This is not cricket, Pakistanis say

August 25, 2008

You have to be living in Pakistan, or have gone through the “madness” of the last year or so to understand the despondency that is likely to be caused by the International Cricket Council’s decision to postpone next month’s Champions trophy because of security concerns, writes columnist Osman Samiuddin.  

Cricket is close to most people’s hearts in South Asia, and for Pakistan to lose the game’s second most important tournament after the World Cup hurts. Yes, there is a war out there in the northwest,  yes there are suicide bombings, and in the middle of all this, there is political uncertainty that can turn ugly very quickly, as has happened so often in the past.  

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But do you shut out the country? Or stand behind it, especially if it goes out of its way to ensure that no harm would come to the players, no matter the multiple threats that ordinary Pakistanis face each day. Australia, as the Pakistanis said , hasn’t toured the country in ten years, so how it ever going to remove its negative perceptions unless it pays a visit?

As late as last week the ICC said it was satisfied with the security arrangements. But then, five of the eight nations  due to take part in the tournament said they wouldn’t be able to send their teams. Perhaps the one silver lining was India and Sri Lanka held out, refusing to join the boycott, which isn’t suprising, given that both suffer from the menace of violent attacks in varying degrees.

One writer said Pakistan was a soft target for the “ancient powers” of cricket, Australia and England,  and that they wouldn’t treat India the same way because of its economic heft.

South Africa’s Jacques Kallis at Karachi airport, 2007It’s not an easy call to make. Lives are important, and these are superstars we are talking about. If the players don’t feel confident about their well-being and are going to live in fear, can they really focus on the game ? 

Comments

It is really unfortunate that ICC has posponed the champoins trophy, it would have been a good sport event for Pakistan and South Asia as a whole. I am completely surprised to see South Africa refuse to play in Pakistan, the level of organized crime in South Africa is very high. Also, not to mention the xenophobic violence against foreigners in South Africa which took place couple of months back, but do all sporting events come to a halt in South Africa? Recently, the city of Calgary in Canada announced an expensive budget to deal with gang violence and crime this summer. Fact is, Pakistan has some problems like any other country, but the people are friendly and its really unfortunate how some cricket teams have taken it too far and ruined what could have otherwise been a wonderful tournament. If they could have come to Pakistan, Karachi and Lahore would have been very safe venues for them. They could have stayed in 5 Star hotels with ample security, escorting them to stadiums for matches along with pratice sessions. It was as simple, also the teams could have easily enjoyed some of the cultural attractions in the cities.

Posted by UMPK | Report as abusive
 

I can understand the angst the Pakistanis must feel, but given the volatile situation there, was holding such a large-scale tournament ever possible?

Posted by sapna | Report as abusive
 

I think the cricketers want more money :).We payed them a bit more after the Jaipur bombings and they gleefully played in the IPL.Not sure if the pakis have the moolah though or the business sense to lobby at the right levers of power behind the scenes.Anyway I for one am disappointed was looking forward to an exciting CT.

Posted by Shantanu Chatterjee | Report as abusive
 

Shantanu Chatterjee
Your thinking shows an ever increasing inferiority complex Indians have. What makes you think Pakistanis lack business acumen, why is there rising inflation in India then? Pakistanis are best CAs and economists.

Posted by UMPK | Report as abusive
 

I was trying to be friendly.Paki inflation is 25%,indian inflation is 12.4% out of which food price inflation(stuff that really hits the poor is 6%) and our economy is still growing at 8%+,stop this knee jerk anything an indian is saying is insulting pakistan mentality,you look like a child.all i am saying is that pakistani cricket has less money than indian cricket and thus lesser resources and hence clout, is this very offensive?
Indian business accumen is an order of magnitude better than pakistanis do you have even one private sector company comparable to Tata,reliance,infosys,wipro etc or do your expats found and/or run companies like Arcelormittal,citigroup,adobe systems,pepsi,vodaphone etc ? but this is neither here nor their this is about CT being cancelled/postponed which i don’t like because i love cricket.for once i am on your side!
Indian inferiority complex vis a vis pakistan ROFL!

Posted by Shantanu Chatterjee | Report as abusive
 

Leave the macroeconomic indicators of India and Pakistan. If you want to make comparisons, do it with countries like Brazil or China that match the Indian market. India has massive corruption which is an obstacle to full economic growth.
Also, do you want me to start naming countless ventures started by Pakistani expats in Britain, France, US, Canada etc? It will be a long list. You have named adobe, there are Pakistani resellers in US that provide channel support to firms like Adobe Systems. All you can boast about is probably Mittal steel or Tata. Well, I dont want to take away anything from Indians, no doubt the progress made in business has been remarkable.
The problem is, why do you Indians always take every opportunity to do comparisons with Pakistan and say “well, we have done this- and we have done that”.

Posted by UMPK | Report as abusive
 

Please read my initial post I (for once:)) had no intention of insulting pakistan,infact i pointed out how corrupt the ICC/australian/english players are.

Quote:
The problem is, why do you Indians always take every opportunity to do comparisons with Pakistan and say “well, we have done this- and we have done that”.//

Well there are 1.1 billion Indians,I am not like that if you notice my posts they are all reactive while bringing out comparisons in the field of economics i didn’t start this post by talking about pak inflation and corruption etc you did,though lets just can it here as a misunderstanding.fine?

Posted by Shantanu Chatterjee | Report as abusive
 

leave the cricket aside, lets talk abut economics and the noble prize winner Amarthyasen. Do u have anyone like that?like Mother Teresa,Tagore at least a poet like Jayed Akthar?

 

Shri Raj Jee
Mother Teresa was a symbol of peace and hope. What happened in Orrisa yesterday, where hindus were murdering christians, it is called barbarity.
Well, Iqbal was a great poet, Jinnah was a great statesman. Dr Abdul Salam of Pakistan won the noble prize in physics. We still have scientists that have mastered the nuclear technology, making Pakistan the ‘first and so far only muslim nuclear power’. Now again, its your same story of “India is bigger and better and…. etc” While we in Pakistan do not believe in self praise.

Posted by UMPK | Report as abusive
 

I’m very happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this greatest doc.

 

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