Politics September 14, 2008

The murder of Pakistan cricket, a fan writes

I have received a plea: “Dr Abbasi, please do something for Pakistan cricket!!!” I thought I was playing my part but clearly not forcefully enough for Fahad Khan from Oklahoma.

I guess his sentiments will chime with those of many Pakistan fans. This edited extract of his email letter speaks for itself. Do you agree?

“The reason for my email,” writes Fahad Khan, “is the frustration I am feeling within myself on the state of Pakistan cricket. I am not particularly talking about the performance of Pakistan team on the field, but the situation of uncertainty everyone involved with Pakistan cricket (including the fans) is facing and feeling.

“I thought that I needed to vent my frustration somewhere but the problem is that it will be of no use if I do it on an online forum. Who is going to notice?

“Then I thought of you, who knows people and who is known by many. Whatever you write is read by millions including those who are influential and have the power to act. I guess what I really want to see is someone like you saying loudly that there is a murder going on and someone needs to stop it.

“If nothing happens Pakistan cricket will die of a slow poison. That slow poison was probably injected sometime after the Pakistan-England five-Test series in England (1992). I guess few people realise that it was the last time Pakistan played a five-Test series against any side. It is shameful that a side like Pakistan has not played a five-Test series for more than 16 years.

“There was an influx of too many ODIs in the late '90s and the trend has continued. Pakistan slowly became a mediocre Test side because our players developed a temperament for one-day cricket, which has got little to do with real cricket.

“And then slowly Pakistan started to play fewer Test matches. There are two main reasons: incompetence of the PCB to get competitive series/matches, and reluctance of teams to tour Pakistan. In 2008 Pakistan hasn’t played a single Test in or outside Pakistan, and only played a few measly ODIs.

“I know all this information is nothing new for you but the most surprising part is no one seems to care about it. The PCB is trying to do something, which obviously is not working, but what's wrong with other countries and the ICC?

“Does the ICC realise that this situation can kill Pakistan cricket? Or don't they really care since the decision makers in Pakistan couldn't care less? We want someone to say that yes they are concerned about Pakistan cricket. It could be ICC, another cricket board, or someone in Pakistan?

“Dr Abbasi, I guess it’s you as well as, writers like you who have a duty and responsibility now. You can address this issue of insensitivity and indifference towards Pakistan cricket within and outside Pakistan. Please do something.”

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