Champions Trophy August 24, 2008

Old powers bomb a soft target

109

Let's be clear: the chances of the next edition of the Champions Trophy taking place in Pakistan are next to nothing. The political compromise crafted in words by the ICC is a cover for the international blockade of Pakistan as a venue by cricket's traditional powers. The rift in international cricket, between old and new, is alive and well. India's economic might protects it from any possible backlash from the ancient powers of Australia and England, but Pakistan is a softer, easier target.

Indeed, the rise of money in international cricket means that cricketers and cricket boards can turn their noses up at an inconvenient tour of Pakistan, knowing that it will little damage their careers or their bank accounts. The campaign against touring Pakistan has been a cynical and hysterical drama based on spook stories and vivid imaginations.

Playing international cricket in Pakistan remains safe, just as it was a month ago when the Asia Cup was played there, and just as it was last year when South Africa toured. What remains unsafe, however, is the pretext upon which cricket boards have chosen to marginalise Pakistan. Cricket boards should have sent players willing to tour Pakistan and take the chance of furthering their careers.

The behaviour of the cricket boards of Australia, England, and New Zealand is no surprise. All three have always painted Pakistan and Pakistani cricket in the worst possible light, an attitude that has stemmed from their fundamental misunderstanding and suspicion of a culture that they little understand. A bomb in Karachi, by their bizarre calculus, is far more threatening to international cricketers than a bomb in Mumbai or London.

If their tunnel vision is unsurprising, then the response of the cricket boards of South Africa and West Indies is a bitter disappointment. In matters of personal safety, both countries are ill placed to preach to others. On the contrary, West Indian cricket has a long tradition of solidarity with the Asian cricket boards. Meanwhile, South Africa has a pivotal position in drawing together rich and poor worlds, a leadership role that it has failed in over Zimbabwe and now Pakistan.

But this lowest point in the history of Pakistan cricket is not entirely the responsibility of cricket's old and confused powers. The Pakistan Cricket Board has to accept equal share of the blame. Pakistan's cricket team is nowhere in international rankings, an unattractive side to host or visit. The board's unprofessional approach to managing players and processes gives the impression of a cricket structure in chaos.

The greatest failing, however, is Pakistan's unattractiveness as a venue for cricket--and here I don't mean the availability of alcohol, bacon butties, or nightclubs. The experience of playing cricket in Pakistan has to become an exciting one, with matches played on sporting tracks with lush outfields in front of packed crowds. International sport has moved a long way from being simply a sport, as the Olympics have reaffirmed. Top international sport now has to be a memorable experience for players and spectators to be viable. Cricket in Pakistan is a hard slog for all involved.

These failings of Pakistan cricket should not have been enough for the Champions Trophy to be postponed, but they are subjective impressions of a country and its cricket that inevitably will have influenced individual cricketers and made them reluctant to tour.

Pakistan cricket must rebuild from this lowest point. Yes, it is hard for sport to thrive in a struggling society but a formula must be found to rejuvenate Pakistan cricket and elevate it to the standards now expected of international sport. This responsibility for rejuvenation lies with Pakistan's new political leaders and they should understand the power of sport to unite peoples and provinces.

At the same time, the ICC must immediately address the issue of the future of international cricket in Pakistan. A major cricketing country is being isolated by irrational decision making. The PCB's call for clarity around the security measures required is a step in the right direction but it is only a small step. The concerned cricket boards must now commit to a structured return to Pakistan, which might begin with A team tours and short series to rebuild confidence and eliminate suspicion.

Above all, the current crisis reminds us that an international sport that relies on a small number of competing nations at the highest level is a sport that will always be at the mercy of powerful groups or even individuals.

International cricket is at a troubling stage in its evolution and its current leaders seem to favour shows of compromise over making tough decisions. The tough--but right--decision would have been for all boards to have agreed to the Champions Trophy taking place in Pakistan as scheduled. This is a precedent that international cricket may wish it had never set. It is certainly a decision that dumps Pakistan cricket at the lowest point in its cricket history.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Concerned Citizen on September 5, 2008, 1:00 GMT

    While it is amusing to see the aussies and the kiwis have learned a new word, "ISI." the fact of the matter is, they know next to nothing about the agency or what it does. but what they are doing is proving to everyone that their fears of Pakistan are based on internet publications with no authenticity or repute. Hence coming up with preposterous claims of Pakistan being a warzone.

    It is funny watching them argue with everyone else whilst citing their tabloid knowledge of the world.

  • waterbuffalo on September 1, 2008, 16:03 GMT

    Botham's comment of Pakistan being a place to send your mother in law is typical of the arrogance and hubris of the English and the Australians. Cricket is the main reason for touring, not night clubs and casinos, if that is what you need to make your players happy then you should tour Macao and Monaco. Fact is, the Aussies were promised 'presidential protection' but that was not enough, ergo, nothing is enough when it comes to touring Pakistan. This is just another in a long reason to hate Australia and Australians. Even the English hate the Pakistanis touring because of the support in Leeds, Birmingham and London which makes it seem almost like a home game. Botham, Flintoff, Strauss and co can stay home and booze it up isf they see fit, but at least admit the real reason is not terrorism, but that Pakistan is a boring country to visit and the Pakistani team is a tough team to play, don't hide behind bombs like the hypocrites and cowards you are.

  • Najam Butt on August 27, 2008, 10:06 GMT

    The venue for the next IPL games should be Pakistan... we will then see how all the fears of the Aussies et all suddenly disappear. At one stroke Pakistan will be a place all these mercenaries want to visit.

  • Asif Sarfraz on August 26, 2008, 18:49 GMT

    Guys, Guys, Guys! Take a chill pill! Relax! So much talk of bad things here! Blaming each other for this and that! Blaming each each other is the reason we have found ourselves in this situation! Writing on this blog is not going to change anything! We can't change the minds of these bad people they are just crazy, selfish so and so's!I got to say one thing to Kiwi Wonder though! You have truly been brain washed! Calm down! Talk about cricket! Although I am impressed by your research! Well done! Paul from London you sound like a genuine guy! Maybe some people need to go to Pakistan to see how beautiful the country actually is! You will actually be surprised by how many Westerners have taken residence in Pakistan as well! Forget the Champions Trophy that's all in the past now! I think Pakistan should organise as many games with Australia, South Africa, and may I say a very good up and coming England, so we can keep up to the standards of these teams! Games do not have to be in Pakistan!

  • noor on August 26, 2008, 15:57 GMT

    I have read the post and amazed to find not one single post has refered to the question of the "Enemy Within Pakistan" These are suicide bomber killing inocent Pakistani. Why dont the whole country focus on these people who destroying Pakistan and Pakistan's international reputation. I heard one post saying Pakistan should play "Tit for Tat" Pakistan should not tour Aust, Eng, NZ and SA. Thats a laugh. Pakistan will be the losers by boycotting these countries. You think Aust or Eng are going to miss Pakistan. Pakistan cricket is a shamble, just above Bangladesh. If any fool out there think "Tit for Tat" is the answer is very much mistaken. Pakistan in the present climate should be grateful for any chance to play international cricket. "Gan mein khose hai nai, and Pakistanis sum muj te oonku sab miss kare gere" Pakistan should realize that the country is not safe and until the country unite and hunt down those talibans and sent them back to Afghanistan.

  • Sheraz on August 26, 2008, 15:16 GMT

    Luke posts : "We believe there is a heightened threat to Westerners in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar and you should avoid any public locations known to be frequented by expatriates and foreigners in these cities at this time."

    If I was a player being asked to tour, my Government's security assessment would override any assessment by the ICC.

    However normal travellors do not have a crack team of guards looking after them all the time so the travel advice by the government is rather negated. We also have to bear in mind the future of the game. The current players are custodians of the game, if they start setting a precendent now by not touring then the long term future of the game is in doubt. It will be a pretty boring game to follow if there are only four decent teams out there as I firmly believe Pakistan cricket will not have much of a future, leaving only ENG/SA/AUS/IND out there.

  • Kiwi Wonder on August 26, 2008, 14:18 GMT

    Vital !You said "Prove it or else put a lid on it"......Thats been ISI and Pak mantra for their terror support activities.... in their acting as ally for terror...in their act to help India root out terror while clandestinely support it......and you also are singing same mantra....NO....surprise...isnt it???..... Now read this.....which appeared in NY times Stephen Reich, another psychologist, had said Zardari was unable to remember even birthdays of his wife and children, was persistently apprehensive and had thought about suicide. According to the documents, Philip Saltiel, a New York- based psychiatrist, found in March 2007 that Zardari's detention had left him suffering from "emotional instability" and memory and concentration problems..............says a lot about Pakistan and its to-be leadership.

  • Ahmad Saeed on August 26, 2008, 14:12 GMT

    I just want to say something about the posts send by some fellows blaming ISI for blasts in India. Dear Indian fellows first of all I must say thanks to the Indian Board for the Support. Its really a good gesture and in turn Pakistan will definitely be supportive when required.

    Secondly i must not forget the WAH Cant blast few days back. Initial investigation has revealed that Some Indian agency is behind it. Now what do you say about it. But still this is all politics. I also want condemn the people saying words about ISLAM. The Slogan of Fundamentalist is given by the west for their purpose.

    ISLAM is Religion of Peace. And PAKISTAN security situation is in much better state as compared when SA Visit and the ASIA cup were on the way. Its all about the Three Ws, Wealth, Wine and Women If Pakistan can assure these things to the likes of SA and AUS, then all is fine.

  • sani ban on August 26, 2008, 7:19 GMT

    well said DEE.. thats what i tried to say on my previous post!!

  • vital on August 26, 2008, 6:40 GMT

    grover!

    Prove it..........or else put a lid on it

  • Concerned Citizen on September 5, 2008, 1:00 GMT

    While it is amusing to see the aussies and the kiwis have learned a new word, "ISI." the fact of the matter is, they know next to nothing about the agency or what it does. but what they are doing is proving to everyone that their fears of Pakistan are based on internet publications with no authenticity or repute. Hence coming up with preposterous claims of Pakistan being a warzone.

    It is funny watching them argue with everyone else whilst citing their tabloid knowledge of the world.

  • waterbuffalo on September 1, 2008, 16:03 GMT

    Botham's comment of Pakistan being a place to send your mother in law is typical of the arrogance and hubris of the English and the Australians. Cricket is the main reason for touring, not night clubs and casinos, if that is what you need to make your players happy then you should tour Macao and Monaco. Fact is, the Aussies were promised 'presidential protection' but that was not enough, ergo, nothing is enough when it comes to touring Pakistan. This is just another in a long reason to hate Australia and Australians. Even the English hate the Pakistanis touring because of the support in Leeds, Birmingham and London which makes it seem almost like a home game. Botham, Flintoff, Strauss and co can stay home and booze it up isf they see fit, but at least admit the real reason is not terrorism, but that Pakistan is a boring country to visit and the Pakistani team is a tough team to play, don't hide behind bombs like the hypocrites and cowards you are.

  • Najam Butt on August 27, 2008, 10:06 GMT

    The venue for the next IPL games should be Pakistan... we will then see how all the fears of the Aussies et all suddenly disappear. At one stroke Pakistan will be a place all these mercenaries want to visit.

  • Asif Sarfraz on August 26, 2008, 18:49 GMT

    Guys, Guys, Guys! Take a chill pill! Relax! So much talk of bad things here! Blaming each other for this and that! Blaming each each other is the reason we have found ourselves in this situation! Writing on this blog is not going to change anything! We can't change the minds of these bad people they are just crazy, selfish so and so's!I got to say one thing to Kiwi Wonder though! You have truly been brain washed! Calm down! Talk about cricket! Although I am impressed by your research! Well done! Paul from London you sound like a genuine guy! Maybe some people need to go to Pakistan to see how beautiful the country actually is! You will actually be surprised by how many Westerners have taken residence in Pakistan as well! Forget the Champions Trophy that's all in the past now! I think Pakistan should organise as many games with Australia, South Africa, and may I say a very good up and coming England, so we can keep up to the standards of these teams! Games do not have to be in Pakistan!

  • noor on August 26, 2008, 15:57 GMT

    I have read the post and amazed to find not one single post has refered to the question of the "Enemy Within Pakistan" These are suicide bomber killing inocent Pakistani. Why dont the whole country focus on these people who destroying Pakistan and Pakistan's international reputation. I heard one post saying Pakistan should play "Tit for Tat" Pakistan should not tour Aust, Eng, NZ and SA. Thats a laugh. Pakistan will be the losers by boycotting these countries. You think Aust or Eng are going to miss Pakistan. Pakistan cricket is a shamble, just above Bangladesh. If any fool out there think "Tit for Tat" is the answer is very much mistaken. Pakistan in the present climate should be grateful for any chance to play international cricket. "Gan mein khose hai nai, and Pakistanis sum muj te oonku sab miss kare gere" Pakistan should realize that the country is not safe and until the country unite and hunt down those talibans and sent them back to Afghanistan.

  • Sheraz on August 26, 2008, 15:16 GMT

    Luke posts : "We believe there is a heightened threat to Westerners in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar and you should avoid any public locations known to be frequented by expatriates and foreigners in these cities at this time."

    If I was a player being asked to tour, my Government's security assessment would override any assessment by the ICC.

    However normal travellors do not have a crack team of guards looking after them all the time so the travel advice by the government is rather negated. We also have to bear in mind the future of the game. The current players are custodians of the game, if they start setting a precendent now by not touring then the long term future of the game is in doubt. It will be a pretty boring game to follow if there are only four decent teams out there as I firmly believe Pakistan cricket will not have much of a future, leaving only ENG/SA/AUS/IND out there.

  • Kiwi Wonder on August 26, 2008, 14:18 GMT

    Vital !You said "Prove it or else put a lid on it"......Thats been ISI and Pak mantra for their terror support activities.... in their acting as ally for terror...in their act to help India root out terror while clandestinely support it......and you also are singing same mantra....NO....surprise...isnt it???..... Now read this.....which appeared in NY times Stephen Reich, another psychologist, had said Zardari was unable to remember even birthdays of his wife and children, was persistently apprehensive and had thought about suicide. According to the documents, Philip Saltiel, a New York- based psychiatrist, found in March 2007 that Zardari's detention had left him suffering from "emotional instability" and memory and concentration problems..............says a lot about Pakistan and its to-be leadership.

  • Ahmad Saeed on August 26, 2008, 14:12 GMT

    I just want to say something about the posts send by some fellows blaming ISI for blasts in India. Dear Indian fellows first of all I must say thanks to the Indian Board for the Support. Its really a good gesture and in turn Pakistan will definitely be supportive when required.

    Secondly i must not forget the WAH Cant blast few days back. Initial investigation has revealed that Some Indian agency is behind it. Now what do you say about it. But still this is all politics. I also want condemn the people saying words about ISLAM. The Slogan of Fundamentalist is given by the west for their purpose.

    ISLAM is Religion of Peace. And PAKISTAN security situation is in much better state as compared when SA Visit and the ASIA cup were on the way. Its all about the Three Ws, Wealth, Wine and Women If Pakistan can assure these things to the likes of SA and AUS, then all is fine.

  • sani ban on August 26, 2008, 7:19 GMT

    well said DEE.. thats what i tried to say on my previous post!!

  • vital on August 26, 2008, 6:40 GMT

    grover!

    Prove it..........or else put a lid on it

  • maud on August 26, 2008, 4:14 GMT

    If we replace the Champions Trophy with an event like the IPL in India where players can make a lot of money, do you still think security issues will be raised?. I think there is enough blame to go around and need to be shared with what we have become as a nation...no tolerance for anyone...and no government....I was a cricket player, having played IPL...I would have done the same...

  • Dee on August 26, 2008, 4:04 GMT

    Kamran Saahab, If you had put atleast one word of appreciation on the support India gave Pakistan throughout this entire episode, we Indians would have thought of this article as a balanced one. But alas....

  • grover on August 26, 2008, 3:11 GMT

    I see a lot of people referring bomb blasts in India and stating that teams tour India only for the money. It's comments like these that make me feel that ICC is justified. Fact of the matter is, without ISI's moral and physical support, there'd be no bomb blasts in India.

  • Hussain Khan on August 26, 2008, 1:20 GMT

    Pakistan, a country torn apart by sectorial and religious strike. Taliban vs Pakistan govt, Sunnis vs Shia and a known 'Mr 10%' man inspspiring to be country's president. How will it all end? Exactly as we see it now...boycot of the country by those who perceive it to be a very unsafe place to visit. This a what the world media (biased?) paints it to be. This coupled with an uninspiring captain with no real success to show and you have a very unattactive senario...good luck

  • Stu on August 26, 2008, 0:57 GMT

    If I thought that western countries were corrupt and immoral, that their governments were trying to kill me, and that God wanted this corruption removed from the earth, then I think that the opportunity to target high profile representatives of these western governments would be to good to pass up. If, at the same time, I can also disrupt a government whose authority I don't acknowledge, then I would have to be crazy not to at least make an attempt. Athletes from Australia and England would be targets in ways that Indians and Sri Lankans would not be, and so the idea that they are facing the same risk is ludicrous.

  • khansahab->legslip.com on August 25, 2008, 23:55 GMT

    As the learned Javed A Khan states, it was not difficult to envisage the cancellation or postponement of the CT. Pakistan cricket has suffered incessant disaster recently and we must all unite with one voice and do all we can to ensure our views are heard. To understand the nature of the terrorist attacks in Pakistan it is necessary to be familiar with Pakistani society and politics, which are very complicated and which can only be understood by people who know the country well. On paper it appears as a country in social turmoil, yet there is an overwhelming consensus as to the notion that cricketers are not threatened. The problem is, it is the majority of Pakistani commentators and a minority of non Pakistani commentators who are saying this. I would urge all Pakspin bloggers to abandon impulses of confrontation and allegations of blatant racism. We must take the “white” cricketing nations into confidence but the first step is to adopt a conciliatory and tolerant approach.

  • Dave on August 25, 2008, 23:35 GMT

    @EAMiran.. Just exactly where is the hypocrisy from the non asian nations? The bombings in London that keep getting quoted were by four people of Islamic faith, three of whom were of Pakistani descent. I know that the majority of Pakistanis aren't this way inclined, and thast the Islamic faith is largely used as an excuse for these actions rather than being the cause, but honestly, if elements of a culture reached out to do this in your own country, why on earth would you wish to tour the country from whence that culture originates? If America decided that Pakistan was a bad country and started bombing you, (note, bombings from an external rather than an internal source) would you then wish to travel to America? The place you would perhaps perceive to be the locus of hostility to your culture/way of thinking. Step outside yourself and look at it from the other perspective.

  • Julio de Cruz- Buenos Aires on August 25, 2008, 23:13 GMT

    SO SO FABULOUS is an absolute moron. Oh well. Some people cannot be helped. Anyway, about the politics of it all. Well, you can't blame the CA, CSA, ECB, etc. for not wanting to put their lives on the line. As another poster said, even the British government released a statement saying that they viewed Pakistan as unsafe! When you have that sort of stuff being said by the people who are SUPPOSED TO KNOW THE POLITICS OF IT ALL, there's very little that professional athletes can do than put their trust in their government.

  • EAMiran on August 25, 2008, 23:03 GMT

    Just why is the BCCI standing up for Pakistan? Is it brotherly love? Maybe Is it because we are such good neighbors? Maybe Are they just good samaritans? Maybe The answer, I suspect, may be a little more sinister. The BCCI knew they would be supporting a lost cause (didn't everybody?). They had nothing to lose and everything to gain - an ally in a potential conflict where the end result was not already fixed. The bloated BCCI is positioning it's allies or should I say pawns on a chess board with the skill of a Grand Master.

    A word of caution to the PCB - remember the US/Pakistan relationship. Good one day and discarded the next.

    Conspiracy theory? Maybe

  • EAMiran on August 25, 2008, 22:13 GMT

    Regardless of whether the CT went ahead in Pakistan or not, which group of morons were responsible for creating a schedule which saw Pakistan with no Test matches in 2008. We should have been trying to play as many tests as possible to improve our rapidly declining standard of cricket. When it was obvious(at least a year ago - if not more)that teams other than the Asian block were not going to tour, Pakistan should have arranged to take on top teams like Australia and SA in their backyards.Instead we chose to ignore the need for competitive cricket and call on Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. Great thinking! The team is now desperately short of match practice and will,in all probability, get a drubbing when it resumes normal cricket. This in no way exonorates the hypocrisy of the non-Asian block, nor their merry band of mercenary cricketers for refusing to tour Pakistan.

    P.S. Just wish our pathetic selection comittee had resigned with DNA.

  • Dave (New Zealand) on August 25, 2008, 21:48 GMT

    All this talk about how safe it must be to hold the CT in Pakistan because of the Asia cup is ridiculous. The so called "war on terror" is seen by many as a split between the (middle)east and west. Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are not seen in any way to be western, and three of them used to be different parts of the same country! So it's not exactly making a political statement to attack one of those nations, is it? The analogy of the SA tour to Pakistan recently is a better one, but still not with the TV coverage that the Champions Trophy would have gotten, so still not good. And as far as the Australian and English teams are concerned, the Saffers wouldn't be a prime target anyway. Racism may be a populist notion at the moment, and I can understand the politicans wanting to point the finger at the countries that decided to not take part rather than to seriously address the reasons why they didn't take part, (they are politicans) but this is just rubbish.

  • Paul (London) on August 25, 2008, 21:05 GMT

    I would venture to guess that most causcasian families would not have Pakistan on their places to vacation list. But cricket teams and players that have been there should understand that cricket is not a target for the fanatics. Most of the fear has been contrived by the western media and agents of spin. As a caucasian man who has visited Pakistan (Karachi) once (1999), I found the people overly warm, the atmosphere pleasant, and the chaos, rather amusing. With that said, I think the "white" cricketing nations have isolated one of its own from the cricket fraternity. I wonder how they will make it up?

  • saber khan on August 25, 2008, 20:22 GMT

    typical comments from the usual suspects. Pakistan has been the whipping boys of cricket ....ball tampering etc etc....now we here the Englishes ashes heros were at it with Murray Mints...what hypocrital nonsense. As for the Aussies - over rated has beens. Pakistan will have to struggle along and produce its cricket legends this time without cricket on home soil. Believe me the plucky Pakistanis will comeback. We may have political differences with India but we both share our common cricket unity against the misplaced arrogance of the Aussies and the winging English, sorry its not English...their captain is South African who disowned his own country ----what can you expect.

  • Fais NJ on August 25, 2008, 19:51 GMT

    Owais Ehsan..well said! well said!...'no bucks, no booze' no visit. Atleast in India, if you have bombs blowing up you can go to your hotel or a PUB and get your fix...and maybe even get some kinda action from the locals...but you visit Pakistan there is no BOOZE...No BUCKS and forget about messing around with the locals...White folks always hated visiting Pakistan...atleast in India everyone speaks English...you can have bombs blowing around you...atleast you can understand the panic :) Anyways there might be a genuine concern for one's life here...I am a Pakistani and can say this much, maybe these people are really concerned about their lives. As for the Indian fan's...I know deep inside you are all cracking up and enjoying this...remember when they came for my friend I didnt help...when they came for my neighbour I didnt help...and then they came for me...no one helped...

  • Ateeq on August 25, 2008, 19:09 GMT

    You've to be champion to have your way. Are you a champion? or Next to one?. Answering this simple question gives you a clear and definitive answer. For long ,other sports in South Asia have been sacrificed for the game which reflects our subdued past. It's about time we shift our attention to other sports, though the hypocrisy of past imperial and thug states will not disappear, atleast we will not be tied to one sport. Those countries always has accused pakistan in the past with ball tampering to the recent allegation of being rogue nation. I don't think hosting any big event will change that perception anyways. Focus on making a strong team than making bucks with humiliation!!

  • vision on August 25, 2008, 19:04 GMT

    2 major differences between the blasts in pak & USA/India etc are 1)suicide bombers 2)state or public support/sympathizers...ex. India has 25 blasts in few days. All r placed in places where there is little security. All of them were soft targets like bus stops, bazaars etc killing common people randomly. Where as suicide bombers can easily pass through security & target specific people or places(like Bhutto, hotel, army base etc) 2)the biggest complaint with Pak. is some (not all for sure) of it's citizens/army/ISI are supporting these acts....by not playing there (similar to what world did to South Africa during aparthied), pressure will be put on Pak. to reign on terrorism with an iron hand & help the world to be more peaceful. CRICKET CAN WAIT

  • PakistaniLover on August 25, 2008, 18:54 GMT

    This is blant racisim by the Whites. If they cannot be in control of the sub continent, they will do thier best to boycott it. Pakistan should boycott all of these "White" people's tours and refuse to come to thier countries.

  • saba on August 25, 2008, 18:48 GMT

    the pakistanis who are crying racism and taking personal offence to the decision of australia, nz, sa, england and west indies are making the situation worse. if pakistan was a safe country, say there had been no bombings in the last 6months, are you sure the same teams would still not have come? i dont think so, i think they would have. there is no point having a go at australians and english cricket fans, im sure every cricket fan regardless of where they live would love to see high class international cricket played. unfortunately it hasnt happened for pakistan, but get over it and start playing more matches. if pakistan climbs up the rankings this will mean teams such as sa and aus may be more willing to travel to pak and play us, at the moment pakistan is a mediocre team anyway.

  • Truthsayer on August 25, 2008, 18:43 GMT

    I am from pakistan but I disagree with you Kamran. I think it is security fears that have kept other teams away from Pakistan. If the security situation improves, they will come and play here. It is as simple as that. As for people like Swami, I would urge him to go to some other forum as this is no place to spew Pakistan-specific hatred. Despite what he has said, I would not abuse India or Indians in this post as that is not the topic of discussion. As for people who say that Pakistani security forces sympathize with the Taliban, they are wrong too. The proof is that they were able to successfully protect all teams in the very recently held Asia Cup. They were also able to protect the South Africans who just toured. Although, I can understand other teams' reluctance to tour Pakistan but people, let's not get carried away here. This is a nation who's security forces are getting killed while fighting Taliban and the bombings primarily target the security forces if anyone pays attention

  • Asif Sarfraz on August 25, 2008, 18:19 GMT

    I watch skysports in England and I got to say it is uncomfortable viewing if you are a Pakistan fan! So of this is the situation in England then god knows what it is like in Australia, New Zealand! Can't even watch the cricket news without feeling really annoyed afterwards! Dude from Singapore best be quite! Your cricket team, have u got a cricket team! Oh well let me continue! I can confidently say CT will not be held in Pakistan next year! Can't see these lunatics backing down! We support the war on terrorism them suffer the consequences by being bombed everyday by these idiots! ICC switch the venue now I can't face our country being devalued anymore by the western sports media! It's not all doom and gloom though, if we van get our heads screwed on! Firstly get the government out of sporting affairs! Secondly arrange as much matches you can with the likes of Australia, South Africa and England who I see as an up and coming team! These matches can b arranged in neutral venues!

  • Ash Zed - Saudi Arabia on August 25, 2008, 18:08 GMT

    CT cancellation is a debatable issue as everyone appears to have different yet logical opinion. However, the fact can not be denied that teams like Australia & England almost always expressed their reluctance to visit Pakistan on the basis of some flimsy grounds. Perhaps they don’t get alcohol or night clubs… that I don’t know…..

    The current political anarchy is certainly a cause of major concern. We all can see Pakistan disintegrating fast and common people getting more anti-western with wrong idiotic Islamic ideology. Even I am hesitant to visit Pakistan so I won’t blame foreign teams on this particular occasion.

    Nevertheless, ICC can still support Pakistan by sending a World XI (comprising those players who expressed their willingness to visit Pakistan) for a series of 5 ODI. At least this will send a positive signal to all that ICC support is not only limited to words but it transforms to action as well.

  • Paul Clarke on August 25, 2008, 18:01 GMT

    No-one mentions the "elephant in the room" here ..

    Religion...a very specific fear..Fundamentalist Islam.

    It's not an "old guard" v's "asia bloc" nor is it venues, pitches, or the time of year.

    It is fear of something very very specific. That no-one so far has dared mention. , Fundamentalist Islam.

  • Adnan on August 25, 2008, 17:58 GMT

    We Pakistanis are a low-income nation and our government has better things to do than organize an elite sport. PCB should be dissolved and Pakistan voluntarily opt out of international Test and One-Day cricket. The local schools, colleges and universities should still organize amateur cricketing competitions. If our nation truly appreciates sport, domestic corporate sponsorships will emerge to support intercity/province tournaments. When a self-sustaining professional cricket structure is finally established from the ground-up, without an iota of government subsidy, corporations could compete for nominating and sponsoring a truly representative national team. It's a vile crime to spend tax rupees on professional cricket when people are dying of hunger and lack of infrastructure.

  • Kartik on August 25, 2008, 17:17 GMT

    I don't fault nations for not wanting to play in Pakistan. Let's not forget that Benazir Bhutto was assassinated there not long ago. Bob Woolmer's death was also suspicious.

    And no, it is not 'anti-Muslim bigotry'. No one is afraid to play in Bangladesh, or in Sharjah. Pakistan is not a safe place any longer, period.

    This should be a wake-up call to the Pakistani public. The few bad applies in their society are costing them a lot, from cricket, to international aid, to tourism. Wake up, and purge the extremists, before it is too late and the US military does it for you.

  • Sheraz Ahmads etc. on August 25, 2008, 17:15 GMT

    The political issues in Pakistan are just a smokescreen for the "western" cricketers. Historically Pakistan has been a place where these cricketers have not liked to travel to as it was too "dry" for them when there was no cricket to be played, i.e no night clubs etc. As Kamran pointed out, Pakistan did not help things by producing bland pitches which ultimately produced bland cricket to otherwise keep the tourists minds occupied. Now the cricketers earn a lot of money a

  • Paul Clarke on August 25, 2008, 17:00 GMT

    Oh the racism card. Well done.

    Official :Now Mr High Profile Cricketer from Oz, are you actually afraid that a high profile event like the ICC cup may be targetted by Islamic extremists ?

    HPC :Listen, I am really worried.

    Reporter :Have you heard the facts.

    HPC :Yeah mate

    Reporter :Weren't you reassured ?

    HPS : No.

    Reporter :Well you'd better be. Put your fear aside or else I'll call you a racist.

    Oh great, a reall win/win situation there then.

    There is racism here. I would expect to poo-poo real genuine fears and call people racists for having them is in itself far more of an international insult Mr Abassi.

  • fromefrog on August 25, 2008, 16:36 GMT

    we're quite happy to play Pakistan. its the CT no one wants to play, it being in Pakistan has given people an easy cop out.

  • ani ban on August 25, 2008, 16:11 GMT

    Despite the fact that Kamran & all Asians felt frustrated at the "champions trophy" postponment, I feel bit hypocrisy coming from all Pakistani writers. In spite of getting unprecedented support from fellow Asian countries, they seem to dig their own grave by comparing bombs in Pakistan to bombs in Mumbai or Jaipur.

    (don't forget the fact that the origin of all this destruction in different parts of world is easily traced to Pakistan as some one has already pointed out) What good does it bring by pointing the finger on neighboring countries? instead of fighting against the western hypocrisy,

    Pakistanis seem to be more upset on their neighbour's success. It seems that all Pakistanis are more worried about countries visiting India than the reason for not visiting Pakistan.

    You upset, frustrated & insulted writers seem to be forgetting that all your neighbouring countries specially India, in spite of all your jealousy, has stood firmly behind Pakistan in recent days.

  • Sups on August 25, 2008, 16:04 GMT

    I can't understand why ppl are citing the example of Bhutto assassination. That was a political murder, and world history suggests no amount of security can safeguard political murders from taking place. Using that as an example of security breach is grossly unfair. Killing cricketers don't give extremists nearly enough mileage as politicians. The motives are miles apart. Thus I have sympathy for the ppl of Pakistan, who most often than not are being victims of ignorance and sometimes negligence. Having said that, I agree with Kamran to the fact that PCB is shamefully short of fulfilling its own duties.

  • JAVED A KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on August 25, 2008, 15:15 GMT

    Even a child knew what the outcome of the ICC decision would be on whether to play or not to play CT in Pakistan? The hoopla and the drama was only a formality to show to the world and, to sugarcoat the decision that it was not an authoritarian decision to postponed it but, it was based on consensus. And who is the majority? They are the same "old powers," the biased and the prejudiced. They are the ones who damaged the game of cricket in Zimbabwe and now they are doing the same in Pakistan. This time, India has openly supported Pakistan and its time for the countries of the subcontinent to form an alliance, call it Asian Block or whatever and must stand united because, the masters don't like their "servants" to dominate. It was hard for them to accept a defeat from the so-called children of the convicts and, even after a hundred years the memories still haunt them in the name of Ashes. Among us there will always be supporters like Martina Hooka, "miss-match-moca" etc., who will take the sides of their masters because, their psyche is imbued with the effects of bondage and caused a permanent and irreversible damage. They can never free their daft minds to think independently, - a mind can only see what is prepared to see. But these moonstruck dorks, crazy as a loon have no idea that a bomb that goes off in the mountains or at the border of Afghanistan is more than 1200 kilometers away from Karachi. Whereas, a few years ago their masters played undisturbed and unconcerned at Lords cricket ground which is hardly 2 k.m.away when the "fire-crackers" rocked the whole London underground system.

  • Eric M. on August 25, 2008, 14:57 GMT

    I divorced Pakistan 14 years ago and there is no going back until that country can prove that it has something for me. Yes, I may sound selfish but that's how I see it. I rather provide a good life for my family than to get stuck at a place where I have no idea if I'll be returning back home in one piece of 10 pieces.

    Good luck and God bless

  • Eric M. on August 25, 2008, 14:55 GMT

    I am a ex-Pakistani and have not visited that country since '94. I realized that Pakistan is doomed and there is no future in that country at all. Recently, I did make plans to go there for my brother's wedding but Benazir was killed the same day I was scheduled to fly out. Well guess what, I cancelled my plans, paid a hefty fine ad stayed where I am. I ask all Pakistanis to honestly ask themselves...

    How many times have you thought about leaving Pakistan and move to Europe or North America? How many times have you said to yourself, I wish there was more peace and prosperity in Pakistan? How many times have you wished there wasn't a bomb blast every other day in Pakistan?

    If you have asked yourself any of these questions you cannot blame foreigners for not visiting Pakistan at all. They see most of the bad news anyway so they are probably more scared to come than you are to live there.

    Running out of space...read my next post

  • Imran Iqbal on August 25, 2008, 14:54 GMT

    I always like to read about Pak team. At times I love it & at times I hate it. Postponement of CT is neither I had expected nor wanted. I'm sad and disappointed and share feelings of all Pak fans. I'd like to point to two common issues: Western nations are unfair & prejudiced and they will always be. Ref:London blasts- Australia & England continued Ashes to show their consolidation to fight terrorism. Why can't they support Pakistan in the same manner? Other is: Pakistan's instable socio-political environment. Lack of vision & leadership right from its inception in every department. So-called leaders took wrong sides in World Politics and adopted policies which not only hurt Pakistan & its people but also image of Islam. We need to take a lesson out of this and correct ourselves and fight for one good cause. We don't need weapons but education to earn respectful place in World. Unfortunately Pakistanis are still being black mailed in the name of religion and "Roti, Kapdra & Makaan."

  • Arshad A Momin on August 25, 2008, 14:50 GMT

    I frankly doubt that most of the cricketers in Australia, England or South Africa are up-to-date on current affairs of the world to even know what the situation in Pakistan is. George Bush, of all people, didn't know before he became president, about who the ruler of Pakistan was at that time. South Africa came last year to improve thier ratings. Nothing else. They really have nothing to gain here. Its too much about statistics and a lot more about money. Far too much professionalism and not enough sport. So asking people to play the sport for the love of the game. That is too forgone a concept, that love has long seen its break-up and the marriage has been divorced by the cricketers of Australia and South Africa. I agree, PCB as an institution is a disgrace. The only way, in my humble opinion, to make CT happen in Pakistan is to throw enough cash at those boards. Security concerns are an excuse, it would be meaningful if they knew what they were talking about.

  • Sandy on August 25, 2008, 14:49 GMT

    Kamran gave a very good perpective of how any Pakistani would think! But, there's the Pakistani perspective and the "Rest of the World" perspective. Being an Indian, I can understand the Pakistani perspective and say with full confidence that nothing bad will happen to cricketing events in Pak, but, feeling "secure" is not about what your or my perspective is. It is about what the players actually feel. 2 Questions here for Kamran: 1. Given a free ticket and a free tour, would an average person from these countries visit Pakistan for 15 days or more? (I think a majority of them would say "No, Thank you!") 2. Most places in Afghanistan are very safe (look at it from an Afghan perspective). Would you want someone from your family to go there and play cricket for a fortnight?

    My thought is that all the Boards are doing is making sure nothing untoward happens to their palyers under their watch! So whats wrong with that????

  • FM on August 25, 2008, 14:38 GMT

    Mackenshaw ur turning this into a political discussion, focus on cricket & stop referring to Bottams remarks, we all know how much he was RESPECTED during his time, he was known troublemaker, his comments also shows how much respect he had for other teams & there countries, as far as playing in PAK goes i bet if PAK throws millions of $$$ along with booze, the same players refusing to play in PAK will stop moaning security security & will head 2wards PAK, Now its not about cricket anymore its about much you will pay me to play, people here r saying that u cant compare bombs, bomb is a bomb & a victim is a victim, its really funny that how u people can say the word DIFFERENT ..

  • SO_SO_FABULOUS on August 25, 2008, 14:37 GMT

    i think its time pakistan takes a break for 2 years from cricket and let the dust settle. That leaves only 7 teams to play amongst themselves in safe places. Cricket is already a dead sport, hardly any great talent around, when england played newzealand 6 tests in a row, did anyone bother to watch? I mean newzealand have got a nerve to talk, a pathetic cricket team talent wise. Cricket is dying, you can see how many people turn up to watch cricket matches (apart from in india), the numbers are a joke. All these so called countries like eng and aus nead to help promote cricket by playing cricket in countries like pakistan and zimbabwe, not killing it, which i feel they are doing buy isolating teams like pakistan, zimbabwe and bangladesh. sort your attitudes out white boys, otherwise only a handful of teams will be left in world cricket.

  • Ali on August 25, 2008, 14:28 GMT

    i totally agree with kamran. All this is hyprocrisy stemming from watching biased channels i mean if a bomb goes anywhere other than pakistan it doesn't matter CRICKETERS have never been targeted. The current situation in pakistan is because of countries such as USA,Australia, UK,south africa,they are scared of terrorists so they tell pakistan to send our young soldiers to get killed as a result bombs go off in pakistan.If Pakistan hadnt helped the non-Asian countries by joining the war on terrorism,the state of all those countries would be worse than pakistan,and pakistan would be the safest country.Pakistan should refuse to tour all the countries who refused to come to pakistan, where our team goes and gets racially taunted and abused.and when you say that pakistanis sympahtise with the terrorists,you are being pig-ignorant.All these blasts,they kill pakistanis,families are torn apart,wifes are left widows,children left as orphans.And you say we help and sympathise with them.

  • Suhail on August 25, 2008, 14:13 GMT

    Kamran Bhai, I agree that Pakistan needs to become a sporting venue for cricket. All the pitches throughout Pakistani need to be remodelled to favour batsmen and bowlers. In addition, grounds need to improve (apart from Karachi and Lahore). I think crowds do show up for ODI games, so that is now a big issue. As for the CT being postponed...maybe it's a blessing in disguise because with the tournament being played during Ramadan it would've seen much smaller crowds, and sub-par performances from the players if they were fasting. I disagree with the idea of "old powers bombing a soft target" because honestly many Pakistanis living abroad aren't comfortable with traveling to Pakistani with the current mess it is in.

  • safwan on August 25, 2008, 14:11 GMT

    @ Mikso Mocha........as far as your pretty stupid notion regarding world cup 2011 matches being moved to india and srilanka is concerned......then please assure us that tamils will stop bombing lankan cities and separatist groups that have been tortured into subission over the 60 years of Indian independence will not strike during the 2011 wc? i ask these questions because judging from your comments you have the ability to foresee into the future and predict upcoming events!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Gugu on August 25, 2008, 13:41 GMT

    Good sensible thoughts. I have always echoed that main problem is the status of Pakistan Team. It's not bombs, it's the game. That's why bombs in London and Mumbai are perceptually different to these teams. We don't make the same contest as Aus vs India in a test series. The connecting problem of grounds and excitement of event is also well made.

  • Cricket dying on August 25, 2008, 13:37 GMT

    Beyond all the hoopla, its the same elitist mentality and the desire to show 'others' their place behind this decision. It was very clear months ago the white ones won't visit, not enough money being thrown at them in Pakistan. They'll play through bombs going off in the same cities anywhere if enough money is involved, its a proven fact.

    Maybe the Asian countries could gather some self esteem and start demanding the same extravagant security measures as they are asked to provide, that exorbitant expense would go some way to make the white ones realise how it feels.

    Currently, cricket stand divided along money lines closely followed by racial lines.

    Big thumb down to administrators. Chicken crap.

  • vish on August 25, 2008, 13:17 GMT

    I couldnt agree more with Swami .What u sow is what u reap .CT'08 is just a start.There's more to come for pakistan im afraid.

  • Dheeraj on August 25, 2008, 13:06 GMT

    I am from India and let me tell to everyone that Pakistan is safe place compared to India. I may raise hackles of several other Indians reading this but its a fact we cannot deny. Right from 1993 Mumbai blasts to recent Ahmedabad blasts, all the blasts have targeted common people but never security establishments or army. Army was target but it was only in J&K. In Pak all the targets have been the army, the police, or recently an ordnance factory. I go out in Hyderabad and i can never guarantee where a terrorist has planted a bomb and which car, which cycle is laden with explosives. I am scared to enter a shop which has no metal detective. Now this is fear. I donno who is to be blamed for this situation and I dont want to enter into age old cliche of blaming Pak. Atleast in Pak they know that its Taliban that is executing this blasts and there is reason since Pak is an ally of US. But who in India is responsible for this? What do they want? why are they targeting innocent civilians?

  • Taqi on August 25, 2008, 12:53 GMT

    @Mackenshaw from Singapore you r getting away from the topic if a country is a member of ICC and have some cricketing commitments then other teams must fulfill it either alcohol and night clubs are available or not. when pakistan fulfills its commitments other countries must fulfill theirs

  • Luke on August 25, 2008, 12:39 GMT

    "On the contrary, West Indian cricket has a long tradition of solidarity with the Asian cricket boards. Meanwhile, South Africa has a pivotal position in drawing together rich and poor worlds, a leadership role that it has failed in over Zimbabwe and now Pakistan."

    I don't follow your logic here, Kamran. If the WI were a supporter of the PCB and they don't want to tour, does that not speak volumes?

    This is an excerpt from the British Foreign Office's current travel advice for Pakistan:

    "We believe there is a heightened threat to Westerners in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar and you should avoid any public locations known to be frequented by expatriates and foreigners in these cities at this time."

    If I was a player being asked to tour, my Government's security assessment would override any assessment by the ICC.

  • Abdul Kadir Hussain on August 25, 2008, 12:05 GMT

    Will somebody please screen Mackenshaw from this forum the guy is the biggest Bigot I have seen! Bottom line is this, if you dont live in or have visited and spent extended time in Pakistan you have no right to comment on its traditions its people and the relative safety or lack there off. To say, as some have here, that Pakistanis are Taliban sympathizers is to use the same old logic of equating Muslims to terrorism and Jihad to Holy War. A bit of education will go a long way in fixing these wanton sterotypes. I think the PCB needs to put the cricket world on the spot and expose this issue for what it is. If I were the PCB I would get up and shout to the cricket world if you dont want to come to us, we are ready to come anywhere, anytime to you. Then lets see where the offers will come from. My gut says it will still be India/SL/Bangladesh and then we will get the true answer, this is not about safety at all, its about vested commercial interests.

  • Preshant Sekar on August 25, 2008, 11:58 GMT

    Seeing the current political turmoil in the subcontinent(as it has always been for 60 years),the Indians should be scared the most,on the issue of touring Pakistan.When even India is ready to send the team,why in the world should the rest be scared?

  • VikasK on August 25, 2008, 11:51 GMT

    Kamran - I agree with what you are trying to say. But like Amir Sohail and many other commentators you are just pushing the victim mentality a bit further.

    The attitude of SA and CA from Pakistan perspective is full of hypocrisy, etc. For a moment put yourself in their shoes. If the biggest risk to you is getting mugged on the street, bombs going off - once in 2 days or 20 are a big big threat.

    The key thing to be tackled by Pak is the perception game. If people believe you are a dangerous place to visit then that is reality - like it or not. Your future is in your hands. You see yourself as the frontline against terror - a part of the solution - others may see you as THE problem. It is not about Cricket in Pakistan, it is increasingly about Pakistan. This is the truth most Pakistanis need to wake up to and worry about. The sooner the better.

  • Rauf on August 25, 2008, 11:49 GMT

    It's the recent injection of money in cricket that is driving all this. Security is just a smokescreen. Why did SA pull out on security grounds after a recent incident free tour of Pakistan. Why did Eng/SA/Aus cancel tour even when ICC says it's safe to play. No prizes for guessing this one.

    If a player can make $200,000 playing show cricket for few weeks then why grind yourself with other stuff. IPL/ICL, Stanford twenty20, and Champions twenty20 is the new buzz. What's so special about them... $$$$$ and lots of it. If there was money to be made from this CT, everyone will show up even if Taleban were in the greeting party at the airport.

    PCB is the first casualty but it won't be the last one. Wait until same security concern rabbit is pulled out of the hat before touring SL or Bangladesh. BCCI will keep PCB/SL and Bang afloat just for ICC votes but for how long. In 5 years time, playing test or 50 over cricket will be like riding a donkey cart on a super highway. Live with it.

  • gary williams on August 25, 2008, 11:36 GMT

    if this was football, FIFA would move the game or cancel the competition due to safety. Almost any other sport would do the same. Pakistan is a dangerous and unstable place at the moment. People need to stop seeing this as a big conspiracy against pakistan and face up to the real problems and see how they are impacting on sport in the country.

  • Raj Kohli on August 25, 2008, 11:26 GMT

    Hi, Its a pity that subcontinent countries have to put up all this even now. Name one city that has not seen increase in criminal activity in the last decade. Is UL safer than Pak?. In UK u can get knifed before a terrorist gets to you!!!!!!!. But thats ok since its some white people doing that to you. The truth is no place is safe these days. All these countries that fail to play in Pakistan must be banned for some time. You cannot pass a judgement on a country through yor sporting decisions. India must take lead and show these white countries their place.

  • kiwi wonder on August 25, 2008, 11:26 GMT

    This is just the beginning. Unless Pakistan stop the acting being an ally in war of terror and behind the scenes in-fact actually train terrorists , this boycott of champions trophy is just the start of things to come. An act can fool the world for sometime but sooner or later it will be recognised. Unless Pakistan wake up and actually start cleaning up taliban mushrooming at alarming rate in Pakistan , CT boycott will be peanuts compared to economic sanctions and total boycott( complete isolation) of Pakistan trade that is very likely to follow soon. The dracula frankenstein monster which was breded and fed by Pakistan is now out of control and has turned itself on its masters. This boycott of CT is just the first step in the string of other blocks to follow soon from the world pissed of by double game of Pakistan. Today the poorest of poorest country Afghanistan as well as superpower USA acknolewdges Pakistan as being terrorist factory.

  • vital on August 25, 2008, 11:21 GMT

    to Mikso Mocha: Dont forget that Pakistan doesnt want you either. Can you gurantee (as a human) that you would live long enough to watch WC 2011???

  • Raj Kohli on August 25, 2008, 11:06 GMT

    Hi, Its a pity that subcontinent countries have to put up all this even now. Name one city that has not seen increase in criminal activity in the last decade. Is UL safer than Pak?. In UK u can get knifed before a terrorist gets to you!!!!!!!. But thats ok since its some white people doing that to you. The truth is no place is safe these days. All these countries that fail to play in Pakistan must be banned for some time. You cannot pass a judgement on a country through yor sporting decisions. India must take lead and show these white countries their place.

  • AJAX on August 25, 2008, 10:50 GMT

    Another day, another Kamran Abbasi blog on Pakistani cricket's latest nadir. The fact that your last 10-15 blogs have dwelt on some disaster or another in Pakistan Cricket taking it further down this abyss should say it all; Pakistan and Pakistani cricket are a mess. Yet, as if in joyful glee awaiting cancellation or postponement, it seems as though the entire country has jumped at the opportunity to whine about being stripped or deprived by the cruel racist outside world that refuses to understand their culture. The country has no president, has been unlawfully governed for the last 9 years, cannot protect its opposition leaders, has sacked and jailed judges and lawyers, has more security men than spectators at cricket grounds and you try to provide view of normalcy. And just look at the number of posts complaining about fighting the west's war... NEWSFLASH: If there's war going on in your country you cannot expect to host a sports tournament. Get over your victim mentality.

  • Shan on August 25, 2008, 10:48 GMT

    This is so amusing, all u non-pakistanis are basically doing exactly what Kamran said....your proving him right by showcasing your own perceptions of Pakistan: "fear". this is for everyone who has posted here, Have you actually been to Pakistan? So how on Earth do you know of the situation? oh thats right the "wonderful" and "truthful" media.... There is no point in even expressing a view, imagine your own countries were targetted, then you would know the disappointment... unless that happens you westerners will never find Pakistan safe....

  • Aftab Amin on August 25, 2008, 10:33 GMT

    Deep in our hearts every Pakistani knows the root cause of all the instability in our country is thanks to the crazy mullahs that want to live in the stoneage and make everyone forcefully follow their twisted EXTREAME ideals. Fact is if the Pakistani government, doesn't deal with the problem posed by these mullahs than cricket or any other sport cannot flourish in a world dominated by elitist. Honestly i enjoyed seeing the 20/20 rather than boring opportunities brought to us by Australia new zealand England and south Africa. One should honestly newer think that these countries honestly want to tour us without any personal gain cos lets face it a person with power doesnt want to dilute that power, this can be applied to richer socalled morally sound countries as well. So just a thought perhaps Pakistan should cooperate with Asian boards more to expand 20/20 and while for the time being leave the international scene and let the icc deal with 7 cricketing nations. Ban Pak and zim goodluck

  • Farce Follower on August 25, 2008, 10:28 GMT

    Blasts in London / Mumbai cannot be compared to Lahore / Karachi. In the latter places, some of the the terrorists (definitely not all)have sanction from an important institution of the state - ISI.

    I recently saw an interview wherein the ex-ISI chief Hamid Gul described Bin Laden as a man of character. Also with Dawood Ibrahim getting sanctuary in Karachi with six ISI bodyguards, who can feel safe. After all he blew up seven buildings in Mumbai.

    Terrorists in Pakistan have been frquently blowing up entrances and buses of defence establishments in Rawalpindi and Islamabad itself. This is just too serious to ignore.

  • Mohammad Aslam on August 25, 2008, 10:18 GMT

    It is all known that Aus S.African and N.L.teams now are not like there were before and they are reluctant to play Indian continenatal as they rating will go down like anything.Other wise there no harm in playing in Pakistan as fool proof security was arranged.If these teams does not want to keep their rating as it is let them invite Pakistan India and srilanka to play in their secured countries and they will feel the diffferent.Or let them go to Zimbabwe Bangladesh Kenya Ireland and get better rating.( I regret to mention these countries just for reference otherwise Austrlia has got lesson from B.D.and hence they will get more lessons in near future.)

  • Shak on August 25, 2008, 10:04 GMT

    Actually, as a Pakistani I am glad the has been postponed. Listen - one day cricket is losing its sparkle because theer is too much being played, and in a full calendar and with much more appeal in 20:20 - I think there is a lot of apathy with a tournament losing its importance. This is definitely part of the international opinion - cut down one day cricket, increase 20:20 cricket - maybe security would be less of a concern if you only had to deal with a 3 hour game instead of a 10 hour one! p.s. I hope Nasim Ashraf follows Busharaf to his Dubai villa.

  • Shafiq on August 25, 2008, 9:58 GMT

    http://www.geo.tv/8-25-2008/23435.htm Plz visit the link, Aussie girl winning against Pakistani female in Women squash in POF Wah Cantt, Pakistan. Dear westerns, here happened the last suiside attack, but no affects to players, sports etc. Yup Aussie girl playing, staying and then winning. But we believe she won't come back only if she beome the star like ponting, Symonds or gets offers of money like IPL. What a hypocracy? Ah! shame for mankind you w--te n-at-io-s!

  • indian fan on August 25, 2008, 9:38 GMT

    In recent times the pitches in Pakistan used for the test matches and ODIs have been so flat. Frankly the cricket played is so boring in these conditions. Why does the PCB not bother about these things? Something that can be fixed easily. India has an upcoming series in Pakistan and frankly not many Indian fans are looking forward to it. Too much Indo-Pak cricket on flat tracks has made cricket boring beyond words. The Pakistan team does not have the players like Imran, the 2 Ws, Inzy etc who made Indo-Pak cricket complelling viewing. One feels sorry for what has happened. But the boring nature of cricket played in Pakistan is as much a detriment as the security situation.

  • Naveed Akhtar on August 25, 2008, 9:32 GMT

    I am afriad this was coming. There are two groups in World Cricket. The Austrailia/England group cannot accept that they do not rule cricket anymore. No matter how much security advise they would get thay had already decided of not going. Just so that they can make a point. In an ideal world they would never like to set foot in the sub continent again. But money talks. India has money. Pakistan has nothing other then players playing play stations in the hotel room everyday.

  • KL on August 25, 2008, 9:06 GMT

    A player should be able to choose if he/she wants to play at a certain venue - no questions asked, no explanation required.

    The decision will itself depend on weighing up the risk of playing against monetary gain. If IPL was valued just as much as ODI(s), no doubt fair number of players would have given it a miss.

    Also what about travelling fans? Would it be safe for them to go out after games and celebrate their team's victories or drown their sorrows of a loss? I don't know - but food for thought.

  • A Pakistani from Singapore on August 25, 2008, 8:47 GMT

    Mind you Mackenshaw. Pakistan is not like your country which copies the culture of western countries and has virtually no identity of her own. We have our own customs and tradations and we wont so called 'adapt' to other cultures just to please a bunch of idiots. It is the guest who has to adapt to the host's environment and not the other way around. History teaches a lesson that we have always been very good and hospitable hosts. Maybe you were not in Karachi when India toured Pakistan after 14 years and won a high scoring thriller prompting the crowd to give them a standing ovation despite the known rivalry and bitterness between the two neighbours. I think the best solution for Pakistan under the prevailing situation is tit for tat reaction. You come and play in our yard or else we also wont come and play in your territory and I see this in the near future when the Aussies are slated to tour Pakistan in March next year and Pakistan having to make a return visit to Australia in Dec.

  • Adeel on August 25, 2008, 8:45 GMT

    This is complete hypocricy on part of the old powers of cricket (Aus,Eng)...lets not forget the fact that the July bombings in London happened during an Ashes test...yet not only the test went on, but so did the tour. Similarly there were bomb blasts in jaipur during IPL but i did not hear a single player's comments about running away from India...so its absolutely apparent that this biased approach towards Pakistan has got nothing 2 do with the security concerns...for heaven's sakes everyone was willing to shift the trophy to Sri lanka, a country which has been ravaged by a civil war since many years...

    My point being that instead of placing a blame, the PCB has to now act...and retaliate...good thing is that this time we have the backing of the BCCI which in its own accord has become even more powerful than the ICC itself. Pakistan should boycott their tour of Australia later this year and threaten to pull out of their next England tour as well...its the only way to react..

  • Apurv Sardeshmukh on August 25, 2008, 8:41 GMT

    I think the suggestions given by Abdul Kadir Hussian above are very good and well thought. We all need to be rational like him.

  • Naeem Butt on August 25, 2008, 8:25 GMT

    There are sympathizers of Talibans/Al-Qaida in every segment of Pakistani Society. Taliban/Al-Qaida have sympathizers in Police, Army and the ISI.

    It is not the frequent bomb blasts, it is the grey zone which exists in Pakistan between normal people,religious, Islamists, Fundamentalists, Jehadists and Taliban/Al-Qaida.

    Army is continuing operations, while the Jirgas are making peace deals. Most people and the politician do not want any actions taken against the Talibans/Al-Qaida by the Paksitan Army.

    Until Pakistan as a whole nation takes a united stand against the menace of terrorism/Islamic extremism the "Grey Zone" will exist and expand. The chances of Pakistan turning into a Modern and Moderate state are diminishing by every passing day.

    I think the future of Pakistan as a nation is at stake now, and until Pakistan gets out of this Religious/Extremist/Jehadist quagmire, the civilized world should refrain from travelling to Pakistan.

  • cricketluver on August 25, 2008, 8:23 GMT

    Since i am a native of pakistan, i completely understand what kamran is trying to explain here. Myself along with many friends (hardcore cricket loyals) were very disappointed about hearing the postponement of Champions Trophy and i agree concerns with S.Africa Aus and others for not happy with touring Pakistan. BUT, what happened to all the security concerns when S.Africa was touring Pakistan and bomb blasts were happening around them in Karachi ( attack on Benazir's life through suicide bombing also happened then). Its just a monopoly of big teams like Aus and S.Africa trying to marginalize Pakistan to a side. India offers more money through IPL so im sure they wont mind touring that country even after the mumbai/hyderabad blasts. ICC itself proclaimed the security arrangements were the best they ever saw in Pak for Champions trophy. Its all 'bullying' from top/rich teams of cricket. BTW, Benazir's security (when she was assasinated) was NOT provided by Govt. of Pakistan. Pak Zindabd

  • Jeet on August 25, 2008, 8:15 GMT

    I agree with kamran. Pakistan is a soft target for the former dons of cricket. its easy to say no to a tour of pak than to a tour of India just cos touring India brings in more money. these cancellations can be justified by quoting " security" issues even though there is NO HISTORY whatsoever of any touring cricketer being targeted in pak. infact, for all the S***t that goes on at a political level between India and Pak, the atmosphere and camaraderie in the stands is a site to behold. yes, the current pak team is not what one expects of pak but so is WI team and that doesnt hold back teams from visiting WI. We need to stand by pak cricket for the world will be poorer if we dont get to see future talent of the likes of Waqar, Wasim, Shoaib, Miandad, Imran cos talented and aspiring cricketers dont get to play frequently against top rated teams. its time to stand by pak cricket and not shun it.

  • Suresh Kumar on August 25, 2008, 8:07 GMT

    GET IMRAN KHAN TO HEAD PAKISTAN CRICKET. BETTER LATE THAN NEVER!

  • Raza Bashir on August 25, 2008, 7:56 GMT

    In reference (Mackenshaw from Singapore): If you could only be aware that we ARE talking about CRICKET over here... that too involving the OH soo PROFESSIONAL austrailian, english and new zealand cricketers. Not a beach resort or tourist destination. These PROFESSIONAL(if only they were so) players's prime responsibility is to PLAY good cricket and represent their country. No one is asking them to ENJOY the local nite clubs and alcohol (as if they dont get any over here). No one has any grudge against the australain, english or new zealand fans for not visiting pakistan (although we would like them to) ..cause its their own choice. But PROFESSIONAL players of these countries are supposed to rise above hypocracy and their Monetary benefits!!!! and just come to pakistan to play regular cricket as any professional team would. As far as botham is concerned.. please update yourself on his current comments about pakistan after his recent visit to Pakistan.

  • Syed Naumanuddin Hassan on August 25, 2008, 7:45 GMT

    Pakistan should not tour Australia, New Zealand and England unless they do so. There is no point in clapping with one hand! The West has alway been racist when it comes to Pakistan. I just wish China and Russia will start playing competitive international level cricket soon. Cricket is bigger than the Austrialian or English ego and I bet Pakistan can manage with out them. The Asian block in particular Pakistan must plan something innovative and utilize venues of Malaysia, UAE or any other for the matter. I am sure public will get tuned in and enjoy cricket as it is supposed to be played. We have plenty of financial potential to strive alone. Pakistan just needs some one of Allan Stanford calibre to support the cause. I hope things would brighten up soon.

  • arcadefire on August 25, 2008, 7:41 GMT

    To be honest, this is all Pakistan deserves, right now, in the wake of perpetual scandals, which have reduced the cricket team/infrastructure, to a laughing stock. I am a Pakistani, and frankly, I can't bear to watch them anymore. They've become a team of trundlers, mainly due to the failure of any sort of coaching system and also due to the uncontrolled egos of certain players who are arrogant enough to take steroids, or abuse their position. Players are banned and then ban revoked on a daily basis. Good players are discarded, due to petty politics at boardroom level, or is it simple laziness?

    On one level I don't blame SAfrica et al, as this is a pointless tournament, so why expose to risk, for no reason, but on a general point it was always rather predictable this would occur, given the relative cowardice of the Australian/English teams. I remember in 06, the Australians making noises about leaving London, after the bombings.

  • Faizaan on August 25, 2008, 7:38 GMT

    Dear Mr. Mackenshaw, there is no need to convert this into how Pakistan is not attractive to as a tourist destination. We don't wish to have tourists who want booze and hookers. There are hundreds of cities in the world where you can get them. But there are still many MANY white people (and I personally know a dozen) who visit Paksitan for it's breathtaking landscapes and some of the best treks in the world. Terrorism in Pakistan is a direct implication of USA's bogus war on terror and it's unfortunate that sue to our geographic locations we are of "strategic" interest to the USA because being in that club is never good for a country. However, if you have a chance to meet Pakistanis in Singapore (and there are many there) you will see that they are peace loving people exactly like yourself who just want an end to terrorism like any one else. Kindly refrain from discussing the social and theological issues of Pakistan because you are ill-equipped to do so unless you visit the place

  • Usman Moorad on August 25, 2008, 7:35 GMT

    To reply to Mackenshaw's point: Pakistan does have all those things you people require. Times are changing, a vast portion of the rich population of the main Pakistani cities are into fancy restaurants selling alcohol, modern malls, karaoke bars, nightclubs, and many other attractions, that I have been too when I lived there. The entire pakistan is not just villages full of terrorists. I was there when New Zealand toured back maybe around 2001 or something and saw them freely touring a mall and buying 100's of cheap cds. Maybe there was too much security put forth, frightening players since they would be so restricted. The fact is Pakistan has always had a phobia from international governments and media, which has translated into these boards/players not being satisfied despite more security given to them than they have probably seen in a lifetime. No matter what the board did, they were gonna say no, so why did these *beeeeep* waste so much time?

  • Abdul Haque on August 25, 2008, 7:34 GMT

    Mr. Mackenshaw have you ever visited Pakistan? If not please stop making these caustic comments. I have been to all parts of the world and can say with authority that Pakistani cities are as modern as others. Of course every country has a right to preserve its culture and it should be respected. There are thousands of foreigners from every part of the world who are living happily in Pakistan. You will meet western tourists walking merrily on the roads and they do not fear anything. Their chance of getting hurt is not more than your going out on a road anywhere in the world. Let me remind you that Pakistan is a big country and the trouble is mostly in the areas adjoining Afghanistan and 90% blasts occur in that region. Talking about cricket -- if ICC is the govering body and if it gives all clear to the security arrangements, no dictations should have been accepted. After all it was an ICC event and its word should have been final. This decision will be devatating for cricket.

  • Owais Ehsan on August 25, 2008, 7:18 GMT

    Im glad at least you conceded , there is more to just 'Security concerns' in Pakistan. Thanks for the Botham quote. Sums up the real story for everyone, and the hidden posturing that exists in Western countries. Im also glad you mention lack of night clubs and tourism resorts, that also helped , it would be better if the ICC had given Pak a checklist of night clubs and resorts rather than police formation and sniper cover.

    Racism Card is not used , if you read the post carefully , without the exaggeration cap on. First of all, 'huge voulme of bomb blasts daily in Pakistan' is a very stupid statement infact just sums up how ignorant viewers of biased channels can really be. There are skirmishes along the border with Afghanistan, with after effects heard in Karachi and elsewhere where security agencies are attacked.

    Also a month ago Asia cup saw rivals India (we have fought 3 wars with them) participating , if they can play without any concern, anyone can.

  • Mikso Mocha on August 25, 2008, 7:17 GMT

    Forget CT 2008 or even CT 2009. No one wants to visit pakistan. You might as well write a blog on why countries dont wanna visit Pakistanin 2011 World cup as it is a 100% probability that all matches scheduled in Pakistan for WC 2011 are likely to be moved off to India or SL who are the co-hosts.

  • Kashif on August 25, 2008, 7:16 GMT

    Well,the only thing that we can do right now is to arrange some trillion dollars and an atmosphere full of alcohol, bacon butties, or nightclub and here we go no security concerns at all.

    No more comments

  • REDNECK on August 25, 2008, 7:13 GMT

    i disagree with a bomb blast in Mumbai or London is the same as in pakistan, london havnt had a bomb go off since where as pakistan it seems every week bombs are going off. as a aussie cricket lover i doubt that pakistan has lost any marketability either, i would be quite happy to pay money to see aus play pakistan in aus any day of the year. i believe the best measuring stick to a teams marketability in australia is if they are asked to play in the boxing day test at the MCG pakistan did in their last tour of aus and i would bet anything that they will get it again next tour aswell! not every team can say that with bangladesh, zimbabwe, sri lanka and new zealand rarely asked to take part in the post Christmas test. they still have exciting players in misbah ul haq, younis khan, mohommad yousuf, afridi it is not all doom and gloom for pakistan cricket, they are still capable of beating any nation anywhere on a consistent basis!

  • FM on August 25, 2008, 7:12 GMT

    I totally agree with Kamran, people seems to forget very quickly that there were 6-7 bombs in India same city where all these player who are now moaning security security going to play, they didn't leave the place, instead they wore black arm bands & kept on playing in support of bomb victims, why diff approach in PAK case, its time to admit that PAK hav always been treated very badly...

  • imran on August 25, 2008, 7:01 GMT

    continutin from previous comments.....

    Someone mentioned that we support Jihadist & Terrror. This is obviously coming from a person who has beelived the picture CNN has portrayed Pakistanis and Muslims as terrorist. Pakistani & Muslims do not support terrorism and sensless killing, mind you these are our own citizens. The few that are doing it, the fight is going on against them, that is all we can do. There is no point in explaining this to you either, as you have also convinced yourself that we as people support terrorism. THIS IS THE THANK WE GET FOR SUPPORTING "FIGHT AGAINST TERROR" Your view of us is no different than it was 10 years ago....what gives...it is a very helpless feeling, this is what drives people to terrorism...but ofcourse I dont expect you to understand...

  • imran on August 25, 2008, 6:53 GMT

    I hate to say it, but I understand insecurity the the ENG/SA/AUS cricketers were feeling to come to Pakistan. But situation in Pakistan is no different than it was a year ago. SA came, played, kicked our ass, and left with a trophy. The security provided to them was nothing less than presidential, and we were providing the same security this time around. So, it is obvious that the CT was targeted not only as a non-lucrative playing tournament, but Pakistan was also targeted. ABOVE & BEYOND that the shame was that ICC did not do jack shit, all there talk was nothing than crap coming out of there mouths. They should have punished the countries pulling out and compensated Pakistan for the financial hit it is going to take. You can give all the political reason for not coming to Pakistan, you and I know that they are wrong in how ever which way you look at it. Security was an issue in India/London, but the games went on. You cant tell me it is different in Pakistan becos people support it

  • Mackenshaw from Singapore on August 25, 2008, 6:51 GMT

    There is no need to use the racism card here. Even if we forget the huge voulme of bomb blasts daily in Pakistan, it still never was nor will be attractive place for tourism or players to tour even under normal circumstances.To promote tourism even Dubai has made nightclubs ,casinos , resorts and other attractions ,despite bieng a Muslim country . Do the people of Pakistan expect the citizen of world to come to Pakistan and forcefully like their way of life ,even if it means not bieng used to it. Thats asking too much. To attract people , one needs to adapt and people and culture of Pakistan refuses to do so and when no one visits they srart using the RACISM card. Even the 1980's when Taliban and jihad was not present , Botham still had the opinion "Pakistan is a place worth sending your mother in law " and that sums up it all about the western opinion even on those days. They are justified because if one does not like to visit a place one cannot be forced to like that place.

  • Owais Ehsan (Leeds) on August 25, 2008, 6:50 GMT

    Mackenshaw from Singapore "Recently USA also acknowledged the fact that Taliban were getting information from these supporters before strikes" can you please name the organization that acknowledged Nuclear Weapons in Iraq? ... Yeah Rite... Besides, what is this illusion that there are Sympathasizers??? we are at full fledge war with them , we have lost more than thousand soldiers and yet some people are plane ignorant to realise the facts and make their own stories based on watching biased news channels(fox news etc)

    The biggest shame is what was the purpose of the security assessment (even when satisfied) they still cant do anything about it. Its a shame that these westerners just need bucks and booz to motivate. They will get neither in Pak , so who cares , they can just ignore it. Well i would urge my government to make peace with the militants and bring back the peace... lets see which teams comes than... my best guess ... none... no bucks booz...

  • Shoaib Amin on August 25, 2008, 6:48 GMT

    I agree with Kamran, and want to answer few person commenting on this column. One says we will play here if there will be no bomb in average three days, he must have very short memory 16 blast in mere two days is not a very old story, a serial blast in Rajhistan wont stop any player to play there merely because of money. Terrorism is a global problem which increases currently, and Pak is one of those place which has been badly hearted by this infection, world should understand it and help us by merging with other on going countries this isolation means yes these bombers are right you always feel us as a black and lower cast people. I disagree with an other opinion that govt is not supportive and looks like they feel isi as terrorrist organization, every one knows common people are heartening with those attacks if you check last 8 years history, only 2 or three occasion it was prominent people else in number of cases it is common people. Utmost attempts r made to protect common people

  • Harish on August 25, 2008, 6:40 GMT

    Well put, Kamran. I agree with you a 100% that cricket as a viewing experience is the pits in Pakistan. It is just as terrible in India. I bought a ticket for Rs. 2000 near the pavilion in Eden Gardens for a ODI final, only to see the Asst Comm of Police usurp it. The police then kicked someone out to accomodate me. I am sure such chain reactions must have happened all over.

    Cricket administration is a farce in the sub-continent. The stadiums are filled with policemen who are more interested in seeing the action on the field or ogling at some eye-candy in the stands.

    Some great venues like Bangalore and Chennai (with the most sportive and knowledgable crowds)now produce the flattest pitches. And supposedly cosmopolitan places like Mumbai have their share of zombies who chant racist slogans.

    Its all the experience, Kamran - even today we would like viewing matches played in Adelaide, Lords or Newlands than ones in the Eden Gardens or Gaddafi.

  • zohair on August 25, 2008, 6:39 GMT

    pakistan leads a war on terrorism that was pushed on to them like toys from an older sibling. the country is stuck in a haze of disappointment from every possible avenue. the people of pakistan and it's ex-pats need something to put on a smile about. they need something that reassures us that they live on the same planet as everyone else. the coalition of the unwilling should realize that pakistanis are fighting to keep their borders safe. the chaotic situation that pakistan finds itself in is to ensure that these blasts don't occur in melbourne, johannesburg, napier, st. petersburg, or manchester, and god willing they won't. yet the coalition of the unwilling is also unwilling to help put a smile on some very gloomy pakistani faces. let them forget about their problems for a few weeks. let them forget the judges, let them forget the poverty, let them forget the chaos. the chaos that pakistan itself is trying to hide in itself to protect the world from it. god bless.

  • Swami on August 25, 2008, 6:39 GMT

    For the past couple of decades, Pakistan has gotten away with tolerating terrorist elements from its soil with little or no economic repurcussions. The world has changed and there is little or zero tolerance for those who preach hatred and are prepared to unleash violence. To those who compare Karachi with London or Mumbai, the source of bombings in all the three locations is the same and comes from within Pakistan. The economic noose will start to tighten on all fronts unless Pakistan itself makes a serious attempt at destroying the terrorist forces within the country. Cancelling Champions Trophy needs to be seen in this light.

  • Brendanvio on August 25, 2008, 6:36 GMT

    Kamran, I think you are being way overzealous with your criticism of the conutries that would not risk the safety of their players. I concede the point that a factor to their non-touring may be the lack of appeal of the country in terms of money, but the players themselves have expressed uncertainty about their safety and that cannot be taken lightly.

    I have expressed my sympathy for the plight of Pakistan before, they need the tournament badly to invigorate their cricket which has been rocked by the country's domestic turmoil and the continuous controversies involving the human headline Shoaib Ahktar and Mohammad Asif. It is unfortuante that these boards (I'm particularly aiming at the Australian board here) didn't show some initiative and help a country that needs help.

  • Aniruddha on August 25, 2008, 6:25 GMT

    Kamran, your views are from a Pakistani perspective and rightly so. How can the same be expected of people who live far away from consistent terrorist involvement? When you say a bomb is a bomb be it in Mumbai or London or Pakistan, again you are right, however the world needs to see a lot more from the Pakistani government to ensure that the common Pakistani people are seen as victims like any other country and not supporters of terrorism. Cricketrs have families and the Pakistani Team no longer have the likes of Wasim, Waqar, Inzamam or any other world class player, so what is the attraction of playing there? Yousuf and Younis are very good players but is that enough? Mussharaf's exit has also meant that the one person who was fighting against terrorists in Pakistan is also gone. Presidential security was not good enough to save Benazir Bhutto, so what guarantee for players.Forget CT, personally I will be suprised if the same issues dont crop up before the 2011 WC.

  • ehjaz on August 25, 2008, 6:25 GMT

    What’s next for Pakistan cricket? Revoke their test and ODI status! Pakistan became ally in so called “war on terrorism” and in return became a victim itself and hence been paying a big price….More loss than any gain…

  • Mackenshaw from Singapore on August 25, 2008, 6:05 GMT

    Sorry to say but you are mixing issues to justify playing in Pakistan when you say "A bomb in Karachi, by their bizarre calculus, is far more threatening to international cricketers than a bomb in Mumbai or London " . In all places except Pakistan, there are no known sympathizers/supporters of jihad and Taliban in ISI, police, army of Pakistan and that is why security forces of these countries can be trusted to provide genuine security. Recently USA also acknowledged the fact that Taliban were getting information from these supporters before strikes. Nothing of this sort happens in Mumbai or London because security agencies in these places are genuinely working to stop terrorism. A prime example of this jihad support is Benazir Bhutto security loophole. This is sole reason why players do not mind playing in SL/India/Eng becasue they know their securty undertakers can be trusted. Same thing cannot be said of forces where killing white man (infidel in words of jihad) is road to heaven.

  • Abdul Kadir Hussain on August 25, 2008, 6:03 GMT

    The decision on the CT was disappointing and as Osman has said devastating for Pakistan cricket. How we react now will go a long way in establishing how we can re-enter the international game. First and foremost we must make a public request to the Australians to host us in September for a short tour, we need to play competitive international cricket for us to stay alive in the international sport. Then I think we should collaborate with the UAE board to jointly host international teams. The western teams may not want to spend a month in the country, but maybe they can be convinced for a 3 test series in Abu Dhabi, Lahore and Sharjah or something like that. This will slowly wean us back into the internaional calendar. Bottom line is that the PCB needs to act, if they do not we will end up with nothing.

  • Sandesh Rai on August 25, 2008, 5:57 GMT

    It is sad to see Pakistan cricket suffering from the doings of their politicians. The snake that they nurtured has come back to bite them. Pakistan government, in its desire to create instability, first in India and then in Afganistan funded these terrorists and Al Qaeda elements. It has now come back to haunt them. Terrorism in Pakistan is not going away soon. They might create some problems for India, but it is going to be far worse for Pakistan

  • ALI KHAUN on August 25, 2008, 5:56 GMT

    I think your right on. The two countries who are the worst offenders of hypocrisy in this case are South Africa and Australia. Australia because of their elitists thought process. I hope the next time Pakistan goes to Australia they make sure there players don't have to deal with verbal and racial abuse and the South Africans just had a successful tour of Pakistan. It doesn't help that the PCB is in disarray either. This more than ever should be a rallying cry for Pakistani Cricket. I think the PCB should do whatever it takes to put the best players on the field, the best captain and the best coach without compromising on discipline.

  • Kevin on August 25, 2008, 2:51 GMT

    I disagree with your basic contention here. The root issue here is the strife going on in Pakistan.

    If we take the ideal scenario: NO bomb blasts happen in Pakistan till 2009, then I can guarantee (if I could) that Champions trophy and World cup will happen in Pakistan and everyone will attend.

    Now lets consider a diversion from the ideal scenario. IF only a couple blasts happen in one year, I can still say with a lot of confidence that Champions trophy will happen in Pakistan.

    But I can tell you with equal confidence that if the situation continues as it is today (one bomb blast every three days), then I am afraid no team will visit.

    So I want to say that your fears about deliberate isolation of Pakistan are misplaced. While I cannot deny biases that may exist amongst nations, you will have to be reasonable here and concede that the root cause is the turmoil in Pak.

    Lastly one small good news may be that you have found a most unlikely supporter out of all this : India :)

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  • Kevin on August 25, 2008, 2:51 GMT

    I disagree with your basic contention here. The root issue here is the strife going on in Pakistan.

    If we take the ideal scenario: NO bomb blasts happen in Pakistan till 2009, then I can guarantee (if I could) that Champions trophy and World cup will happen in Pakistan and everyone will attend.

    Now lets consider a diversion from the ideal scenario. IF only a couple blasts happen in one year, I can still say with a lot of confidence that Champions trophy will happen in Pakistan.

    But I can tell you with equal confidence that if the situation continues as it is today (one bomb blast every three days), then I am afraid no team will visit.

    So I want to say that your fears about deliberate isolation of Pakistan are misplaced. While I cannot deny biases that may exist amongst nations, you will have to be reasonable here and concede that the root cause is the turmoil in Pak.

    Lastly one small good news may be that you have found a most unlikely supporter out of all this : India :)

  • ALI KHAUN on August 25, 2008, 5:56 GMT

    I think your right on. The two countries who are the worst offenders of hypocrisy in this case are South Africa and Australia. Australia because of their elitists thought process. I hope the next time Pakistan goes to Australia they make sure there players don't have to deal with verbal and racial abuse and the South Africans just had a successful tour of Pakistan. It doesn't help that the PCB is in disarray either. This more than ever should be a rallying cry for Pakistani Cricket. I think the PCB should do whatever it takes to put the best players on the field, the best captain and the best coach without compromising on discipline.

  • Sandesh Rai on August 25, 2008, 5:57 GMT

    It is sad to see Pakistan cricket suffering from the doings of their politicians. The snake that they nurtured has come back to bite them. Pakistan government, in its desire to create instability, first in India and then in Afganistan funded these terrorists and Al Qaeda elements. It has now come back to haunt them. Terrorism in Pakistan is not going away soon. They might create some problems for India, but it is going to be far worse for Pakistan

  • Abdul Kadir Hussain on August 25, 2008, 6:03 GMT

    The decision on the CT was disappointing and as Osman has said devastating for Pakistan cricket. How we react now will go a long way in establishing how we can re-enter the international game. First and foremost we must make a public request to the Australians to host us in September for a short tour, we need to play competitive international cricket for us to stay alive in the international sport. Then I think we should collaborate with the UAE board to jointly host international teams. The western teams may not want to spend a month in the country, but maybe they can be convinced for a 3 test series in Abu Dhabi, Lahore and Sharjah or something like that. This will slowly wean us back into the internaional calendar. Bottom line is that the PCB needs to act, if they do not we will end up with nothing.

  • Mackenshaw from Singapore on August 25, 2008, 6:05 GMT

    Sorry to say but you are mixing issues to justify playing in Pakistan when you say "A bomb in Karachi, by their bizarre calculus, is far more threatening to international cricketers than a bomb in Mumbai or London " . In all places except Pakistan, there are no known sympathizers/supporters of jihad and Taliban in ISI, police, army of Pakistan and that is why security forces of these countries can be trusted to provide genuine security. Recently USA also acknowledged the fact that Taliban were getting information from these supporters before strikes. Nothing of this sort happens in Mumbai or London because security agencies in these places are genuinely working to stop terrorism. A prime example of this jihad support is Benazir Bhutto security loophole. This is sole reason why players do not mind playing in SL/India/Eng becasue they know their securty undertakers can be trusted. Same thing cannot be said of forces where killing white man (infidel in words of jihad) is road to heaven.

  • ehjaz on August 25, 2008, 6:25 GMT

    What’s next for Pakistan cricket? Revoke their test and ODI status! Pakistan became ally in so called “war on terrorism” and in return became a victim itself and hence been paying a big price….More loss than any gain…

  • Aniruddha on August 25, 2008, 6:25 GMT

    Kamran, your views are from a Pakistani perspective and rightly so. How can the same be expected of people who live far away from consistent terrorist involvement? When you say a bomb is a bomb be it in Mumbai or London or Pakistan, again you are right, however the world needs to see a lot more from the Pakistani government to ensure that the common Pakistani people are seen as victims like any other country and not supporters of terrorism. Cricketrs have families and the Pakistani Team no longer have the likes of Wasim, Waqar, Inzamam or any other world class player, so what is the attraction of playing there? Yousuf and Younis are very good players but is that enough? Mussharaf's exit has also meant that the one person who was fighting against terrorists in Pakistan is also gone. Presidential security was not good enough to save Benazir Bhutto, so what guarantee for players.Forget CT, personally I will be suprised if the same issues dont crop up before the 2011 WC.

  • Brendanvio on August 25, 2008, 6:36 GMT

    Kamran, I think you are being way overzealous with your criticism of the conutries that would not risk the safety of their players. I concede the point that a factor to their non-touring may be the lack of appeal of the country in terms of money, but the players themselves have expressed uncertainty about their safety and that cannot be taken lightly.

    I have expressed my sympathy for the plight of Pakistan before, they need the tournament badly to invigorate their cricket which has been rocked by the country's domestic turmoil and the continuous controversies involving the human headline Shoaib Ahktar and Mohammad Asif. It is unfortuante that these boards (I'm particularly aiming at the Australian board here) didn't show some initiative and help a country that needs help.

  • Swami on August 25, 2008, 6:39 GMT

    For the past couple of decades, Pakistan has gotten away with tolerating terrorist elements from its soil with little or no economic repurcussions. The world has changed and there is little or zero tolerance for those who preach hatred and are prepared to unleash violence. To those who compare Karachi with London or Mumbai, the source of bombings in all the three locations is the same and comes from within Pakistan. The economic noose will start to tighten on all fronts unless Pakistan itself makes a serious attempt at destroying the terrorist forces within the country. Cancelling Champions Trophy needs to be seen in this light.

  • zohair on August 25, 2008, 6:39 GMT

    pakistan leads a war on terrorism that was pushed on to them like toys from an older sibling. the country is stuck in a haze of disappointment from every possible avenue. the people of pakistan and it's ex-pats need something to put on a smile about. they need something that reassures us that they live on the same planet as everyone else. the coalition of the unwilling should realize that pakistanis are fighting to keep their borders safe. the chaotic situation that pakistan finds itself in is to ensure that these blasts don't occur in melbourne, johannesburg, napier, st. petersburg, or manchester, and god willing they won't. yet the coalition of the unwilling is also unwilling to help put a smile on some very gloomy pakistani faces. let them forget about their problems for a few weeks. let them forget the judges, let them forget the poverty, let them forget the chaos. the chaos that pakistan itself is trying to hide in itself to protect the world from it. god bless.