It is always an interesting exercise to analyze who will be in a Pakistan team for any match because there is such a high turnover of players,thanks to a cricket establishment that appears to thrive on dramatics, at least to an outsider.
An insider in the know might probably correct me and say that the actual fault lies elsewhere, but the net result isn't pretty.
Not too long ago, senior players like Younis Khan and Md. Yousuf were celebrated.
Suddenly, after a disastrous tour of Australia, a whole lot of players were 'banned' and some were 'fined' or suspended.
This is a real tragedy for the game of cricket because quality teams are so few in number, and the ICC and its supporting organizations in the major cricket playing countries are striving to make the game popular beyond its limited circle.
So we cannot afford to mess up a team that has so much talent, and has made such a huge contribution to the heritage of the game.
But things are looking up currently, with a test victory registered against Australia, a week ago, by a team of youngsters. That win came after 15 long years, and 13 defeats against the Kangaroos.
Also, Pakistan have been performing relatively better in the shorter version of the game, and in the shortest, T20, they have a semi-final, 2 finals, and a title to show for the three World Cups they have played in so far.
So here I go with my list of 14 players I think will be in the Pakistan squad for the ICC World Cup, in 2011:
Salman Butt, Imran Nazir, Azhar Ali, Umar Amin, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal, Abdul Razzak, Md. Aamer, Md. Asif, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal and Imran Farhat.
You might be surprised not to see Shoaib Akhtar in this list. I think Pakistan are better off without him. Also, they have enough bowlers; so, I have added Imran Farhat as an extra batsman.
Some may prefer Kaneria, but I think Ajmal has been more consistent in recent times.
Another name that might surprise you could be Imran Nazir's. I don't why such an explosive hitter is not being given more chances.
I have included Azhar Ali on the strength of the temperament he displayed in the Australia tests.
Umar Amin gives them a batting all-rounder. Old horses Razzak and Malik are there for their experience.
I will refer back to this list when the actual team is announced, in February. I can hardly wait, can you?