Pakistan’s last match in the 2015 cricket world cup against Australia was exciting and heartbreaking, much like the team’s turbulent journey through the most popular tournament in the country. There were batting collapses, dropped catches, some great ones, off-pitch controversies and then some extraordinary moments, which incited hope in a skeptical nation indulged in its favourite distraction. While we celebrate upcoming talents such as Wahab Riaz, Sarfraz Ahmed and Ahmad Shehzad, it is important to remember that this is an end of an era of Pakistani cricket with the likely retirement of Captain Misbah-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi and Younis Khan.

Despite problems concerning the cricket board, weak domestic cricket setup, law and order situation and the lack of games at home – the team still managed to put up a good fight. However, if Pakistan aspires for more in the cricketing arena, it would have to address certain issues. The PCB remains vulnerable to internal and external politics. The institution has to be depoliticized to enable it to run on merit and perform its functions effectively. Pakistan also needs to bring international cricket back to the country. But for that to happen, it must be able to provide security. While other established cricketing countries hold well-managed domestic competitions and host other nations, Pakistan continues to suffer immensely from a lack of opportunities. Sincere efforts need to be made towards enhancing domestic cricket. As far as cricket is concerned, there is no limit to what Pakistan can accomplish at the international stage.

Pakistan was fortunate to have Misbah-ul-Haq as captain during a period of rebuilding and reshuffling following the devastating developments concerning match-fixing. With his exit imminent, it will be a challenge for the team to find a new leader, one who can help it evolve to take new shape.