So, you’re back. I’d tell you it’s good to see you again, but it’s not. You must be over the moon, what with being picked for all three formats. Why, you must think you’re a regular Kevin Pietersen, eh?
Well you’re not, Imran. I haven’t forgotten who you are. You may be a year or so older. You may be a day or so wiser. But underneath all that flash, beneath all that ICL bravado, you’re still the same guy who’s going to perpetuate our opening problem. You’re still the same batsman who miscues an ambitious pull shot. You’re the same player who will attempt a cross-batted hoick across the line of the ball for no reason other than your own ego. And you’re the same guy who helps perfect the opposing side’s slip-catching skills.
I’ll give you one thing Imran: you must be one helluva husband.
Your wife probably has only good things to say about you to her parents, because not many father-in-laws would accost the coach of the international cricket team, berating him for not selecting his precious son-in-law out of, ironically, bias. Even fewer father-in-laws would threaten the national selectors for not picking the apple of his daughter’s eye for the
And what was Mr. Ilyas’s first order of business? Restore you, Imran, to your “rightful” position, of course. Most might say that something fishy’s afoot. But not me. I think its one big, freakish coincidence. It’s not like your numbers don’t justify your inclusion. A healthy average of barely above 30 in both major forms of the game make you a shoe-in for any Wisden World XI team. And your discipline? Exemplary. Some called you a crybaby for phoning up a selector in the middle of the night and demanding to know why you’d been dropped. But I figured you just wanted to say “hi”. Apparently it got so heated that you were fined for dissent. It doesn’t stop there. When you jumped ship for the ICL you took a few more shots at the PCB for assassinating your career, as if your lazy wafts outside the off-stump weren’t the true culprits.
So kudos, Imran – you can’t bat competently, but I’m sure you are one exceptional family man. I can just see the case Mohammad Ilyas made on your behalf in front of the selection committee. Sure my son-in-law has no patience outside the off-stump. But he always asks my daughter how her day went when they’re on the dinner table. Granted he will give his wicket away carelessly, thereby enhancing the pressure on our other batsmen. But apparently he volunteers to do the dishes on Tuesdays and Saturdays. And his lack of foot movement is completely offset by the fact that he lets his wife handle the remote when they’re watching television.
The fact is Imran, you’re back and there’s no use crying about it. Just show up, make your random 30 odds and scratchy half centuries, and then leave us be.
So enjoy yourself, Imran. Don’t get too comfortable and please, don’t do any lasting damage while you’re out there. When you’re in the nets, don’t drive a ball straight at Saeed Ajmal and cause him bodily harm. He’s the best thing to happen to
You know Imran, you may very well have a good series, maybe even comparable to that glory tour against the same team a few years back. You’re even capable of a test century or two. But you’re not a long term solution. You’re just another in the line of ICL alums whom the selection committee insists on trotting out even though they forget that they were dropped for poor performance in the first place.
Enjoy your run, Imran. My regards to Ilyas sahb.