam in the next week, there’s a good chance you will be our new coach.  Mind you it ain’t no easy task keeping Intikhab happy. You see, in our cricketing circles, Intikhab is the closest thing to Don. Coaches have come and gone, players have won world cups, fixed games and even gone to jail.  Intikhab’s always been there.  And trust me Dav, he’s going to be there long after you’re gone. I’m pretty sure he’s even going to get your job after you leave. Just keep him happy all right?

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The Don

Now I know you think you’re going to come in and start solving Pakistan cricket’s problems from day one. Don’t be foolish now. There’re some things you just don’t change. Take the wicket keeping, for example.  Every wicket keeper who plays for Pakistan has to have the surname ‘Akmal’. Sound stupid? Well that’s just the way it is. We like our keepers to be short, stupid and irritating. We can even deal with a couple of dropped catches in every innings. Hey they score runs for us, you know! Kamran Akmal once got a hundred against India on a seaming track!

You want to do something useful, here’s what you do. There’s this guy, Farhat, you know the left-hander who keeps swishing outside off and never connects? When you see him, you tell him to stay at home. Two days later you’re going to get a call from a guy called Ilyas. He’s going to abuse you and I’m not going to lie, it’s going to be ugly. Just stay strong Dav. Ilyas swears a lot but he’s actually really sweet once you get to know him.

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Ilyas - sweet once you get to know him

There’s something else you should know. The most scolding our boys have had is a little “loving word” by Mohsin Khan. Please don’t yell at Asad Shafiq and Azhar Ali. They’re sensitive you know. Umar Gul is also one of our favorites. We allow him to go for 7 runs an over for two or three successive games. I mean he won us the T20 world cup in 2009 for God sake! He’s our match winner so we always play him.

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Umar Gul the laadla

If you ever want to punish someone in the team, you can always find Umar Akmal. But just be aware, he’s going to make all these excuses like “I can’t perform if I’m going lower down the order” or “you’re tiring me by making me keep wickets”. Don’t you listen to him; he’s just a kid.  And for God sake throw away his damn lipstick.

Then there’s Afridi. I think you’ve probably heard by now that he doesn’t really deal with coaches. Please don’t be stupid enough to try and teach him anything. He’s a senior player and senior players don’t need coaching. In fact you must address him as “senior player” at all times otherwise he gets really touchy. There’s something else you should know. Six or seven months into your tenure, Afridi will announce his retirement. Don’t worry, it’ll have nothing to do with you, someone in the board won’t call him “senior player” and he’ll get pissed about that. He’ll come back in two months don’t you worry.

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Senior player

I’m sure you’re also wondering what’s up with this Hafeez guy. Well it’s quite simple really. In every game you must expect only 10 runs from Hafeez. Then he’s going to get out. Don’t get upset Dav, at least he’ll look good when he’s batting. Besides, he’s totally going to make up for it with his bowling. We don’t really need good starts anyway, that’s why we have such an experienced middle order! You can always count on Younis and Misbah to rebuild the innings. Just remember, in ODIs there will be 10-15 overs in the middle of the innings when Younis and Misbah don’t like to score too many runs. Just don’t worry all right? They’ll make up the runs at the end of the innings! Miandad has always taught them that if they conserve their wickets in the middle, miracles will happen at the end. Plus, our team’s got so many hitters down the order that they can easily score 120 in the last 10 overs. And shut up and don’t bring up Mohali, ok? It was just a one-off.

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Wickets bacha lo yaar end main ho jaayay ga score.

You must never question our tactics, Dav. Around the 20th over of the innings when the spinners, Ajmal and Afridi are bowling, Misbah doesn’t like to put too many fielders in the circle. No, I know what you’re thinking, it doesn’t matter if his team’s on top or not. He just doesn’t want to risk giving away any boundaries to the opposition. Do us a favor, don’t be a smart-ass in trying to push Misbah to put men around the bat. He doesn’t like it, I’m telling you now! Why don’t you figure out some other way of getting the batsmen out so that he doesn’t have to take any risks?

There is this one problem you should definitely be aware of. Every time our batsmen go to England, South Africa and Australia, they don’t score more than 180 runs in any innings. Hey it’s not their fault that they’ve played all their lives on flat wickets! It’s a problem at the grassroots and it’ll only be fixed there. You can’t expect our players to improve their techniques once they’re selected! They’re senior players now! It doesn’t work that way in Pakistan! But don’t you worry Dav, Intikhab’s already drawing out a plan to improve the standard of pitches at the grassroot level.

We also have a bit of a problem with our fielding. I know you think you and this guy Julien Fountain are going to revitalize Pakistan’s fielding. I’m telling you already, your fancy drills won’t work on our boys. Once in every three games they’ll field as if they’ve never caught a ball in their life. Don’t blame yourself when it happens all right? And it’s not their fault either! It’s a problem at the grassroots level. Come on you can’t expect our players to improve their fielding once they’re selected! They’re senior players now! But again, don’t worry Dav, Intikhab’s also drawing out a master plan to improve the fielding at the grassroot level.

Finally, you need to be really careful about how you treat the Pakistani cricket fans. I’ll make it really simple for you. We’ll like you if our team wins. We’ll burn your damn effigies if our team loses. You should also listen to what we have to say about team selection. I’m going to make it simple for you Dav. For now, we need Asim Kamal, Anwar Ali and Mohommad Irfan to be included in the team. On behalf of the fans I would like to say.

“Asim Kamal kay saath hamesha ziaatee hotee hai yaar.”

“Anwar Ali kahaan gaya yaar he performed really well at under 19 level”.

On behalf of Pakpassion I also want to add.

“ Mohommad Irfan is really talented. He was just really nervous on his debut, give him another chance and I’m sure he’ll perform.”

I think those are enough pointers for now, Dav. If you  have any questions please shoot an email at Intikhab@MainHoonDon.com. I’m sure all your queries will be answered. Good luck.

Yours sincerely,

Assad

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About Assad Hasanain
Follow me on twitter @LeftArmAround

6 Responses to An open letter to Dav Whatmore

  1. Good start to the morning Assad. You missed out on MalikMafia though.

  2. Thank you sir! Malik Mafia kee koee power naheen rahee team main. Decided to leave him out on purpose!

  3. Bilal says:

    hilarious! super article Assad!

  4. Zeshan says:

    Brilliant article … Enjoyed reading it … You mentioned almost each & every problem in Pak cricket in such a funny way.

  5. Ali Butt says:

    Good one!

  6. khurshid says:

    Aww.. You’ve been too hard on old Inti. Remember he got a wicket with his first ball in Test Cricket. (I don’t recall if he ever took any other, but that’s just a minor detail.)Imran farhat told me that the last time he wasn’t really trying to hit the ball outside off. He was just shooing a pesky fly away. You critics!

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