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September 14, 2008

Politics

The murder of Pakistan cricket, a fan writes

Kamran Abbasi
The new ICC president David Morgan, Dubai, July 4, 2008
 © AFP
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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

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Keywords: Politics

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Amjad Rashid on (November 14, 2008, 20:43 GMT)

Keep the faith things go round in circles, Inshallah Pakistan Cricket will be back

Posted by Amjad Ali on (October 15, 2008, 10:03 GMT)

i demand we should stop pointing fingers at others and lets come up with something that may help the cause. and for this out there (the so called die hard pakistani fans) just reading and posting coloums, why havent any one yet gone out against the PCB and filed a case against them..if you guys believe that PCB is on the wrong side then why not go and file case against them or approach court (forget about what ever is happening in courts) i think this is the proper way of regestring ur protest as a die hard pakistani (cricket fan) i m ready to join hand with those who believe i m right..so when are we moving guys????

Posted by waterbuffalo on (October 9, 2008, 6:23 GMT)

Perhaps Pakistan will consider only playing Test Matches away from home, this is the same problem the Sri Lankans had in the mid 80's. I was a state player in Malaysia in 1983(Junior-Colts) and we were supposed to tour SriLanka in Dec of 83, but because of the security situation, we changed to a 3 week tour of India, where I was fortunate to see Gavaskar's 236 in Madras. I fear the same thing will happen to Pakistan, not for one year, but perhaps for a decade. The Marriot Hotel bombing has set back Pakistan Cricket more than the mismanagement by the PCB. No one will tour Pakistan, except for the Indian Sub -continent, Pakistan has to get on their knees to tour England and Australia and that is the most tragic thing of all. And a batsman like Mohamed Yousuf will be this generation's Barry Richards, indeed, Pakistan will be this generation's South Africa of the 60's , through no fault of their own. I became a bowler because of Imran Khan, and quite frankly, my heart is broken.

Posted by Skand on (October 5, 2008, 20:47 GMT)

Living in Dubai, I know even Pakistanis do not want to go to Pakistan for fear of bomb blasts. How, do you expect others to visit Pakistan ? Pakistan says that it will provide President level security to teams. Well there were three attempts on the president himself, he just survived. Was Benazir not given highest level of security? And if it was not given then why would one presume that Australian team would be given better security? In UAE, when Pakistanis and Indians have a chat, it is common for Pakistanis to start a sentence (when talking something negative), "In our India and Pakistan...". Politeness forces Indians to ignore such presumptuous statements. However unfortunately over a period of time Pakistanis actually start believing that India and pakistan can be bracketed and painted by the same brush. Yes, in 1947 we were one and same, but since then the two countries have taken very different paths and the whole world, except Pakistan can see it. India is a much safer place.

Posted by Haroon Ahmed on (October 4, 2008, 11:25 GMT)

Pakistan cricket is really in miserable condition. From grass root levels to higher levels, we are at nowhere. There was a time when people got surprised to see the talents which pakistan cricketers possessed. But now all has vanished. Today, we dont have any world class fast bowler and batsman who can come forward and become a super star. Reason for all this is that we have involved politics and politicians in our cricketing governing body. Everyone sees the money that is involved in it and tries to get maximum out of it. Our last three PCB chairman's have come through this channel. No one is serious to do betterment of our cricket. Even cricketers like Miandad have always neglected talent and put forward names of their relatives. So its all very dismal. I dont see any super star coming in Pakistan and taking pakistan cricket to champions level.

Posted by Ash Zed - Saudi Arabia on (September 30, 2008, 7:21 GMT)

Hello Kamran,

Imagine a minister heading PCB and representing Pak in ICC. I just could not believe that. Unlike DNS, this chap has not even played cricket in his backyard. What a joke!!! Pls write something on this. In urdu there is a saying "aasman say gira khajoor may atka" PCB gets a minister after a doctor.

Posted by irfan on (September 19, 2008, 19:25 GMT)

I am at the end of my wit as to what to comment on this situation. I think, if this is not the end, then surely it is the beginning of it. I really don't care about foreign countries not wanting to come to Pak this has been discussed in detail in several of the past threads. But what is painful to see is the demise of the quality of the players who use to come out of our sad depleted domestic cricket structure twenty years ago. Back when we use to lament about the state of its affairs it was still producing classy players. Absolute lack of planning, ad-hocism, nepotism, mismanagement has let this stream run dry. The tree may be lightly green at the top but the entropy has set in and the roots have completely withered. Complete politicization of our cricket will lead it to its final resting place i.e. the PCB headquarters. I think it is only just to write its obituary and ask the almighty to rest its soul in heaven.

Posted by M Mahboob Hossain on (September 19, 2008, 18:51 GMT)

I don’t think the current situation is only dew to the fact that the western teams are not interested to tour Pakistan, whereas, the most security conscious team, Australia is touring India, playing at Delhi, within a month of series bomb explosion. Money talks, and I’ll blame PCB to put themselves in such a measurable position. When BCCI became one of the richest sports governing body in world, PCB couldn’t sell the same commodity to a similar potential market & today India is allying with other teams, gradually pushing Pakistan in second category team.

As I wrote few months back, it all started in 2001, when PCB shamelessly accepted an offer of 2 Test series in England, despite having 8 of the worlds all time greats, which subsequently let that stupid board a FTP of around 50 Tests, when, the then far lower rated teams like India & England had over 80. Sri Lanka & even India previously was deprived of International cricket, never in such a situation, when in these busy Cricket day

Posted by J on (September 19, 2008, 7:37 GMT)

ah here we go again.if its not race,its money.again a statement is made without a foot to stand on.Maybe you have been living in a cave or something for the past 10 years Dr_Love.Every single cricketer in this world,not only aus/SA/eng players,play for money..which just so happens to be a salary..Incase you haven't noticed.Its like you taking on a job because you get paid more..same thing.youre telling me that Mushtaq Ahmed,Saqlain Mustaq, Shoaib,Yousuf etc are playing county cricket on the other side of the world just for the sake of playing cricket..?..rubbish.money must surely be part of it.Thirdly,why did India create IPL...?The first and very valid reason is to produce and train youngsters for the future,the 2nd is most definitely the amount of money involved...so in my opinion maybe your statement is applicable to 1st class cricket but most certainly not to internationals.On a different note: how badly did Andre Adams (Notts) pin the Rawalpindi Express yesterday....ouch...!!!

Posted by dr_Love on (September 18, 2008, 18:10 GMT)

Simple is that, Pakistan should boycott cricket Aus forever; there is no reason to tour Aus. I don't think so Pakistan makes much money to visiting Aus. Pakistan should consider ICC has only 9 teams. I really feel guilty to watch matches of these money hungry and double standard players.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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

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