THE CORDON HOME

BLOGS ARCHIVES
SELECT BLOG
March 15, 2007

World Cup 2007

Bakwas is bakwas in Urdu or English

Kamran Abbasi
Inzamam-ul-Haq and Zaheer Abbas at a press conference, Colombo, March 17, 2006
 © ESPNcricinfo Ltd
Enlarge

RELATED LINKS

Now here's a strange thing. Pakistan's cricketers are banned from speaking in English at press conferences. The reason we are told is that their wonderful use of Urdu will promote tourism in Pakistan. I'm not sure how that works, particularly since their words will be revealed to the world by the warbling English of PJ Mir, Pakistan's media manager?

Consider too that Urdu doesn't readily lend itself to describing a cricket match. A beautiful verse of poetry, yes, but try saying great cover drive without using any English words and you begin to sound like a dimwit--and Pakistan's players are no linguistic cousins of Mirza Ghalib.

In fact, the notion that speaking in Urdu will lure foreigners to Pakistan is fantastically crazy. By extending that logic the player chosen for the press conference grilling should have a shave, put on his coolest shades, an Hawaiian shirt, and a pair of shorts and flip-flops. Because let's get one thing clear: the sight of bearded men speaking in an Eastern tongue will not be a tempter for most people who don't happen to be Pakistanis.

Indeed, the idea that speaking Urdu might be enticing invokes a Western image of Orientalism that has long been discredited as racist.

The simple answer, of course, is that Pakistan's players should be allowed to speak in whatever language they wish. Inzamam, for example, enjoys jousting in English at press conferences, and he fully understands the questions put to him. One of the pleasures for journalists at a Pakistani press conference is Inzamam's considered pause after a question is put to him, a pause that is often followed by dead-pan humour. His vice-captain, Younis Khan, is as bubbly with his English as he is on the field.

The Pakistan Cricket Board, then, has created a solution to a problem it didn't really have and brought further controversy upon its head. And it is perhaps its head who this edict should apply to? Dr Nasim Ashraf has caused more problems with his utterances in English than his players ever have, and, yes, he probably does do a disservice to Pakistani tourism. He possibly also argues that he spends more time touring with the national team than back home in Pakistan so that he can do his bit for the Pakistan Tourist Board? I reckon Dr Ashraf should worry less about tourism and more about human development in Pakistan, his other job, which, if he makes a success, will do more for tourism than any cricket press conference.

Ultimately, though, bakwas is bakwas in Urdu or English--and there's enough of it emanating from the Pakistani camp to say: "Stop these trivial pursuits and start focusing on what really matters--like winning the World Cup."

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

RSS Feeds: Kamran Abbasi

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by [SimonGhaurie on (January 9, 2011, 4:10 GMT)

Hi all,

Firstly thank you all for maintaining this forum. I have actually learnt a lot from it over the last few months, finally decided to join.

Hopefully I wil be able to give back to members as much as I have gained.

Posted by Williamjonas on (January 6, 2011, 10:53 GMT)

Hi all,, thought I would finally sign up to forum although I have been following Ric for a long time on the boards. Well anyway it is nice to now offically be a part of the team and I look forward to participating on the forum.

Regards. William.

Posted by Jamie Iomo on (December 23, 2010, 17:26 GMT)

how are you?

Thanks for sharing, I have digged this post

Posted by amir from kashmir on (March 23, 2007, 8:53 GMT)

Hard luck pak team now try make a good comeback in up comming days Inzi should be made coach of team b'coz he knows his team well

Posted by Sabahat on (March 23, 2007, 5:05 GMT)

'Inzamam apparently recognised Woolmer's qualities as a human being (who could not?) but the captain's comments on his death - a "good" coach - damned him with faint praise' (Mike Selvey from The Guardian)

THIS IS THE REASON WHY MR. KAMRAN ABBASI THAT THE PAKISTAN TEAM OUGHT TO SPEAK IN URDU, ALWAYS.

Posted by @.ghaffar on (March 22, 2007, 12:23 GMT)

another worldcup after 92 ,another embarasment and another captain resign or sacked ,familiar scene to pakistan cricket now ,but the loss of bob woolmer and inzi's retirmnet will effect pakistan cricket .authorities now should take some hard decison they should promote younger players likes of salman butt,yasir hameed,fawad alam,naveed latif etcc ..with the return of asid ,shoaib and shabbir pakistan still a team to considre for future pakistani bhaiyoo its the time to b postive in your nature i tipped pakistan cricket board to make a younger player like salman butt or shoaib malik give teh charge of ODi team and younis for test matches like austrlia did in past

Posted by hameeduddinkhan on (March 22, 2007, 8:38 GMT)

bakwas in English is Rubbish or Non-sense

Posted by hameeduddinkhan on (March 22, 2007, 8:25 GMT)

First of all my deepest condolences to the wife and the sons of Mr. Woolmer. In my opinion the death cause is heart failure and Mr. Woolmer died. Scratch on the neck - my dear sirs - when anyone vomate he hold his neck either by one or two hands so when he was vomating a lot he became tired and hold his neck and scratches are from his nails, which happend due to lot of pain and uncomfort during the vomating. so do not make this issue and issue. Regards Hameeduddin Khan - Jeddah

Posted by Joe Bloggs on (March 22, 2007, 7:47 GMT)

I thought there was a perfectly good and appropriate woed in English for Bakwas :

" Bullshit " .

PCB has always attracted prize Bullshit Artists .

2. I am however surprised why the Pakistani public find it so difficult to accept Pakistan 's early elimination from the World Cup . It was only to expected . Pakistan is a country which has been taken over by its Chowkidars . Seventy percent of all the resources are taken up by the Chowkidars not for chowkidari but increasingly for there person ex[penses and for the pamplering pf the upper level chowkidars . No wonder allk our institutions are crumbling . Our cricketers as well the majority of our people very poorly educated . There is no accountability for the Chowkidars or their stooges .

Posted by adnan on (March 22, 2007, 0:34 GMT)

inzy we gonna miss u.u win match for pakistan thousand time.allah bless u

Comments have now been closed for this article

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kamran Abbasi
Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Asian columnist for Wisden Cricket Monthly and wisden.com. Kamran is the editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. @KamranAbbasi

All articles by this writer