Since the team is on a well deserved rest, after a successful season under the guidance of Misbah, after much procrastination myself, I decided to embark upon this highly futile, yet personally fulfilling exercise of gauging the amount of success Pakistan cricket has had in the Test arena, under each head of state/ruler/dictator.
I hoped to achieve nothing from this exercise, and it is safe to say that I haven’t apart from another way to use CricInfo’s (awesome) stats guru.
So the basic idea was to count the number of Test matches/wins/losses/draws Pakistan has played under each head of state, I chose to start with the Ayub era, which starts from 8th October, 1958 and ended on 25th March 1969 with him handing over his powers to Yayha Khan.
Under Ayub Khan – 8th October, 1958 to 25th March, 1969.
Pakistan played their first match under the Ayub regime against the West Indies, which started on 20th, February 1959 and thrashed the Caribbean side by 10 wickets. A successful start for the team under the Ayub dictatorship saw Pakistan win 2-1 against the visiting Windies. However, that was the pinnacle of their success under Ayub, and Pakistan only managed to win 2 more tests against the visiting Kiwis in 1965, during the 10 years of the first despot in power. The last Test Pakistan played during the Ayub era started on 6th March, 1969 – three weeks later, he was packing up.
Played 33 Won 4 Lost 10 Draws 19 Win% 0.121
Under Yayha Khan – 25th March, 1969 to 20th December, 1971
Pakistan didn’t win much (read: at all) in the cricketing arena, just like in every other field during the 2nd dictator. Infact, we only played 2 series under Yahya, one against New Zealand (1969) at home and the other IN England, both of which, we managed to lose.
Played 6 Won 0 Lost 2 Draw4 Win% 0.00
Under Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto – 20th December, 1971 to 5th July, 1977
Apparently the first era of democracy in the country’s history, under waday Bhutto saw mixed results for our cricket. Up first was the graveyard of many-a-Pakistani-great-teams, also known as Australia. The first test in Adelaide was lost by and inns and 114 runs, and the team was clean swept in the 3 match Test series. The NZ (February ‘73) and Eng (March ’73) tour were immediately followed and Pakistan managed to retain some sort of respectability by beating New Zealand and drawing against the Poms. The 3rd Test against New Zealand was the first of 9 successive draws, Pakistan managed until they beat the same opponent at home in Lahore (1976). Pakistan closed out the Bhutto era with a 5 match series against the Windies, which I am told was lost after a hard-fought battle.
Played 25 Won 5 Lost 6 Draw 14 Win% 0.20
Under Zia-ul-Haq – 5th Jul, 1977 to 2nd December, 1988*
First of all, ‘insert-customary-jiyala-gaali-whenever-Zia-comes-up’. Now that we are done with the important stuff, let’s move on to the trivial bits and pieces. The resumption of cricketing ties between the arch-rivals saw Pakistan win their first cricket series in the Zia era. A series win followed in New Zealand, after which at Melbourne in 1979, Sarfaraz Nawaz destroyed (ok not really, but he did pick up 11 wickets) the Aussie batting line-up to win the match. Our current head coach Dav Whatmore scored 58 runs in that match. Various Pakistan-India series later, Zia ul Haq found that flying isn’t that safe after all.
*I choose to end the Zia era on 2nd December, 1988 since that is when BB1 took over.
Played 92 Won 27 Lost 17 Draw48 Win% 0.29
Under BB1 – 2nd December, 1988 to 6th Novermber, 1990
Boring cricket to start the miss and hit decade of democracy saw the first 6 matches (against NZ and Ind) being drawn, followed by the customary series loss down-under. Back at home against Kiwis in late 1990, Pakistan found their form by clean sweeping the hapless New Zealanders.
Played 12 Won 3 Lost 1 Draw 8 Win% 0.25
Under NS1 – 6th November, 1990 to 19th October, 1993
It is said that the former first-class cricketer is a big fan of the sport. The two times the Mian saab was in power, Pakistan reached the finals of the cricket world cup.
Coincidence? I think not. Extra brownie points? Definitely.
Pakistan did play some exciting cricket under Mian saab. WWinning <— (not a typo) the famous series in England (1992) followed by more WWinning in the one-off New Zealand test, but losing – rather badly, the so-called un-official World Test Series to West Indies.
Played 15 Won 5 Lost 4 Draw 6 Win% 0.33
The second part covering BB(2) to the incumbent period may or may not come.