March 11, 2008


A failure across the Boards

Kamran Abbasi
James Sutherland speaks at the announcement of a redevelopment plan for the Centre of Excellence, Brisbane, October 23, 2007
 © Getty Images

The fate of Australia's tour to Pakistan is sealed--or postponed as we are supposed to believe. I've already said my piece on why Australia should have toured Pakistan, and that argument still holds. Just ask Geoff Lawson, who has underlined the folly of the approach adopted by his fellow countrymen.

Ultimately, tours are the responsibility of the respective cricket boards. Cricket Australia has failed to ensure the viability of the international tours programme, which is an abdication of leadership from the world's strongest cricket country. As the general security situation in our world continues to deteriorate perhaps cricket will become extinct as countries refuse tours for unrelated risks? A truly global sport requires a stronger spine and broader vision.

The PCB is not blameless either. While Dr Ashraf and Co will state how powerless they are in the face of Cricket Australia's irrational decision, the decline of Pakistan cricket over this decade, both in performance and as spectacle, are contributory factors--although they never will be surfaced.

There is no value in a blindly patriotic defence of the PCB's position. Cricket is Pakistan's most important sport and public entertainment. Yet the PCB, through a combination of poor judgment and dubious ethics, has turned Pakistan cricket and the international team into something of a sideshow on the international stage. Some of this outcome is caused by distorted international perception but a major contributor is the chronic maladministration of cricket in Pakistan.

This is the latest in a long succession of wake-up calls for the PCB. Cricket in Pakistan needs urgent revival but it is not clear that the men in charge are fit to administer the shock therapy that is required.

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

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Keywords: Politics

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Posted by Muhammad Asif on (March 14, 2008, 22:51 GMT)

Posted by: JAVED A KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA at March 12, 2008 9:58 PM

Imran Khan, the not so successful politician speaks about the Australian cricket tour cancellation. ---------------------------------------- I would say that, this is not the forum or the blog to discuss politics. -----------------------------------------------

You are cent-per-cent right, its not a forum for politics, just read again your previous post how you coated it with a color for your hatered towards IK as a politician.

Heres how IK tried his level best to convince Australians: ""I don't think the cricketers are under any threat at all," Imran told the Melbourne radio station 3AW. "Obviously it looks much worse from there than it is living in Pakistan."

Posted by bepositive on (March 14, 2008, 21:13 GMT)

To Riaz

Buddy, This is nothing to do with icons of sports held to high standard. They are just ordinary people with ordinary famillies and loved ones just like rest of us. They(including their famillies) have fears,doubts and certainly with in their rights to have their own views. Majority of the Australian public support them on this issue.

Posted by Satyajit on (March 14, 2008, 20:22 GMT)

JAVED A KHAN (from MONTREAL, Oh I am petrified!). I am fine with carrying my brain at the right place and I guess Kamran also does it and that's why the disppointment. I always thought he is an intelligent guy with good rationale, so this article disppoints. However, never thought the same about you and you didn't disappoint either! If my analysis disturbed you (bitter truth) here is some more. Yes, India is not 100% safe, but risk here 100 times lesser than Pakistan. Extending my previous example if it's 5% in Pak, it would be .05% in India for Aus players. And Aus player's are ready to take that sort of minuscule risk. If you still don't get the perspective go through the comments of some of your fellow contry men who make a lot of sense (Muhammad Usman, Omar B, Raza Zaidi, Jibran et all). Also it will help if you answer the question raised about your jingoistic patriotism by Muhammad Asif.

Posted by theossa, Pittsburgh, U.S.A. on (March 14, 2008, 18:18 GMT)

John Ryder

Mr. Ryder terrorists are not seeking media coverage but they want to see Aussies becoming PAussies. The tour was called off because CA was getting tired of cleaning the diapers of senior Australian players. Apart from satire I can tell you the truth if you can handle it. These bombing are targeting military, law enforcement agencies, and the people they suspect help the said agencies. Terrorists do that to stop the “war on terror” in areas bordering Afghanistan, so you see John, while Pak is making sacrifices by taking on them, you on the other hand operate your loaders, bull dozers, and sheep foot rollers safely. Since cricketers can’t shoot the militants with bats and the best they can do to throw a bouncer, militants don’t bother them as they did not bother with the Junior Australian cricket team who finished touring Pakistan recently. If you look at the cricket calendar, you’ll see the IPL schedule colliding with the ill fate Australian tour, and then you start adding things up. IPL is the creation of BCCI, which has more money than God and which also, happens to provide crutches to ICC. Then you take into consideration the keen interest of senior Australian players as well as prominent Pakistani players in IPL, and you look towards the hook of the crane Bob operates and get the idea why both cricketing boards could not go on with the tour. It’s that simple. You should also ask why the boards could not agree on swapping the series by Pak touring Australia this time and Australia coming in 2009. Answer remains the same. By the way John Ryder, don’t forget to wear your Hard Hat.

Kamran Abbasi

Mr. Kamran Abbasi, I don’t mean to tell you how to run your blog but you have been very lenient of late and in your last two blogs some of the posts are just provocative and inflammatory inviting the most patient of fans to reply in the same manner. I understand people getting fired up to make a point and do I enjoy a little banter but there is no reason for all this nonsense. Also, Awas was right to say that there was no need for this blog as enough is said already on this topic.

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

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