Politics July 23, 2008

International chancers ridicule the sport

63

Should a cricketer be denied an international career by the inconvenience of birth or upbringing? Last week brought us the differing cases of Danish Kaneria and Darren Pattinson. Both are disturbing.

Kaneria is flirting with the idea of qualifying for England if Pakistan continue to ignore him. He denies any immediate intent, of course, but the fact that the thought lives with him betrays the mentality of an opportunist.

Representing your country at international level should be a badge of honour not a badge of convenience. These are tough times in Kaneria's international career but he must choose fight not flight--and both Pakistani and English cricket boards can help with an unequivocal message that any transfer of allegiance will not be welcome.

Pattinson, meanwhile, has flirted with his English heritage to take his career from obscurity to the international arena. The dilemma is not entirely of his making, however. European legislation, a spate of injuries, and a seriously misguided selection policy have thrust him into an uncomfortable controversy.

The concerns of some England cricketers are understandable. What is the point of a national cricket structure if it can be subverted by a stroke of crass opportunism by England's selectors? The ECB will say it is playing by the rules but there are bad laws as well as good ones. People in positions of seniority are paid not only for their adherence to regulations but also for their judgment.

Danish Kaneria may harbour a plan B that sees him join forces with the ECB but he is united with them prematurely in the club of international chancers who ridicule the sport and the cricket fans of their respective countries.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Zsam on July 27, 2008, 15:10 GMT

    Cricket as a sport is not in a very healthy state; with some nations boasting of very strong squads and infrastructure, while others are losing their 'skilled manpower', without any new replenishments. To even the 'Talent Scale', I would suggest that the naturalization time be reduced even further. And with players of different cultures and religions playing in hitherto monocultural countries, would only be good for greater understanding. Loving one's nation is natural and understandable, but to equate playing for another nation as - treason: the crime of a traitor, is inappropriate and unhealthy, besides being Stalinist. I would rather see a Lara play for SA than see no Lara at all; that is if West Indies do not want him!

  • Don on July 27, 2008, 9:42 GMT

    There is no comparison. Kaneria is a Pakistani and has represented Pakistan internationally. If he chooses to represent another country just to further his career that may say something about his character and about his opportunities at home (but I don't necessarily think he should be stoned for it - after all it's just a sport). However you are sadly mistaken about Pattinson. He has not "chosen" England over Australia because he is not eligible to play for Australia at all. He holds English citizenship (and passport) and is only an Australian resident. That makes him - under ICC rules - eligible to play only for England. The fact that he has lived (and will probably continue to live) in Australia most of his life counts for nothing here, and just makes him another pom living in Australia. Also note, Pattinson never made a request to play for England. He went over there to play county cricket (like many Aussies do during the winter) and was surprisingly called up.

  • Harpartap on July 26, 2008, 8:00 GMT

    Kaneria is highly over rated. Mushtaq in his prime was a much better leggie and probably still is. I agree with the people calling him on his whining. If he perfroms well the selectors will have no option but to select him. What makes Kaneria think England will select him?

  • AJAX on July 25, 2008, 16:19 GMT

    I fail to see why my response to mike of cnbra is censored and he is allowed to post such filth, clearly violating guidelines by insulting another poster. That is the sole purpose of his second comment. Or do you deliberately post his comments to expose his character and incite hatred towards his ilk and censure all responses to them? Either way, you don't play fair, do you?

  • AA on July 25, 2008, 15:45 GMT

    Hi Kamran, by your logic you should be working in Pakistan and not in the UK.

  • obaid on July 25, 2008, 13:37 GMT

    mike of cnbra at July 25, 2008 6:18 AM spoken like a man

  • Theena on July 25, 2008, 12:50 GMT

    (Contd) But it’s not my place to pass judgment and throw silly accusations at him, especially when there is an inherent hypocrisy behind the accusation. If there was a likelihood of the s*** hitting the fan in my country, I know I would immediately consider moving in an effort to ply my trade elsewhere. Why should it be any different for a sportsman?

  • Theena on July 25, 2008, 12:48 GMT

    Di7y, I admit conjecture wasn’t the best way of concluding my comment, but I ask you this: in light of the PCB’s recent record of incompetence, would it really be too far fetched to assume that a player may want to get out, especially if his own selection isn’t guaranteed? Kepler Wessels moved to Australia during the height of Apartheid to allow himself a chance to play the highest form of cricket for his adopted nation. Does that make him a mercenary? He, too, only wanted to earn a living doing what he loved most. And like Kaneria, he had no parental lineage tracing back to his adopted nation (I searched, but couldn’t find any article claiming if that was indeed the case so correct me if I am wrong) to justify his claim (much like KP did in moving to England from South Africa).

    Let me clarify my position though: in principle, I do not agree with Kaneria’s desire (whether implied or otherwise) or his ilk who abandon their national ambitions for greener turfs. (contd below)

  • mike of cnbra on July 25, 2008, 6:18 GMT

    Karthik (july 24;12:35pm) demonstrates the mercenary's lack of character and subsequent inability to understand why others dislike him for his opportunism. The reason why people are appalled by opportunism is because they have that loyalty and love of country that you call BS. I amused by your pubescent delight in denigrating patriotism. You come here anonymously and scrawl your pathetic insult like a graffitist over something meaningful. The scrawl can be washed away but the stain is on you. You don't have the quality to empathise with people. Hence you call patriotism BS. You can't relate to people except to abuse what they believe in. You don't have the qualities of loyalty or honor. Hence you can't tell opportunity from opportunism. You don't understand what's obvious so you repeat whats been corrected for you; Kaniera is able to ply his trade without turning on his country. You don't get it because you don't possess the honour that could help you tell right from wrong.

  • Nabeel on July 25, 2008, 1:55 GMT

    I do not think any harm in it, if Kaneria opt for England at the end of day it is cricket which matters not the stage. Incase of Kaneria he knows himself that he has got slim chances of playing for Pakistan in ODI and Pakistan hardly play any test cricket. So you guys just want him to play hardly 10-17 test matches per year in which our All Rounder batsman cum bowler cum the Captain will prefer an all rounder in place of Kaneria. We have never point out the two great W's who were kept on playing county cricket and Pakistan was suffering to have a handful bowling attack in Sahara Cup etc.

  • Zsam on July 27, 2008, 15:10 GMT

    Cricket as a sport is not in a very healthy state; with some nations boasting of very strong squads and infrastructure, while others are losing their 'skilled manpower', without any new replenishments. To even the 'Talent Scale', I would suggest that the naturalization time be reduced even further. And with players of different cultures and religions playing in hitherto monocultural countries, would only be good for greater understanding. Loving one's nation is natural and understandable, but to equate playing for another nation as - treason: the crime of a traitor, is inappropriate and unhealthy, besides being Stalinist. I would rather see a Lara play for SA than see no Lara at all; that is if West Indies do not want him!

  • Don on July 27, 2008, 9:42 GMT

    There is no comparison. Kaneria is a Pakistani and has represented Pakistan internationally. If he chooses to represent another country just to further his career that may say something about his character and about his opportunities at home (but I don't necessarily think he should be stoned for it - after all it's just a sport). However you are sadly mistaken about Pattinson. He has not "chosen" England over Australia because he is not eligible to play for Australia at all. He holds English citizenship (and passport) and is only an Australian resident. That makes him - under ICC rules - eligible to play only for England. The fact that he has lived (and will probably continue to live) in Australia most of his life counts for nothing here, and just makes him another pom living in Australia. Also note, Pattinson never made a request to play for England. He went over there to play county cricket (like many Aussies do during the winter) and was surprisingly called up.

  • Harpartap on July 26, 2008, 8:00 GMT

    Kaneria is highly over rated. Mushtaq in his prime was a much better leggie and probably still is. I agree with the people calling him on his whining. If he perfroms well the selectors will have no option but to select him. What makes Kaneria think England will select him?

  • AJAX on July 25, 2008, 16:19 GMT

    I fail to see why my response to mike of cnbra is censored and he is allowed to post such filth, clearly violating guidelines by insulting another poster. That is the sole purpose of his second comment. Or do you deliberately post his comments to expose his character and incite hatred towards his ilk and censure all responses to them? Either way, you don't play fair, do you?

  • AA on July 25, 2008, 15:45 GMT

    Hi Kamran, by your logic you should be working in Pakistan and not in the UK.

  • obaid on July 25, 2008, 13:37 GMT

    mike of cnbra at July 25, 2008 6:18 AM spoken like a man

  • Theena on July 25, 2008, 12:50 GMT

    (Contd) But it’s not my place to pass judgment and throw silly accusations at him, especially when there is an inherent hypocrisy behind the accusation. If there was a likelihood of the s*** hitting the fan in my country, I know I would immediately consider moving in an effort to ply my trade elsewhere. Why should it be any different for a sportsman?

  • Theena on July 25, 2008, 12:48 GMT

    Di7y, I admit conjecture wasn’t the best way of concluding my comment, but I ask you this: in light of the PCB’s recent record of incompetence, would it really be too far fetched to assume that a player may want to get out, especially if his own selection isn’t guaranteed? Kepler Wessels moved to Australia during the height of Apartheid to allow himself a chance to play the highest form of cricket for his adopted nation. Does that make him a mercenary? He, too, only wanted to earn a living doing what he loved most. And like Kaneria, he had no parental lineage tracing back to his adopted nation (I searched, but couldn’t find any article claiming if that was indeed the case so correct me if I am wrong) to justify his claim (much like KP did in moving to England from South Africa).

    Let me clarify my position though: in principle, I do not agree with Kaneria’s desire (whether implied or otherwise) or his ilk who abandon their national ambitions for greener turfs. (contd below)

  • mike of cnbra on July 25, 2008, 6:18 GMT

    Karthik (july 24;12:35pm) demonstrates the mercenary's lack of character and subsequent inability to understand why others dislike him for his opportunism. The reason why people are appalled by opportunism is because they have that loyalty and love of country that you call BS. I amused by your pubescent delight in denigrating patriotism. You come here anonymously and scrawl your pathetic insult like a graffitist over something meaningful. The scrawl can be washed away but the stain is on you. You don't have the quality to empathise with people. Hence you call patriotism BS. You can't relate to people except to abuse what they believe in. You don't have the qualities of loyalty or honor. Hence you can't tell opportunity from opportunism. You don't understand what's obvious so you repeat whats been corrected for you; Kaniera is able to ply his trade without turning on his country. You don't get it because you don't possess the honour that could help you tell right from wrong.

  • Nabeel on July 25, 2008, 1:55 GMT

    I do not think any harm in it, if Kaneria opt for England at the end of day it is cricket which matters not the stage. Incase of Kaneria he knows himself that he has got slim chances of playing for Pakistan in ODI and Pakistan hardly play any test cricket. So you guys just want him to play hardly 10-17 test matches per year in which our All Rounder batsman cum bowler cum the Captain will prefer an all rounder in place of Kaneria. We have never point out the two great W's who were kept on playing county cricket and Pakistan was suffering to have a handful bowling attack in Sahara Cup etc.

  • mtrocks on July 25, 2008, 0:36 GMT

    Its just a choice between either your love for cricket or money or your country. I guess country comes the last for majority them. It's just too simple and I can't explain it any better.

  • Anup Bhide on July 25, 2008, 0:33 GMT

    Dear Mr Abbasi,

    Your blog titled International chancers ridicule the sport is at best sensationalist and at worst a very narrow minded way of looking at the current situation. Please dont forget that cricket at its purest and simplest form is a game played between two teams that could comprise an assortment of players regardless of caste, creed, colour or nationality. Your title therfore in my humble opinion does not hold water. I agree that maybe Kaneria and Pattinson are doing what most people would consider anti patriotic but this in no way ridcules the sport of cricket, but perhaps does reflect the atrocious way in which certain players from certain cricketing bodies are treated.

  • Mayooran on July 25, 2008, 0:15 GMT

    Kaneira has not been performing well enough and hence does NOT deserve first pick in the Pakistan team. I always feel for Saqlain Mushtaq whome i rated so highly...i still wonder why he was not kept in Pakistan. Just look at what he is doing in England and also his past record for Pakistan.

  • Dimuthu Ratnayake on July 24, 2008, 23:58 GMT

    i wonder if my post will get lost in all this! ppl seem to make strange comparisons. except for Kepler Wessels who played for both Aus and SA at test level, nobody else really comes to mind. This can't be compared with KP, Tony Greig et al being born in one country, but moving to another to play cricket at test level. Ppl comparing engineers etc isn't quite accurate either. Representing a club would be the equivalent of an engineer moving to the states and building bridges there. Representing your country at cricket isn't your job, it IS an honour and a privilege although ppl might be doing it for the money. If the IPL,ICL, EPL etc etc become as popular as it threatens to be, cases such as Kaneria's might disappear. They'll move to India or wherver to "ply their trade" but they shouldn't be able to represent that country. If i start working at a diplomatic office in London for a decade, i still wouldn't be allowed to represent England at a United Nations conference would i? :P

  • Shaka on July 24, 2008, 22:33 GMT

    Personally I don't think religion or Kaneria being a minority has anything to do with it. Just look at his performances in the counties, even Tahir who just started playing for Hampshire has looked more impressive and he can't even make the Pakistan international squad.... I also think there's been more of a reaction to Kaneria's announcement than Azhar Mahmood or Saqlain's because he is younger and should still have a realistic chance of fighting for his place again but he appears reluctant to do so. As for the Pattinson situation, him getting chosen for England isn't strange because he's been living in Australia for a long time but due to the lack of first class experience. His record also doesn't seem so spectacular that he suddenly jumped ahead of English bowlers, who've been performing consistently well in county cricket like Hoggard, Jones or Kabir Ali. If ECB continue this kind of selection policy it will hardly encourage young players in England.

  • John Beamish on July 24, 2008, 21:31 GMT

    Kaneria is by far the best spinning option England would have. If he's not being picked in Pakistan and can somehow qualify for England then I'm all for it. Mr Abassi is being somewhat hypocritical as I think he lives in the UK himself.

  • Greg on July 24, 2008, 20:42 GMT

    Pattinson's case is intriguing to me. After all, he was born in England; he's got more of a case to play for England than three of his teammates, who weren't. If he'd decided to stay in Australia, and (somehow) been in contention for the national side, would Australian commentators be ragging him for being English? Is the next call going to be for banning all emigrants from Test cricket?

  • Bosco Martyres on July 24, 2008, 20:09 GMT

    I raised the minority issue only to make people think about it. As an ex-pat Christian Pakistani I have always been proud of the fact that minorities have been included in the Pakistan cricket team. Still, I would suggest to my Muslim brothers to always insist that selection to the team be based solely on merit, and to demand that deserving minorities be treated fairly, for their own good and that of the Pakistan cricket team.

  • R Chaudhry on July 24, 2008, 16:58 GMT

    I disagree. Danish Kaneria has all the rights to play for who values him. At the end of the day, it is his profession. And he is continously being denied by PCB.

  • EAMiran on July 24, 2008, 16:15 GMT

    If memory serves, KA had a blog on Saqlain's flip-flop attempt a while back. My response then and now is the same. There is no harm in one plying their trade for another country, as most international level players would like to continue playing at the highest level. Kaneria's mediocre test record, never mind his woeful ODI stats, which by the way do not take into account his miserable fielding abilities, suggest that he may be at the end of his Pakistan-playing days. Too bad since I supported him in his early days over that retard - Afridi. If he can play for England - good on him and best of luck. To all the Hindu bloggers who are suggesting this is targeted religious bias, get real. Also for those who liken the switch to people immigrating, should understand that sports persons represent their country, while Joe Shmoes looking for a job overseas do not. The former are viewed as mercenaries,when they play for another country after representing their own, while the latter are not.

  • Mohammad Shahab on July 24, 2008, 16:05 GMT

    I think Kaneria was only misquoted. This issue has gone on long enough and you are only extending it. As you would say, making a mountain out of a molehill.

  • vrishab on July 24, 2008, 15:53 GMT

    Thiricumaran: How do you know 95% of cricketers play for money?

  • Jamie Dowling on July 24, 2008, 15:25 GMT

    Can you blame Kaneria if he's been messed about by the PCB? I'm not saying the ECB of the ICC are much better, but if DK feels he has a better chance of playing international cricket with England then I'm sure he'd be welcomed in England. If he satisfies the eligibility criteria then the PCB can't do a thing about it.

  • meyelost on July 24, 2008, 15:15 GMT

    This blog should be taken over by Osman Samiuddin! Kamran writes nonsense articles, just for the hell of it.

  • Khatri on July 24, 2008, 14:48 GMT

    I think Danish has a right to think about change of country if he thinks his kind of talent would be more usefull elsewhere. He has not featured for Pakistan for quite a while now as we have not played test cricket for some time now. Considering his performance in india last time we were there, there is a possibility Pak selectors must be looking for a better attacking bowler and he feels it too. I agree with the selectors that he is not anywhere near good enough for ODI or 20/20. This might be a ploy to engage their attention on Danish`s part. Some people have taken the opportunity to vomit their poison about Pakistan and minorities here. I cannot see any relevence of it here except misguided froth from convoluted minds. The way he bowled in India on his last visit, I would be happy if talent starved poachers in ECB also consider him.

  • Di7y on July 24, 2008, 14:34 GMT

    Theena, You make some excellent points but ruin it with conjecture at the end. This may be based on your own sense of nationalism. You may be an objective critic of Pak Cricket but you are duty bound to explain why it is that Pak Cricket is a sinking ship. Whether you mean it or not, the effect of your comment is likely to evoke an angry response. Nationalism, not patriotism is the heart of the matter. The free movement of labour challenges our concept of nationalism in the realm of sport. Whilst I support player rights to be treated fairly by their respective boards, I do not support mercenary cricketers whose loyalty is to the highest bidder, because they act as role models and the image they present is one of greed. Whereas, playing for your country means you represent more than just yourself; you’re a symbol for a nation. The deeds of the truly great have and will inspire generations to come. Worth more than a few dollar in my opinion.

  • Kash on July 24, 2008, 13:47 GMT

    Money talks. I remember players (Afridi) talking about player burnout (playing too many matches. Then IPL comes about with its rewards. No more mention of player burnout. Hence Money talks.

  • irfan on July 24, 2008, 13:27 GMT

    It is silly of you Kamran to even think like that. Ok, so, let's break it down to the core of the issue. You are questioning Kaneria's patriotism, fine. But let’s put things in perspective that it is not about Pakistan's selection policies, it's not about furthering ones career and it has nothing to do with the short lived life of a gifted sportsman. I wonder why you picked Karneria (a Hindu! don't care to be politically correct!) to be the sacrificial lamb here, I recall that there are/were few Muslims who did it already or are on the verge of doing the exact same thing. What of them? So this article, to begin with, reeks of a bias? Yusuf was a Christian until he converted, lucky for him that he didn't have to face this situation but had he not converted and went to another country heart broken you might have had the same feeling about him as well...I am speculatin. I think Kaneria, a Hindu is just as much of a patriot as Saqlain or Azher is so please stop this nonsense in its tracks

  • Theena on July 24, 2008, 13:04 GMT

    Ram asks a pertinent question and I think the issue of patriotism and loyalty towards country/state/club, particularly in this day and age of increasing globalization of trade, should be examined more rather jump to silly accusations. If a skilled worker thinks he can earn a few bucks extra working in a foreign country/state than in the place of his birth, then what stops sportsmen and women from doing the same? The answer lies, I think, in the fact that sport is too emotive a vehicle; once you sign up for one team the very idea of you representing your opponents in the future is akin to treachery, much like the military. Which is a palatable concept in itself except we ignore the multitude of factors that motivate individuals to even contemplate such thoughts: primarily money, but – in the case of Kaneria; and this is mere conjecture on my part – also perhaps a need to jump from the sinking ship that is Pakistan cricket.

  • john boon on July 24, 2008, 13:01 GMT

    As i posted in an earlier piece which was ignored, much like i fear this next one will be, pattinson's parents are english- he was born there. KP's mum is english. this is very different to kaneria who, as far as i know, is pakistani through and through. but this might insult the author's credibility so it wont get published.

  • Sana on July 24, 2008, 13:00 GMT

    Now its hard enough being a pakistani cricket supporter as it is, but its seems even worse to know we have kamran abbasi representing pakistani cricket for cricinfo. Everytime i read your articles im so disappointed by them, why cant you write anything worth reading? why cant you be consistent in your views, hold on scrap that why cant you actually have your own views, instead of jumping on the bandwagon on every occasion. There is so much to say about pakistani cricket, yeah theres alot of bad, but how about a constructive and interesting article every now and then. Use your vast cricket knowledge and provide us with a thought provoking article for once!

  • Adeel Azhar on July 24, 2008, 12:56 GMT

    Just read a stupid comment by MN claming that cricket is the game of the poors in pakistan. brother/sister MN, i dont know when was the last time u visited pakistan, if you ever did. In fact half of the players from Pakistan team come from rather humble backgrounds Sohail Tanveer, Mohd. Asif, Sarfaraz Ali, Azhar Mehmood, Mohd Yousuf are just the few examples. I can give you a pagefull of those. Secondly, pls stop abusing pakistan for the fact that we dont give chances to minorities. The only fact is that Minorities are just 2.5% of Pakistan's population. One should also ask why dont we see players from Bahalwalnagar, Dera Ghazi Khan and Layyah in the team? simply because these are small towns so the probability is less! Kineria is not getting to play `cause he is a test player and pak is not playing a lot of test cricket these days. since he starts taking wickets in his 25th over each innings therefore we have to wait for 3 ODIs to see him take any wicket.

  • Farhan Nawazish on July 24, 2008, 12:46 GMT

    MN

    Please get your facts right, to said that cricket is game for elites in Pakistan is the most senseless thing i have ever heard, i think 90% of total test caps in Pakistan are from lower middle class. As for kaneria wish to play from England i think at the end of the day you need to feed your family, he may be right but you lost your respect as a player when you play at INTERNATIONAL level for 2 countries, playing as a first calss player in one and intenrational player in second is a TOTALLY different thing... remember it

  • Karthik on July 24, 2008, 12:35 GMT

    It's quite laughable that Azhar Mahmood and Yasir Arafat are not / have not been regulars in Pakistan's ODI and 20-20 setup. Arafat gets call-ups every couple of years. He is by far the most talented all-rounder of Pakistani descent that I am aware of right now.

    Darren Pattinson: He has always only had an English passport. He is still only considered a resident in Australia, not a citizen. His brother, however, is an Aussie. This article should have had nothing to do with him.

    As for all this "patriotism" bullshit and "honour to play for your country", please give us a break. I'm sure that Kamran Abbasi won't bat an eyelid and move over to England as a journo if given a chance. I am also quite certain that if an English player of Pakistani descent opts to play for Pakistan, he would be welcomed with open arms (just about as soon as he learns how to make his afternoon prayers to Mecca).

  • Obaid on July 24, 2008, 11:44 GMT

    Comments about Kaneria being a minority player and discrimination do not apply. The reason we don't see many minority players in Pak team is because more than 95% of Pakistani population is Muslim. So if we have one player in 11, minorities would be over represented statistically. As for the trash about cricket being an elitist game, most of the national cricketers come from middle or lower class, as elites have other things to do than to actually make cricket a profession. Unfortunately cricketers coming from lower or middle class at times poorly represent Pakistan (socially, not performance) While in free world everybody is free to choose their career, I muse at the fact that here in USA there is a furore when Green Bay Packers' Brad Favre is contemplating playing for a team other than Green Bay Packers. Being a player at this level means much more than a profession, however on the balance Kaneria has to support his family and cricket team is not military that he cannot desert.

  • Nimal on July 24, 2008, 11:36 GMT

    Thirucumaran,

    there is absolutely nothing wrong with the sri lankan players wanting to skip the english tour, because you know why? there was never a tour scheduled to england in the first place until arjuna ranatunga made a right mess of things and agreed with the ECB before any consultation with the players or the cricket board. the players had signed up for the IPL long before that! as a sri lankan i had to make that comment in order to put urs into perspective. i agree with you on the point that patriotism is much overrated these days. honestly i see nothing wrong with players seeking more lucrative opportunities. everyone else wants to make money so why have different standards for cricketers??

  • KKK on July 24, 2008, 11:36 GMT

    Really encouraging prospects these ... I wish kaneria all the best ( if he manages to get a chance in other team and play international cricket ). I would love to see ICL cricketers ( esp AT Rayudu ) do the same. after all we love cricket !

  • Muhammad Ahmad on July 24, 2008, 11:17 GMT

    What has surprised me in above posts is that if South Africa chooses Graeme Smith as captain ahead of very senior guys like Kallis (and Ntini), then it is a long-term future planning, but when Pakistan chooses Shoaib Malik ahead of Muhammad Yousuf, it is minority basing and discrimination. It only shows that we tend to make our minds, according to what we want to make our minds.

  • R. Thirucumaran on July 24, 2008, 10:37 GMT

    Sekar,

    The stats i mentioned can be clearly seen in the priorities of today's cricketers. I'm not condemning them, its their wish, whether they want to play for country or club, but I don't want ppl to be naive and think that today's sportsmen are actually as patriotic as they may seem like!

  • hamza on July 24, 2008, 10:26 GMT

    it has got nothing to do with being a minority. if it did he would never have played a single test.instead he has played nearly 50 despite being below average most of his wickets are agaisnt bangladesh and he has struggled against the rest.yet he gets to play so many tests. and we should also take into account the fact that playing county is financially more rewarding than playing for pakistan so we cant say that he is financially stunted and his decision is solely a financial one.i think Danish knows he cant improve and by making such statements hes trying to put pressure on the authorities to include him in the team. also about the elite point the fact that M.Yousaf and Danish have played so much shows that that is not true.and none in the pakistan team right now belongs to the elite most are from lower middle class and poor backgrounds.and as for moving the champions trophy to SL and all the "top" players agreeing to it is a joke because i hear of aerial bombardments everyday in SL

  • mike of cnbra on July 24, 2008, 9:29 GMT

    Well said Mr. Abassi. I'm depressed by most responses here. No one is denying Kaniera the opportunity of plying his trade. He has many opportunities of bettering himself. Playing for your country satisfies man's higher motives such as loyalty, honour and representing something greater than yourself. It is fair that they are rewarded but it shouldn't be their sole motivation. A person who shops his allegiances has traded his birthright to become a commodity. He will lose all the regard of his countrymen and never find compensation for the loss. Because the the mercenary hasn't respect or honour he can't anticipate that his countrymen will no longer show him respect or honour. He doesn't have the characteristics to empathise with others or guide himself. He can't see that you can obtain a living honestly as opposed to making one tainted by betraying values most of us have. He can't tell opportunity from opportunitism.

  • Jahanzeb on July 24, 2008, 9:27 GMT

    Danish is not good enough for one days end of story. He cannot field or bat. In test you can get away with bad fielding slightly more than one days. He should not be given a one day place also because you need at least 9 batsmen these days so where would he fit in. Keep him for tests for the time being as there is no one better and experienced.

  • Haider Mahmud on July 24, 2008, 9:08 GMT

    Danish Kaneria is not being trated harshly by selectors. It is a fact that we do not have any test cricket being played at the moment so he is not with the team or in camps. On the other hand, there is no doubt he is not an automatic selection for ODIs and T20s given his shabby fielding and not so good batting. But this does not mean that he should give up. Pakistan has invested so much in him let's not deny that. He got all his fame playing for Pakistan. He was nurtured at U19 level and domestic cricket before playing for Pakistan. He owes a lot to this country and so do all other players. There is no greater pride or temptation than playing for your motherland and that should remain primary. And Danish Kaneria being minority is not at all a dis-advantage for him rather it is a matter of pride for him and Pakistanis in general.

  • zaid_sri lanka on July 24, 2008, 8:53 GMT

    What ever we see Pakistan Cricket going from bad to worst,it have lost so many good players like,shoaib,asif,razzak,and ASIM KAMAL,this all due poor administration,i hope IMRAN could be the chairman and WASIM as the coach.

  • MN on July 24, 2008, 8:36 GMT

    Mr Abbasi,

    Once again you fail to understand the pakistan culture. You and i both know that cricket in Pakistan is only for the elite class. People from poor backgrounds have very little chance of making it to national stage. Let me ask you a question when was the last time a player from "AZAD" Kashmir played for Pakistan. Never is the answer, Becauase they dont have the political clout within pakistan. Kaneria was unfortunate enough to be born in different religion. PCB will never let him play again. Nor will any other board at national level. Thats a sad fact that he has to live with. Cricket is game for elite class, unless you get rid of the old timers. it will remain that way. There should be some kind of performance matrix to that should be used to select players at national level. Rather then to leave it to selectors discretion. Because they will always make unfair decesions. Next time please write a blogg on something useful. Thank you very much.

    Best Regards

  • markc on July 24, 2008, 8:35 GMT

    The fact that a bloke that cant even find a regular spot for victoria can even be in contention of test selection staggers me. What does it say for english cricket if it cant even find a young homegrown bowler to fill the void but have to turn to a bloke that would never in a million years earn a right to play for australia.

  • Raghav on July 24, 2008, 8:24 GMT

    I wouldn't question the players. After all, they are getting a chance to play international cricket. What more could they want? What I wonder is, tough, that why is it that its always the English team that they seek refuge in? Just look at the team that played the last match against SA: 1) Andrew Strauss: Born in Jo'burg,SA 2) Pietersen: We all know 3) Tim Ambrose: NSW, Australia 4) Pattinson

    Players all over the world know that if they cannot break into their national teams, they can always go to England. With their weak county structure and 2nd rate players, the ECB welcomes such ppl. Otherwise how can you expect Pattinson over Hoggard?

  • Owais on July 24, 2008, 8:11 GMT

    Guys guys guys....its not about the fact that Kaneria is a minority so he is being treated this way. Remember Kaneria got a nod over Mushtaq Ahmed and Saqlain Mushtaq. Another talented off spinner Arshad Khan always remained on the fringes. Pakistan does treat its minorities far better than many other countries. No wonder any such case of mistreatment to minority is always reported big on Pakistani media. Kaneria has been Inzy's favourite weapon, despite Inzy's strong (and for some people extreme) religious leanings. So guys don't find this an opportunity to hurl cheap abuse on Pakistan and Pakistanis. We are already being used by the whole world as one big football.

    Having said that, I think Kaneria has every right to seek ECB qualifican "in case" he is overlooked by PCB for more than 3 or 4 years. After all Saqqi is also doing it now, and he is justified. Just like Mohammad Akram.

  • Kartik on July 24, 2008, 8:08 GMT

    The suggestion of Kaneria being singled out for criticism in this blog just because he is from a "minority community" in Pakistan is totally baseless. Pakistan has always had mercurial selection policies. The only reason why he is being discussed instead of the two Mushtaqs or Azhar Mahmood, is because Kaneria is 27 now, an age when bowlers begin to peak. Mahmood, Saqi and Mushi are well past their best at the international level. I contend that Kaneria was hyped up in the beginning of his career and fell away in the following years. This is same as Harbhajan's case; he is never been anywhere close to his record-breaking form of 2000. The only difference being that despite sporsdic dips in form, Harbhajan has learnt to become more consistent and has matured as a bowler now, while Kaneria is still struggling to fulfill his early promise.

  • AJAX on July 24, 2008, 7:20 GMT

    Who ridicules the sport more, one who tries to ply his trade as a cricketer or one who tries to prevent him by calling him a traitor? Its just a game and the sooner people realize that the better. Those few who are lucky enough to have the skill and talent to entertain all of us have chosen to make this their livelihood. As professionals, particularly in a field with low shelf-life, they have as much right as a professional in any other field to look for opportunities to advance their career. If fans put national allegiance ahead of enjoyment for a game of cricket then perhaps we should call them zealous patriots rather than cricket fans. Who are the "national" boards anyway? Are cricketers who join the ICL unpatriotic as well? What about if they join the ICL Pakistan Team?

    This is the kind of mentality that leads to someone apologizing to Muslims all over the world for losing a mere cricket match.

  • Yadav Ghimirey on July 24, 2008, 7:16 GMT

    Dear Mr. Abbasi First of all, we should pray for a situation in Pakistan Cricket where a talented player is preferred to play for Pakistan irrespective of his religious faith and other factors. I deem his decision as quite logical. I would bet you cannot name a spinner in Pakistan currently who could win matches for the country. If a spinner of his calibre (I do not rate him above Saqlain Mushtaq or Mushtaque Ahmed but he is best in Pakistan at the moment)is not picked to play for the national team, these kind of decisions will surely come from players of other countries too.

  • Dnyanesh Nadkarni on July 24, 2008, 7:00 GMT

    Who ever said Sports = Patriotism?

    If every other professional can migrate and work in other countries then why not sportsmen.

    In India its every Indian actors dream to crossover from Bollywood to Hollywood. In Tennis it routinely happens that players migrate to other countries, take the case of Martina Navratilova and Monica Seles.

    Why, even in cricket, Kevin Pietersen is a shining example of choosing some other country rather than his own country of birth.

    And please note that its not only money that is prime...Its the chance to play in international arena and to work for a more professional organisation.

    I see some good comments like ICL players qualifying in the country of choice...Why not?

    In the end Kaneria will only be selected by England if he is good enough to rub shoulders with the best in the world and not just because he is a mysterious asian spinner.

  • Khawar on July 24, 2008, 6:30 GMT

    I agree that he must get a chance in the National team but the point which we are missing is, Is he competent to play, is he a match winning bowler, has he learnt anything from past. Can we compare him with Anil Kumble, Shane Warne or any other leg spinner. The answer is NO. Mohammad Yousuf played in the team because of his performance. Captaincy is something different nothing to do with the religion. So keep this point out that there is something to do with the religion.

  • Amad on July 24, 2008, 6:02 GMT

    Bosco, I don't think that Danish Kaneria is left out because of being a Minority. His performance in one days and recently test cricket are useless to say the least. A new spinner Ajmal made a bigger impact than him in one days. If performances of county cricket are to be considered than Mushtaq Ahmed and Saqlain Mushtaq are also there. For one day cricket, Afridi is a better leg spinning option with better fielding, better average and sometimes he can bat well too. Kaneria should look to improve his game rather than being a cry baby.

  • Rahul on July 24, 2008, 5:25 GMT

    If you deny a person from earning then he must find his opportunity elsewhere. Danish is forced to do the same & the ICL players. PCB is ignoring Danish & expecting him to keep playing domestic cricket. Well he can earn lot better than that because he deserves it. Playing for country is supreme but what if PCB doesn't work for country. He has to look after his family instead of falling for nonsense PCB people. David's case is well really eligible for Ripley's Believe it or not. No one knew him & suddenly out of nowhere he is in playing 11 for a Test match. ECB & PCB are seeing each other lot more these days I guess.

  • Sekhar on July 24, 2008, 5:02 GMT

    Mr.Thirucumaran,Could you please give us the source of those stats of yours? There is nothing wrong in Sri Lanka cancelling its tour for the IPL.The Sri Lankan players have,themselves,said that the cricket in the IPL is exciting.If we are to doubt every single statement of cricketers,the world would be full of non-believers.

  • Dinesh Kurup on July 24, 2008, 5:00 GMT

    Come on Abbasi. Just because its Kaneria ,a minority community guy , you are questioning his patriotism. Never heard you complaining when Saqlain did same and Azhar Mehmood is on verge of doing same. Only reason why you are complaining is Danish spoke his heart out truthfully on his future options, while others sing the patriotic tune and theirs actions paint a different picture. Patriotism has got nothing to do here, its just financial security ,which he is looking for and doing it in interest of his family and his love for the game , rather than get nothing in return for faked patriotism. He is a genuine guy with clear conscience who speaks what he thinks. He is a better spinner and scores almost same runs as Afridi does well except the odd fluke innings Afridid plays once in 50 matches. Mohd Yusuf was denied the captaincy and perhaps Kaneria does not want to go to that extremme step to force his way into the team ......so he is opting for other choices to earn his bread and butter.

  • tester.john2@gmail.com on July 24, 2008, 4:47 GMT

    Today the verdict on Champions trophy hosting will be passed. Hopefully it will be moved to SL and we can see stars like Symonds, Kallis , Ponting in action as they are likely to skip in in Pakistan for genuine security reasons. Last blog was a big messup of asif , but frankly to prove his innoncence all Asif has to say is "If I took performance enchancing drugs, just take a look at my IPL performance " .WADA has just to look at his statistics for IPL and he will go scott free. As far as Danish, KP and Pattinson are concerned, every person talks patriotic in media , but 99% of them will opt financial security anyday , so if Kaneria opts for ECP , ICL,IPL , county ther is nothing wrong in his decsion , because if he does not get the job he deserves ,he is going to look for alternatives like any professional because he has a family to support and the people of Pakistan are definetly not going to pay his bills. Its a known fact as he is of minority , his chances of comeback are NIL.

  • Farce Follower on July 24, 2008, 4:02 GMT

    While players may be patriotic, their administrations are anything but. I cannot for a moment think that the BCCI is synonymous with patriotism. Just look at the roll call - Sharad Pawar, Rajiv Shukla...hmmm..I rest my case.

  • Ram on July 24, 2008, 3:36 GMT

    Quick question. Millions of engineers from the subcontinent come to the US to ply their trade. Why should it be any different in cricket?

  • Jai on July 24, 2008, 2:17 GMT

    Although I don't support the moves by Kaneria and Pattinson. For a person like Dinesh Mongia who plays for ICL, if he tries to play for England because he wont be eligible to play for India due to BCCI's wayward policies. I dont see anything wrong with that.

  • Bosco Martyres on July 24, 2008, 2:13 GMT

    I think you are being overly harsh with Danesh Kaneria. You must ask yourself the question " Is there a level playing field for minorities in Pakistan?" The answer would be an emphatic "No" Do you not think it curious that Mohammed Yousuf ( formerly Yousuf Yohanna) was pointedly overlooked for captaincy which was handed to a "baccha" like Shoaib Malik. It just might be possible that Kaneria has figured out that as a member of a minority group, his chances of getting back into the national side is zilch. Can you bleme him for thinking of moving to England to further his cricketing carrer? Let's face facts.

  • R. Thirucumaran on July 24, 2008, 1:39 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi, this is the age of money! Please don't be blind and think that players actually value playing for their country! about 95% of them play cricket for the money 70% and for love of the game 30%. Money makes the world go round, Mr. Abbasi, and therefore don't be so naive as to think that players actually value playing for their country.

    Of course, players will talk like they are ultra-patriotic, but they're anything but! Think about the Sri Lankan cricketers, who are willing to skip a tour to England in order to play for their adopted franchises! That should tell you a story!

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  • R. Thirucumaran on July 24, 2008, 1:39 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi, this is the age of money! Please don't be blind and think that players actually value playing for their country! about 95% of them play cricket for the money 70% and for love of the game 30%. Money makes the world go round, Mr. Abbasi, and therefore don't be so naive as to think that players actually value playing for their country.

    Of course, players will talk like they are ultra-patriotic, but they're anything but! Think about the Sri Lankan cricketers, who are willing to skip a tour to England in order to play for their adopted franchises! That should tell you a story!

  • Bosco Martyres on July 24, 2008, 2:13 GMT

    I think you are being overly harsh with Danesh Kaneria. You must ask yourself the question " Is there a level playing field for minorities in Pakistan?" The answer would be an emphatic "No" Do you not think it curious that Mohammed Yousuf ( formerly Yousuf Yohanna) was pointedly overlooked for captaincy which was handed to a "baccha" like Shoaib Malik. It just might be possible that Kaneria has figured out that as a member of a minority group, his chances of getting back into the national side is zilch. Can you bleme him for thinking of moving to England to further his cricketing carrer? Let's face facts.

  • Jai on July 24, 2008, 2:17 GMT

    Although I don't support the moves by Kaneria and Pattinson. For a person like Dinesh Mongia who plays for ICL, if he tries to play for England because he wont be eligible to play for India due to BCCI's wayward policies. I dont see anything wrong with that.

  • Ram on July 24, 2008, 3:36 GMT

    Quick question. Millions of engineers from the subcontinent come to the US to ply their trade. Why should it be any different in cricket?

  • Farce Follower on July 24, 2008, 4:02 GMT

    While players may be patriotic, their administrations are anything but. I cannot for a moment think that the BCCI is synonymous with patriotism. Just look at the roll call - Sharad Pawar, Rajiv Shukla...hmmm..I rest my case.

  • tester.john2@gmail.com on July 24, 2008, 4:47 GMT

    Today the verdict on Champions trophy hosting will be passed. Hopefully it will be moved to SL and we can see stars like Symonds, Kallis , Ponting in action as they are likely to skip in in Pakistan for genuine security reasons. Last blog was a big messup of asif , but frankly to prove his innoncence all Asif has to say is "If I took performance enchancing drugs, just take a look at my IPL performance " .WADA has just to look at his statistics for IPL and he will go scott free. As far as Danish, KP and Pattinson are concerned, every person talks patriotic in media , but 99% of them will opt financial security anyday , so if Kaneria opts for ECP , ICL,IPL , county ther is nothing wrong in his decsion , because if he does not get the job he deserves ,he is going to look for alternatives like any professional because he has a family to support and the people of Pakistan are definetly not going to pay his bills. Its a known fact as he is of minority , his chances of comeback are NIL.

  • Dinesh Kurup on July 24, 2008, 5:00 GMT

    Come on Abbasi. Just because its Kaneria ,a minority community guy , you are questioning his patriotism. Never heard you complaining when Saqlain did same and Azhar Mehmood is on verge of doing same. Only reason why you are complaining is Danish spoke his heart out truthfully on his future options, while others sing the patriotic tune and theirs actions paint a different picture. Patriotism has got nothing to do here, its just financial security ,which he is looking for and doing it in interest of his family and his love for the game , rather than get nothing in return for faked patriotism. He is a genuine guy with clear conscience who speaks what he thinks. He is a better spinner and scores almost same runs as Afridi does well except the odd fluke innings Afridid plays once in 50 matches. Mohd Yusuf was denied the captaincy and perhaps Kaneria does not want to go to that extremme step to force his way into the team ......so he is opting for other choices to earn his bread and butter.

  • Sekhar on July 24, 2008, 5:02 GMT

    Mr.Thirucumaran,Could you please give us the source of those stats of yours? There is nothing wrong in Sri Lanka cancelling its tour for the IPL.The Sri Lankan players have,themselves,said that the cricket in the IPL is exciting.If we are to doubt every single statement of cricketers,the world would be full of non-believers.

  • Rahul on July 24, 2008, 5:25 GMT

    If you deny a person from earning then he must find his opportunity elsewhere. Danish is forced to do the same & the ICL players. PCB is ignoring Danish & expecting him to keep playing domestic cricket. Well he can earn lot better than that because he deserves it. Playing for country is supreme but what if PCB doesn't work for country. He has to look after his family instead of falling for nonsense PCB people. David's case is well really eligible for Ripley's Believe it or not. No one knew him & suddenly out of nowhere he is in playing 11 for a Test match. ECB & PCB are seeing each other lot more these days I guess.

  • Amad on July 24, 2008, 6:02 GMT

    Bosco, I don't think that Danish Kaneria is left out because of being a Minority. His performance in one days and recently test cricket are useless to say the least. A new spinner Ajmal made a bigger impact than him in one days. If performances of county cricket are to be considered than Mushtaq Ahmed and Saqlain Mushtaq are also there. For one day cricket, Afridi is a better leg spinning option with better fielding, better average and sometimes he can bat well too. Kaneria should look to improve his game rather than being a cry baby.