Mar 27, 2007

Pakistan Cricket and Religion

saw a tribute to Bob Woolmer in cricinfo by Shaharyar Khan, the former chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, he made many good points here is an excerpt:

"The second obstacle that Bob faced was control of the team. Here he found that the captain's spiritual hold on the team prevented his holding full sway with the players, especially the senior members. Bob had some cricketing differences with Inzamam-ul-Haq but these were addressed through dialogue and mutual understanding, even though for days the captain would go into a brooding silence while Bob attempted to overcome the problem through rational discussion.

The more serious issue was that Inzamam was not only the cricketing leader but the spiritual talisman of the team who expected - and was mostly given - total obeisance by his team-mates. I recall Bob telling me, several months before the England tour, that he was severely hampered in addressing team issues because the players were constantly at joint prayers - at lunch, tea and after play. He said he never got a chance to coach the team. I advised him not to interfere in religious matters and to work round the issue. Several weeks later he came to me and said that he had appreciated my advice and added that he had found that praying together several times a day had let to bonding and a welcome team spirit in the team."
this article can be read in full length by clicking here