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October 19, 2007

Politics

A triumph of good sense

Kamran Abbasi
The South Africans warm up with a game of football, Lahore, October 19, 2007
 © AFP
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The bomb that greeted Benazir Bhutto's return to Pakistan was a tragedy for the people who died and their families. A cricket tour seems of minor importance when placed against the scale of death in Karachi but it was inevitable that it would be reassessed.

A bombing outside the Sheraton Hotel in Karachi once brought a premature end to a New Zealand tour, an unsurprising outcome since the team was staying at the hotel. More recently, South Africa abandoned a tour of Sri Lanka after a bombing in Colombo. Hence South Afirca might have been expected to return home, but their decision to stay is a triumph of good sense.

The bomb blast was highly targeted and to assume that the South Africans are now suddenly at greater risk is not logical. It would have been easy for the South Africans to curtail their tour and disappoint Pakistan cricket fans. Yet this is a spirited South African team, which has outplayed Pakistan ever since it arrived. The bubble of success must help but, whatever the reason, South Africa's players and administrators must be congratulated for their decision to see the tour through. The last thing that Pakistan requires at this moment of violent turmoil is international isolation.

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

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Keywords: Politics

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Kierra on (December 23, 2011, 6:04 GMT)

I came, I read this atcrile, I conquered.

Posted by JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on (October 23, 2007, 16:36 GMT)

Pakistan has convincingly won the third ODI mainly because of their good bowling and excellent fielding. The batting responsibilities were once again shouldered by the ever dependable Mohammad Yousuf, who played the anchor role and funny enough he got an award for the fastest fifty of the match, which he scored in 104 balls. Other than his fifty, Malik, Afridi and Misbah also chipped in a few valuable runs and Misbah finished it in style with a six. The idea of Shahid Afridi to open the innings paid some dividends to a certain extent, but he was fortunate enough to be dropped by Kallis at 12. The catches were held and run out chances were materialized except for Kamran Akmal dropping two difficult edges, the over all fielding performance was beyond expectations. Its a rarity in the Pakistani team and, Waqar acknowledged that it is the best ever fielding performance he has seen from any Pakistani side.

Pakistan should wrap up the series in Multan and dedicate the win to Inzamam ul Haq. Btw, people should not dis Inzamam for scoring 14 and 3 in his last appearance. Sir Don Bradman scored 4 and 0 in his last test. Anyways, the chances of SA playing in Karachi are very remote and they might trade off to play the 5th ODI in Lahore i.e., only in case it is a series decider. Otherwise, they will probably fly back home.

There is something that I wanted to write here about Robin Jackman. I don't mind the serendipities of Waqar, Zaheer Abbass and Moulvi Mushy, but Robin was very biased in his comments against Pakistan especially today. I don't care if he has ties with Rhodesia or South Africa, but as a commentator he should not be making it so obvious. The other commentators like Keppler Wessels and Ian Bishop were fair and neutral, but Robin's comments were unwarranted and not so gentlemanly. Especially his repeated Aaaaaahhhh's and grrrrrunts against umpiring decision which he thought were going against SA are not a pleasant sight that you expect from a commentator.

When the SA score was 46, Jacques Kallis was plumb in front of the wicket at the bowling of Tanvir and replay confirmed that his bat was miles away from the ball yet the umpire gave it a run (single) and Robin was saying, Tanvir is being too optimistic here. I remember all the Pakistani players were saying, "bat ko tou lagee bhee nai run kaisay diya?" And, Shahid Afridi was consoling Tanvir by saying: "Fikr mat kero Allah bhee dekh reha hai" or "don't worry God is watching us." In his first over Afridi once again got the prize wicket of Kallis.

When Kamran Akmal appealed for an lbw, Robin said, "thats the worst appeal I have ever seen!" Whereas, the fact is it wasn't a bad shout. And later on when the umpire did not give his decision in favour of an lbw for Johan Bootha against Misbah, he kept saying, it was a good shout and its a pity that the umpire did not give him out. If Johan can open his big Bootha and scream at every ball that hits the pad does not give him the right and to expect the umpire must also agree with him. The fact is Johan Bootha bowls around the wicket all the time, and he looses his option for an lbw. When Bootha failed to collect the ball neatly and missed a run out chance and the Pakistani batsmen took the third run resulting from an over throw, Robin grunted by saying: "What sort of cricket is this? Isn't the ball dead? I better leave this commentator's box now." And he left in a huff puff.

I request Mr. Abbassi to put this post up so that its on record and may be, Robin might get a message through Batman. And next time he controls his emotions and behave like a gentleman.

Posted by Moon on (October 23, 2007, 16:12 GMT)

3rd ODI between Pakistan and SA has just concluded, as i dont see any new topic from Kamran Abbassi but Osman Samiuddin wonderfully quoted the pathan (Afridi). Promoting him to opening is a wonderful sign and we should hope that team management persists with this promotion as Afridi will disappoint some times may be most of the times but whenever given a chance and with little bit of luck he will surely prove his presence no matter its bowling, batting or fielding. It might be little early in the series to say this but i think Afridi is the only person in current Pakistan team who has conquered the South Africans in all departments of the game, lets hope he comes up with just one more performance like this in the upcoming two matches and seals the series for Pakistan. Yasir Hameed wasn't dropped because of not scoring runs, he was actually dropped because his strike rate has been very poor lately and he once again showed that today, i would say lets go with Imran & Afridi on top. By the way Khansaab what say now? you were lately quoting Afridi as an idiot, are you eating your words now? Apart from Afridi , all the Pakistani batsmen made this low SA total look like out of reach, there was no piece of aggression what so ever, if they want to win the series then they have to attack while batting in the next two one dayers.

Posted by Irfan on (October 23, 2007, 14:14 GMT)

Whatever happened to my post Kamran? You didn't like it because it was straight shooting. Or you can't risk a post about your regulars. I had my doubts about you posting it and you proved my right that you are just as much to be blamed in this partisan ranting as any one of your regular bloggers!

Posted by Roshan on (October 22, 2007, 14:05 GMT)

Awas....

You have questioned why the teams have not cancelled their tours to India when Death Toll to terror in India is almost equal to Pakistan's...the logic is simple my friend considering the geographical size of pakistan as compared to India the number of death are simply too big in comparative terms...another reason being India is politicaly more stable than pakistan as the democracy is still intact....moreover India has few terror prone areas & no international matches are ever staged in those areas. So its not Islamophobia eactly that you are accusing other teams for.

Posted by Manas on (October 22, 2007, 13:47 GMT)

You need to put things in perspective. Surely, SA team returning home can't be termed as "international isolation".

Posted by tabs farooq on (October 22, 2007, 12:22 GMT)

well done to the boys for coming back in the second game, lets hope they can push on from here and try to get the upper hand in the series. It would be the best tonic for a country which is in desperate need for some cheering up. My heart goes out to all the families of those people who lost thier lives.

Posted by JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on (October 22, 2007, 10:24 GMT)

Awas

When you pointed out that Fawad Alam is not in the squad so why do people mention his name? And, very promptly I expressed my apologies for my ignorance. But, I want you and others to check out this link in today's DAWN.

http://www.dawn.com/2007/10/22/spt8.htm

It says that, "Sources further said that Khalid Latif could play in Multan in case Kamran fails to deliver on Tuesday." I don't think Khalid Latif is in the squad, or is he? If they can include Khalid Latif or any other player who is not in the squad, then they can also include Fawad Alam, can't they?

Posted by Suhaib Jalis Ahmed on (October 22, 2007, 10:23 GMT)

Firstly, it must be said that the bombings were a very unfortunate incident. I cannot imagine the grief and horror of the loved ones of those who were so brutally killed. I pray that Allah gives all affected civilians the courage to move on from this tragedy. I pray that the murderers are caught (for a change) and no mercy is shown to them. It hurts to see how a tiny minority of misguided yahoos have ruined the image of Karachi. What is worse is that the actions of this misguided minority are presented by certain sections of the media to be a representation of the whole nation. Secondly, I question the wisdom of staging a rally in a place as unpredictable as Karachi. Even if it was to be done, it should not have been stretched into the night. I am politically neutral, but staging the rally despite threats was asking for trouble. Hence the organizers are to be partially blamed. Thirdly, I believe that the South Africans have shown a lot of courage to continue with the tour. I hope the tour concludes successfully. I also think that the Proteas should be given some sort of award at the end of a tour. Whatever is the motivation, I know that they are willing to put themselves in considerable danger to let the show go on. Finally, I have yet to see a worse fielding display by the Pakistan team. Those who have seen us fielding know that that's sayin' somethin'!!

Posted by JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on (October 22, 2007, 10:14 GMT)

PAKISTANIS are very quick in decorating people with medals and showering accolades and praises. Mr. Kamran Abbassi's thread; "A triumph of good sense" is just a proof of that and that is because we think that everyone is as honest and sincere as we are. I really didn't feel the need to compliment them for their decision to stay on, because in my view it was something more than what meets the eye. I have said in my previous post that they are staying because, "they have won the first ODI convincingly and "they hope" to wrap up the series 3-0 or 4-0 whatever and right now they are in Lahore." I did not say 5-0 because I knew they will not play in Karachi.

Check out the link below from today's DAWN.

"SA uncertain of playing ODI at Karachi."

http://www.dawn.com/2007/10/22/spt3.htm

They have lost the second ODI and the series is leveled, if they win the series before going to Karachi, they will not hesitate to fly back home without playing the 5th ODI or even if the series decider is to be played at Karachi, they will still go home. They have done this before in Sri Lanka last year August when Jayawardene scored 374 and Sangakara came close to his triple century and they lost the test series very badly. And later Jayasuriya's dominance over Shaun Pollock reduced him to a mere off-spinner. They took the opportunity to abandoned the Sri Lankan tour on the pretext of security, whereas, the Indian team lead by Rahul Dravid stayed back and Dravid said, the weather is more of a threat to them than the Colombo bombing. The Sri Lankan media highlighted SA's action by saying, "South Africans chickened out." So, lets see whether they are going to chicken out again or as the expression goes, "the chickens have come home to roost?"

After the second ODI, Smithy and Micky (Arthur) were trying to blame the pitch, but now Smith says that the security issue is at the back of their mind! Perhaps that must be the reason for this defeat? If they win, he would say, the boys have gone under tremendous pressure due to the security issue, still they played like professionals and won the ODI series as well. That is what he was contemplating even before the series started by making security an issue, which works as a dual edged sword for him.

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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

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