Marooned

Nauman

ODI Debutant
Joined
Feb 19, 2005
Runs
9,323
And now to one of the most interesting characters on PP - Marooned!

He is known for his careful and well balanced views but what is he really like ? To discover the "real Marooned", we exposed him to some terse questions from Comma and then subjected him to some gruelling questions from his fellow PPers.... The result was well, should we say, interesting... Read on and enjoy. ( with thanks to Comma and the Quarterly poster winner himself !)


The Comma MSN interview.....



Qs:

Hi Marooned

Qs:

So lets start off then, would you care to tell us a bit about yourself

Ans:

I am originally from Lahore, did high school there and now in College in the US majoring in economics.





Can't think of much else…

Qs:

Is that due to the fact that you don’t want to share more about yourself with PPers?

Ans:

I wonder how much is relevant.

Qs:

Would you say that you care a lot about relevance?

Ans:

In certain things.

Qs:

What kind of things do you feel you're particularly careful about?

Ans:

Relevance matters, does it not? It does annoy when people go on about things that don't matter or are basically irrelevant to the matter at hand. Irrespective of what the topic is.

Qs:

But isn’t relevance a matter of subjectivity?

Ans:

Yes it may be subjective to an extent and I do go by what I deem relevant.

Qs:

On a sidenote, would you say you're selfish?

Ans:

I think everyone is selfish to an extent. It's natural. And I am sure I am as well.

Qs:

isnt that a very migsian approach?

"everyone is doing it, why cant we?"

Ans:

Yes it certainly sounded like that. I mean it's inbuilt and I cannot deny being selfish at times. But I'd like to think that's not the case all the time.

Qs:

You say that you would like to think it’s not the case all the time, my question then is, do you just like to think that like all the others out there, or do you try to actually verify it for yourself?

Ans:

I find it difficult to judge myself. It's subjective in a sense. But I have my checks so to speak and I do abide by them when I do. Even then it's difficult to assume I am 'unselfish' when I think I am.

Qs:

Is it then fair to say that you might have a certain amount of arrogance about yourself?

Ans:

I can't really describe myself as arrogant (or not).

Qs:

It’s not about how you would describe yourself to us, the question is, do you feel that you are arrogant deep inside?

Ans:

No

Qs:

why the lack of arrogance

Ans:

Well introspection leads me to believe I am not the arrogant sort. Perhaps it's because it's something I don't enjoy in others.

Qs:

I get the feeling that superficially you try to keep a low key but deep inside that’s not what you want and you actually go against your approach for low-profile. Do you agree with that, in part or in toto?

Qs:

In other words, do you have passive-aggressive tendencies?

Ans:

In part, I don't enjoy the limelight all that much thus therein lies the incentive to keep a low profile.

Qs:

why do you shirk limelight? why the fear and are you low on confidence?

Ans:

Somewhat yes I'd say that is the case (confidence q). In school I was never the sort of kid who would stand up and ask questions. I preferred to sit back and let the others do the questions (still do). It does have to do with confidence. Though I think I am working on it.

Qs:

why do you think you lack confidence?

Ans:

It's got to do with the wiring to an extent. Some people are, some are not. It also probably has to do with not having confidence in ones abilities. If something is lacking there that would lead to taking the backseat option.

Qs:

That is a very generic kind of answer, can you be a bit more specific?

Which abilities and why dont you have confidence in them?

why are you riddled with self-doubts?

Ans:

It can be about any ability I would think. In my case, I really don't know. Ability to perform as well as I would want to perhaps? It's not something I can clearly pinpoint. It also has to do with the impression that will be cast on others in case I screw up. I guess I am yet to understand what I can and cannot do. What my abilities are, where I lack. Perhaps confidence comes from knowing that.

Qs:

There’s a general perception on PP, I think that you are a serious person.

Is that accurate or is that merely a shy boy hiding behind seriousness, afraid to express openly?

Ans:

Initially when I joined PP the reason and purpose was simply a good serious discussion on cricket. That would be reason for seriousness. As for being a serious person, I wonder how you define that. I have my fun, amongst friends and all, so I wouldn't call myself all serious.

Qs:

You said that you are currently trying to get rid of your lack of confidence, how so?

Ans:

In the sense of trying to not think about what 'others think' or 'may think' and just get on with it.

That's how it should be.

Qs:

So almost trying not to be like Mig?

Ans:

In a sense, yes.

Qs:

Do you find inspiration hard to come by for yourself?

Ans:

Yes, somewhat.

Qs:

Why so?

Ans:

Difficult to pinpoint. I guess finding something worthy of providing the inspiration is at times a problem.

Qs:

Reading your answers, it seems you resort to avoidance a lot, especially when it’s about yourself, wishy-washy answers almost, is that accurate

Ans:

I am trying....

Qs:

Do you think PPers in general lose their perspectives quite easily?

Ans:

Yes that happens with fans in general. Few have perspective.

Qs:

Why do you think that’s the case.

What can one do to keep that perspective?

Ans:

Possibly that we don't always think through things. A lot of it is knee-jerk and we tend to forget easily. Experience helps but not everyone. Having said that there are some good posters on PP and of late I think the standard has been decent.

Qs:

Do you think PP has changed dynamically, content-wise, after moving to this new site, if so, in the right direction or not?

Ans:

It seemed more of an 'exclusive' club at the time with many good posters and quality discussions. Content-wise it's much better when Pakistan are not playing, a lot of the 'happy go lucky' types only show up while a series is on. Other than that forum lives are short and a lot changes over a year or so, some for the good some for the worse. We just get on with it.

Qs:

In your answers, there’s quite a bit of "we just get on with it". Are you fundamentally a pessimist?

Ans:

That is what I am told. But I'd think that not really the case, more the realist sort. I can be darned optimistic about things at times as well.

Qs:

Since marooned himself doesn’t know who he is, how do we evaluate his posts?

Ans:

I post an opinion and it's usually about cricket. All you need to evaluate is the posts themselves and not necessarily the person behind them.

Qs:

So the post and the person are not related?

Ans:

They are, but you should be able to see the relevant personality within the posts.

Qs:

So different personality for different posts?

Ans:

What I am trying to say is that the part of a personality that could have any relation to evaluating posts should be visible in the posts made by a person. You really don't look for confidence levels (of the person) in a post but judge them on content and make up your mind about the quality over a period of time.

Qs:

And you have evaded the question nicely it seems, well done.

Qs:

Now I know that you chose the nick 'marooned' from Pink Floyd's song with the same name, any particular reason for that?

Ans:

I am a Pink Floyd fan (they were genius) and Maroon is sort of the official 'color' of my college here (for example the football team is called the Maroons), plus it was sort of a state of mind on just having left home back then. Though basically I kept it on MSN once and it stuck.

Qs:

and last but not least, your thoughts on our old friend Migsy

Ans:

He has been one of the best additions since I joined PP. He has added flavor both with his attitude and satire. He also seems to ‘feel’ for the board and that's what makes him valuable. We have our seldom 'good-natured' run-ins on 'domestic pp issues' and that is an important part of the experience.









PP’er Questions:





1. How much power should a skipper have in team selection, and why?



I like the Australian model of having a powerful selection committee select the squad with the captain providing his rightful in-put. The captain’s choices should be looked at seriously but the final decision should rest with the competent selection committee. That relives the captain of some pressure.





Sadly, in our case, we don’t have selectors who can be relied upon. We also remember Imran’s example of a captain who basically and successfully selected his own team. However, as a rule, having competent selectors and letting them handle the job is a more stable option given that captains come and go and have a lot more to deal with. It’s a headache better left to the selectors. Once the squad is selected, the captain (with the help of the team-management) should always select the playing eleven.





2. What, in your opinion, sets apart a batsman that'll do the rounds on the domestic circuit from one that'll be a part of the national team setup for many years? Is it really just talent? How do you identify the relevant characteristic(s) that sets the two apart early enough, and can that attribute be taught such that the mediocre player turns into a superstar?









On first look I’d go for talent. It can be harnessed and is an excellent starting point. If you have that you get the jumpstart everyone would want. As a player you need at least some talent in order to play at the international level. A lot of it, though, is about the mental side of things. We talk about temperament – I’d call it persistence with purpose. That requires brains as well as the hard work. A player with character - persistence- would stand out from the rest of the crowd. Even in one inning you can pick up important clues about the mental make-up of a batsman. For myself, Hameed was one such player!





We have examples such as Waugh, Younis Khan and Dravid. Then there’s Brian Lara. The first are those who had that mental grit to maximize whatever talents they had. They learnt it the hard way. A team needs those sorts of characters. Lara is a natural and of course a gift to a team as well.


Experience is a help and as a player grows he does learn to deal with situations. But some of it is natural and some have that mental gift.






3. What changes would you like implemented in Pak domestic structure?





Continue with the yearly 20/20 Cup and use the money to fund the main tournament. Pitches: Nothing spectacular. Just make sure they have a bit of bounce in them and are well monitored by the PCB. No more than seven teams to improve competition in the one domestic competition for the year based on regional footing. Strengthen the regional organizations and provide incentives to put out competitive teams, since in the long-run the regions need to hold their own and their teams. Each team should play all others twice in the league games. Regional teams may have logos, for example the Karachi-HBL team if that is an issue (money) but no department teams should be allowed. Provide television coverage and financial security for players. Employ seven professional coaches for these teams and work especially on fitness, technique and basic education. That would be a starting point. The academy should continue to serve as a finishing school but with qualified staff. Once we have a regional set-up in place perhaps people will begin to appreciate the domestic system and interest will grow. A couple of ‘technical’ experts from abroad to help establish the domestic circuit might be a good idea as well.





4. What do you think about Shahid Afridi. Do you think he will ever be recognized as a world class all rounder?





First of all, I have been extremely critical of Shahid Afridi in the past. During the World Cup I didn’t want him any where around the team and that had been my view for two or three years. I felt he wasn’t learning and was unlikely to do so. I also thought he wasted too many opportunities and would not have had so many chances in any other country. I still do.





However, he proved a lot of things on his comeback. Possibly his year on the outside helped him gather his thoughts and finally work on his game. His bowling showed marked improved with new control and variety and I feel that has been the secret of the new Afridi more so than his batting - which too has improved at least to an extent. One positive about Afridi always was that he brought energy to the field and as his performances have improved the value of that energy has done so as well. Of course, full credit to Bob Woolmer in this case.





As for the second question it is really up to him. He is already up there amongst the top five one-day all-rounders but do so in tests would need a lot more consistency and application on his part. I am very much for specialists playing test matches but Afridi has made a strong case especially with the ball. Though he doesn’t have his place guaranteed yet.





5. Which two openers do you think Pakistan should stick with?





We must think long-term rather than what might work for a particular series. I don’t agree with opening with Afridi for a series in certain conditions and then exposing another opener, low on confidence since he was dropped a few times, facing up to the best of bowlers in tougher conditions. We need to develop batsmen and given that they come from a weak system that is our domestic circuit they need time and confidence to settle down. Patience is one important element in this regard. Taufeeq would be one option in my view. Yes, he did poorly in India, and he has developed problems with his technique that need to be sorted. However, I insist he has the mental game and enough talent to make it though and if he gets the backing and some luck he will make it. His batting in South Africa (2002) convinced me he is good enough and that hasn’t changed. Many question his ability amongst other things but I’d say that isn’t a problem and its about getting a few runs under the belt.





Farhat would be my second option. He has disappointed at times but I’d like to give him at least two full series to cement his place. I thought he did OK while he got his chances and was dealt with a little harshly. Some have criticized him for not learning. I feel he has the talent and is the sort that learns and was learning with experience.





On the other hand I would have Butt opening in one-day games possibly alongside Farhat. I think that’s where Butt should be at the moment and then a Test spot would come up at some point, perhaps after a year. I feel he is not completely ready for tests and a year as the reserve opener might just do him a world a good as he tightens and develops parts of his game. Once that is done his attitude and temperament will get him through. That’s how I see it and I don’t expect to see the above options opening against England!





6. What do Pakistan need to do if they are to bring home the World Cup in 2007?





Find the right pair of openers (Farhat and Butt for a start). The start we get in those games -as was the case last time round - will be crucial. Select the best possible pace attack right away and stick with it. Rana, Sami, Gul, Najaf, and Nazir should be in the running and forget about the likes of Rao and Khalil. They are not long-term options. The rest of the team is fine and in Woolmer, we have a coach with the experience and understanding to plan well for the Cup. I think we are in fairly good hands.





7. Does serious Marooned approve of on-field sledging by Aussies? Should players do it?





Yes it is part of cricket. Those who complain need to learn to cope with it. It’s a different sort of a test, one of character. I would say it’s actually an important part of the game and something that players feel and understand and not so much the fans. It is also one of areas where experience counts. Of course there are limits and sledging in cricket doesn’t necessarily mean abusive language and is usually not that.





8. Political question: Musharraf or Imran?





Imran has never impressed in his abilities as a leader or politician (outside the cricketing world of course). In my view he lacks the understanding and depth to make it. Honesty and good intentions alone are really not enough to lead a country. Musharraf has his flaws and while no genius he has the persistence (a word I am overusing) or the ability to wriggle out of complicated situations. Something he has had to do a few times since 911. He is a good bad option but the future remains uncertain.





9. What innovations would you like to see in Test Cricket or should it be left as is? What will bring in more people to the matches in Pakistan?





Let it be, it’s far more interesting than it was a decade ago. Now with the Ashes going as it is, few would disagree! The Aussies have helped us take it to the next level with soaring run-rates and results. We just need a couple of quality bowlers around the world and some more supportive wickets to make it about as well as it should be. Other than that the test status of the minnows needs to be looked at very seriously.





I can give suggestions on the second question but I doubt I have the exact answer. We could also improve our performance! While we are an exciting one-day team, one people like to watch, I am not sure that is the case in test matches. We don’t have a test equal of a Flintoff or Vaughan or Gilchrist. Run-rates are usually on the lower side as are the energy levels in the fields. Players also for a long time have seemed far more interested in the shorter form of the game. One step would be to prepare quality tracks as a rule. With that, advertise test series a bit more. People should ‘know’ a series is going on. At the moment money seems mostly spent on the one-day games. Make sure we only play in good weather. For example, last time India toured, it was already April and hot. People don’t have a lot of patience for tests anyway and if the weather isn’t good they won’t bother. Provide more facilities and incentives for fans on the grounds. Perhaps also stop telecasting matches in the city where it’s played. See if that works. I think tests are something a lot of people prefer to watch at home and that might well change if there’s no coverage. Make sure games fall on the weekend (a Thursday start for example). These are just some of the things that can be tried out.





10. If you could invite any 2 pp’ers for dinner, who'd they be? Why?





That’s a tough one and I’ll go with Fair-play as one choice given his understanding of the game. In my time on PP I have not come across a better critic or reader of the game and he does it with a unique passion. The other one would be Comma, as he is at ease on any discussion under the sun.





11. You do post on the cricket threads most...any other sport you follow?





I play tennis and enjoy it. Table Tennis is another. As for watching, I can, if it’s a good tennis match – between two quality players. Other than that I don’t really watch other sports.





12. What do you consider as your most prized possession?





I guess it has to be the head and the things inside. Without it one would be a loss.





13. DO you think long and hard before posting, or like me- is it a rash action, quickly followed by hitting 'edit'?





When I started out I did think about my posts and posted the finished product. Nowadays I usually simply type and don’t get around reading what I wrote.





14. If there is one thing u would like to be changed on pp, what would that be?



I would like to see more participation from quality (I mean quality) non-Pakistani fans. They add a breath of fresh air and we could do with a few more. Of course PP’ers would need to provide the necessary environment for them to survive and air their views.





15. Who are your favorite three non-Pakistani batsmen?





These are players that aren’t the best in terms of averages or techniques. I would name them for their sheer ability and willingness to dominate quality bowlers and for being pleasing on the eye – the bias. In no particular order:





Chris Gayle: The ability to dominate proceedings. He can make Lara look mortal when in full flow and really can be unstoppable with his array of shots.





Michael Vaughan: Once more that ability to take control of things even if it’s against the best of bowlers. The elegant front-foot drives, the admirable back-foot drives combined with those effortless pull shots. He has it all.





Andrew Flintoff: I still feel he is underrated as a batsman. Just watch one inning of his, even if it’s a forty odd, and you see something extraordinary. Immense power, lots of time, high class shots, calmness at the crease all combined in one. He really is special.





Brian Lara: Genius. Though not at his very best any more.





16. Just one question: Why are you so blinded by your love for Pakistan that you don’t see any negatives?





You are a bit of a pessimist when it comes to Pakistan (amongst other things) and refuse to acknowledge the good things that also exist. Having said that, Pakistan has its share of problems, a good deal of them, but I can safely say that pros and cons exist everywhere. I think you will have a better idea once you live abroad for a couple of years. For one, you will always be Pakistani. We might well revisit this question then.





A ‘thank you’ for the questions and to Comma for an interesting yet cruel interview.
 
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