22 October, 2020

Ego Versus Superego

The curse of captaincy—and its attendant faction wars—fells a once-great team

Ego Versus Superego
How do you explain a team packed with more than half a dozen world record-holders, three premier speed merchants who, between them, have 1,900-odd scalps and a collective experience of some 36 years, to fare as badly as Pakistan did in World Cup 2003? Factionalism and bitter infighting must take a large part of the blame.

To be sure, bickering and scandals have been the bane of Pakistan cricket for awhile now: it picked up momentum after Imran Khan retired as captain over a decade back. In the years after, there were infinite changes at the helm, mostly because of 'player power' dictating terms. The unnerving routine: a bunch of cricketers gang up against a skipper and replace him with a candidate of their choice: Imran was the first victim in '92 when his 'wounded tigers' turned against him just after he had won the World Cup. Javed Miandad met the same fate in 1992-93, Wasim Akram was the casualty in '94. Moin Khan was the last fall guy two years ago.

Clearly, Pakistan's underperformance in this Cup—its worst ever, with a first-round knockout capped by a...


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