New age May 15, 2007

Redemption comes cheap, anger comes quickly

This week Pakistan cricket begins a new era

This week Pakistan cricket begins a new era. It might be a new era that begins without a coach, the fastest bowler, and the presumed captain-in-waiting. It might begin with a rookie captain and a novice deputy but it is a new era that begins with guarded optimism—as every new era should.

Pakistan cricket is a fragile creature that carries the hopes and dreams of millions around the globe, sometimes fulfills them, but too often lurches from one disaster to the next. But as my fellow writer Nauman Niaz put it in a comment in response to a previous blog, redemption comes cheap.

Today we stand in optimism behind Shoaib Malik, an intellectual lightweight—see Nadia Khan’s interview if you disagree—but an enthusiastic heavyweight. Many of us dare to believe that this time it will be different, youth will sweep away the anti-professionalism of Big Inzy’s era. We have gifted redemption for nothing in return. The rest of the world—including Pakistan fans of the pragmatic school—believes us redemption-comes-cheap wallas to be mad fools. And so be it—it’s more fun that way.

Now all Shoaib and the Boyz need do is to vindicate us. When they face World Cup finalists Sri Lanka in the furnace of Abu Dhabi, Pakistan will be the ones with a point to prove, hungry for success. Sri Lanka, shorn of their mighty bowlers and sapped of desire, should be the Bangladesh to Pakistan’s India.

If the Boyz stumble at this first surmountable hurdle they might rediscover that just as redemption comes cheap, anger comes quickly. The next two years will be a rocky road and we should be patient in judgment—but sometimes it is too hard to bite your tongue.

This moment feels like a step into the unknown. I hope it stretches into a triumphant leap. That is exactly what the cheap redemption of millions deserves.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • testli5504537 on June 20, 2007, 9:34 GMT

  • testli5504537 on May 18, 2007, 6:05 GMT

    malinga chucks (he he he) have you people heard of phases like "look who's talking or you should listen to yourselves. Javed bla bla bla have you ever played cricket? if so you would know that it is not a maths exam!!!(pls stick to banking)in cricket the only rule applicable is over and under arm and since you yourself state that its overarm nothing to talk aboubt. the degree of the arm my guess is less than 10 degrees way below the allowed 15 degrees so nothing to argue is there? Considering that pakistan has the least anti doping, most legal actions and the least players involved in match fixing, guess you guys are in a very suitable position to give opinion about talanted up and coming fast bowler who you guys used to produce on regular basis ... Breaking News - Lasith Maling & Ishra Imarasinghe (Suprise wpn) is going to rip through your batting line up, the score less than 200 want to bet?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • testli5504537 on May 18, 2007, 5:19 GMT

    I endorse khansahab's comments about mixing religion with cricket, i also saw shaoib's appearance with some beard in an interview, so the disease has been penetrated.......

    Surely, surely this will destroy our cricket....!

    To all those ppl who r giving there views in favor of mixing religion with the game,,,, plzzz think it with sincerity ,honesty and out of emotions that we r not criticizing our players for offering prayers etc, we r just requesting them not to do 2 things at one time, if they want to "tableegh" then they could quit cricket can fulfill their desire.

    thats why i thougt PJ Mirr was totally right in pointing this issue , he atleast took the step to public it...

    otherwise we could imagine that if a cleric start playing game and a player start giving fitwas and doing tableeg .... the balance will be destroyed and both will suffer.

    Pakistani players r insulting our religion by doing this.... and than taking shield under its umbrella..!

  • testli5504537 on May 18, 2007, 3:50 GMT

    SHOAIB AKHTAR is available now! Was he was outta stock earlier? IF you are standing on top of a building and looking down on the street and see Shoaib Akhtar on a Zebra Crossing what will you say? Now you see him, now you don't, now you see him now you don't, now you see him now you don't. This is exactly what he has been doing in the past. "I am fit, I am not fit, I am fully fit, I am not fully fit, I wanna be super fit." Geez stop these fits man, come on apply some rouge and mascara on your forehead and make up your. Or should I say redeem your mind?

    It was expected that ICC will object Mohammad Asif's inclusion in the playing XI before the Wada thingi is over. So, they did and imo, its more because of the publicity due to his appointment as a vice captain. ICC will never miss any opportunity in harming Pakistan or any of its players. The Shahid Afridi incident in SA was considered as a nothing case until they discovered the loop hole in the rules where only "Speedy Gonzales" could have penalized Afridi by using his super duper authoritarian VETO and so he did. Obviously someone made a strenuous effort to make it happen. It shows how much they hate Pakistan.

    Awas ki duniya kay dost, I don't think I can convince you on the subject of consuming alcohol and it is neither my intention nor my desire to do so, you are free to use it or abuse it. What you are forgetting is alcohol is such a laanat, that ultimately it takes control over human minds no matter how strong you are and that is the reason it is forbidden in Islam. By trying to prove your point that in the Western world liquor is a part of their diet and it is healthy to take it in moderation, you are trying to prove that the Western dietary norms are better than our religion, Islam? I am sorry, I don't buy this argument.

    Secondly, meray bhai, peenay valaon ko peenay ka bahana chahiyeh and they are the ones who abuse it. Just like, to buzz off, Flintoff needs Smirnoff vodka. Its a proven thing and most alcoholics have admitted that initially they started off like Flintoff, I mean drinking in moderation before they were labeled as 'drunk, skunk and sunk.' Its just like in, "Ashq", I mean in "Ishq", pehlay jaan, phir jaan-e-jaan, phir jaan-e-jaanaan ho gaye! Similarly user say abuser ho gaye! Ashaq - am I right bro? ;-) You might say; "Ashaq" hoon par "Mashaq" faraibi hai mera kaam --- Sharaab ko bura kehti hai botal meray aagay!-- Don't say, yae tou, 'hota hai tamasha shab-o-roze meray aagay.' JK.

    So, far no one has seriously predicted who will win the series in Abu Dhabi? Perhaps the bookies have but, not the bloggers. Just for fun, Pak 2, Sri Lanka 1, howz dat? The track is reportedly flat and good for batting. Pakistan, if they win the toss must field and restrict Sri Lanka under 240. Its a day and night match, toss would be crucial and team bowling second will have problems due to the dew. So Malinga won't be that effective with a slippery ball. I hope my predictions are not as bad as Kamran Abbassi's. :-) So, lets see!

  • testli5504537 on May 18, 2007, 3:47 GMT

    Inconsistent as ever. In one breath, you ask that we should not rush to judgment, in the next you pronounce him to be an intellectual lightweight, and you do so even before poor Shoaib Mallik has gone for his first toss as captain!

  • testli5504537 on May 18, 2007, 3:14 GMT

    Awas my brother I fail to see your point concerning Alchohol.In your previous post you were trying to justify the consumption of alcohol,Now you state that was not what you were saying.

    I think every body on this blog is aware that Alchohol consumption is considered pretty normal in the west.How exactly does that translate to the Pakistan team? I appreciate that some westerners claim that there are health benefits in wine but so what?

    Afterall if we are going to use western view point to justify the use of alchohol.Then why not apply the same criteria to justify the use of religion in sport.Whilst the Europeans may have an aversion to religion. In the icon of the west the United States of America being an upright christian is seen as a strength.You have athletes from virtually every major sport in America making public displays of religion.Praising there lord and master Jesus Christ in interviews,and press conferences.They are not attacked or ridiculed for doing so.You have athletes partaking in group prayers before games, and attending bible study classes after games.Majority of the coaches in virtually every major sport in America consider a strong religious conviction to be a strength.Whilst I have yet to read the comment were a coach considers an athlete finding what you called "solace in Whisky" a strength or appropiate.In fact any athlete who sought "solace" in the bottle would be told to seek help, It is also considered extremely unprofessional for an athlete to be out drinking prior to games. So why the double standard as regards Islam?

    Your second comment regarding the master of contradictions P.J.MIR. and him being in hiding cos a fatwa was issued against him.

    This is what MR.P.J.MIR stated 01 may 2007 in an interview with CNN-IBN journalist Sanjay Suri you can view the video in their archives.

    Snjay Suri: Have you attracted a Fatwa for your views?

    Pj Mir:Well one of the cricketers sadly has appealed to the Ulema(religious scholars) that there ought to be fatwa on me.

    Sanjay Suri:Which cricketer?

    P.j.Mir: Rashid Latif.

    Sanjay Suri:There is some suggestions that these (religious)tensions could have been reponsible for Woolmers death.

    P.J.Mir: I dont think so.

    Yet a few days later on the BBc panorama programme he claimed a Fatwa was issued against him and that one may have also been issued against Woolmer.So what changed in the course of those few days? It seems to me the wily Mr.Mir realised that making these allegations was far more financially rewarding.The British press and media would lap it up and pay him handsomely for interviews.

    The word fatwa means legal far P.J.Mir has failed to come up with a single name of any Islamic Scholar for issuing this alleged fatwa.or the contents of the fatwa.After all the Fatwa if there is one could merely state that P.J.Mir should refrain from making such remarks. P.J.mir has taken advantage of the blind ignorance in the west as regards the meaning of the word Fatwa. Where the word Fatwa is wrongly presumed to mean Death penalty.He also claimed that he had fled Pakistan in fear of his life and was going in to hiding.In fact Mr.Mir is living in his Villa in Dubai.As he has been for the last few years.

    So Awas it seems to me that your very naive to accept these ridiculous assertions by P.J.Mir.

  • testli5504537 on May 18, 2007, 2:07 GMT

    So people do not want him because of his punjabi accent? Ok fair enough, lets have a terrorist mohajir from Karachi as captain spitting "pan" around.

  • testli5504537 on May 18, 2007, 1:27 GMT

    AWAS- What u call enlightened moderation in reality is enlightened bastardization of our country,Can u imagine moderation or freedom without true democracy,its a shame that u blamed every thing on the poor CJ and totally failed to examine the role played by sind govt and rangers in karachi fiasco under any human rights convention the rule of Musharaf and the way he is raping the constitution and plundering the resources of the country is deplorable,but u blinded by your enlightened moderation or your political and ethnic affinity see no problem with it,we are quick to criticise PCB officials and yet fail to criticise the Patron in chief who is indirectly controlling all the shots. As regards your `comments about drinking,you can drink like a skunk or die like a punk who cares, if u have the right to be not religious,others can have the right to be religious,your behaviour is no different than the Taliban who have no tolerance for others.Strangely u live in Uk u are quite impressed by the Idea of drinking with restraint but the Idea of freedom to practice ones religion without getting discriminated couldnt cross your mind.I have no sympathies for the Taliban or other extereme organizations,but to brand everybody with a beard a Taliban is completly Idiotic. And if u are ashamed to say Pakistan Zindabad bcz of your complexes thats your Problem,no matter what our problems are that is a seperate issue we will never be shy to say Pakistan Zindabad.

  • testli5504537 on May 18, 2007, 1:23 GMT

    Well being honest when they made Shoaib Malik the new captain it was surprising. What eas even more was naming Mohammad Asif as his deputy. I was thinking it would be Shahid Afridi but hey no one could have guessed.......its PCB. Secondly it was surprising they even went to Younis khan after what he said for the first time. He shouldnt be even allowed to play in the team anymore....On the other hand i agree with you.....for being patient and let him do and show what he can do.

    Long live Pakistan........I hope they win

  • testli5504537 on May 17, 2007, 23:54 GMT

    Awas, thank you for your appreciation. That comment regarding Mushy Bhai was a light-hearted one. I put a :) next to it as an indication of humour but perhaps you overlooked it.

    Muhammad Munir, sir, thank you too.

    Shan, this is not the first comment I have made about Malinga on this blog. I have given Shoaib Akhtar's example previously where I asserted that if Malinga must be banned, so must Akhtar. Same goes for all the others who have remarked the same regarding Akhtar. I know Akhtar is a match-winning bowler but we have got used to winning without him.

    Saqib and Rauf, before pointing out "flaws" in my argument please realise the context I am using my arguments in. I do not condemn Mohammad Yousuf for his religious zeal because he has not let that affect his performance. But a captain must keep his focus entirely on cricket during his "work life". That is what I am trying to say. Let cricket be only about cricket. Blame yourselves when you lose and not your sorry fate. Rauf, it looks to you that I would prefer an alcoholic captain over a Tableeghi captain? Yes is the answer- IF the former can captain like Imran and bat like Miandad. I would definitely choose the alcoholic over the Tableeghi in that context. After the alcoholic's death if Allah wants to smack the alcoholic, then that is between the alcoholic and his Creator.

    I have stated before I follow my religion to the best of my ability and I am more religious than most of my friends. I am a Law student; when I attend my seminars or write my exams I don't start with "First of all thanks to Allah" although I say Bismillah in my heart. I don't blame my kismet when I perform badly; I blame my mindset, laziness/lack of preparation. Professional athletes look dim blaming isolated notions which they have no control of.

    Any particular reason why Aussies have better kismet than Pakistanis? Has Allah just made them superior beings, meaning we can never compete with them? These questions have to be asked. When I ask these questions the fundamentalists say that I must not question faith. I am not questioning the existence of the Creator nor of his final prophet (PBUH). I question merely the mechanics the Creator employs to run Existence. If you think I should not ask questions and just accept that whatever is written in my kismet will occur (so Inzi and Malik etc are right when they say that winning and losing is a part of the game and it depends on your kismet) then I suggest you rent yourself a cave somewhere in a far-off land and make that your humble abode. Because this internet that you are using to read my comment is a construct of the curious human mind which seeks to advance its knowledge by asking questions.

    And by the way. Call me a “deviant” or “infidel” but it was my in my kismet that I post these “deviant” comments which have irked you. You, who believes that the Islam you follow, based on your personal judgements, observations and psyche, is the Correct Islam which gives you the authority to raise a finger against me and label me a “deviant”.

    So sue me.

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