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November 4, 2008

Ethics and morality

Malik's unholy redemption

Kamran Abbasi
Saleem Malik gives the thumbs up as he leaves court in Lahore following the lifting of his life ban, Lahore, October 23, 2008
 © PA Photos
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It seems there is no limit to the wonky logic that pervades Pakistan's cricket administration. The decision to lift the ban on Saleem Malik was barely supported by a whisper of reasonable argument. If that wasn't unprincipled enough, the Pakistan Cricket Board looks to have endorsed his redemption by appointing him head coach of the national academy.

Malik was a magical cricketer, sublime wrists and an eagle's eye made him a joy to watch. Imran Khan labelled him a flat-track bully but Malik outgrew those jibes to become a batsmen for a crisis. Yet he became the biggest victim of Pakistan's match-fixing inquiry, a career ended prematurely in disgrace.

The Pakistan Cricket Board's decision, if indeed it is that, is a moment of genuine sadness. Any semblance of ethical or moral responsibility has been discarded by the PCB. An appointment of this kind could only be made by an organisation devoid of integrity.

Indeed, the PCB is not the only organisation to muddle its principles. The England and Wales Cricket Board made the silly decision of hiring Mushtaq Ahmed as its spin bowling advisor. Mushtaq, for all his Sussex excellence and born-again piety, is another cricketer tainted by Pakistan's match-fixing controversy.

Mushtaq may argue that he has a stronger case for clemency than Malik. But Malik's case looks clear cut to me: he should have no part to play in international cricket. The tragedy is that Ejaz Butt's PCB seems to have done the unthinkable with unthinking, indecent haste.

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

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Posted by Niaz on (November 13, 2008, 22:18 GMT)

Unfortunately this is the state of Pakistan.Malik was a soft and easy target for the match-fixing scandel.When he was convicted he was hardly an integral member of the team.He was made a scape goat to save the Akram's and Waqar's.He is going to be no good being a coach.

Posted by Farrukh on (November 12, 2008, 22:48 GMT)

Look ofcourse others were guilty who were not punished and so maliks conviction was not entirely just. But who are we kidding. This is Pakistan. Since when has justice been all that important. That said while it may have been good of the court to exonerate Malik (given the actions of the Indian Board as well) what on earth is the logic behind appointing him to such a senior position. Surely the PCB should have realized the firestorm that this appointment would cause. I cant believe that in a country that has been producing top level test stats for the past 60 years, we could not find one qualified and more politically acceptable candidate. The PCB has essentially hit a long hop they could have dispatched to any part of the ground straight to the fielder ( kind of like our wonderful Mr. Boom Boom)

Posted by Naeem Khan on (November 12, 2008, 4:30 GMT)

I don't know for sure if Salim Malik et al was guilty or not. But I do know that the courts have exonnerated him!! So where is the problem? Did the courts exxonerate him because he was not guilty and just recieved a bad judgement in the 1st place? Those who object to his appointment should really appeal the new decission by the courts. I am in no position to judge the position of the courts. But I will follow the law. And the law says his ban is uplifted. End of discussion.

Posted by Naeem Khan on (November 12, 2008, 4:30 GMT)

I don't know for sure if Salim Malik et al was guilty or not. But I do know that the courts have exonnerated him!! So where is the problem? Did the courts exxonerate him because he was not guilty and just recieved a bad judgement in the 1st place? Those who object to his appointment should really appeal the new decission by the courts. I am in no position to judge the position of the courts. But I will follow the law. And the law says his ban is uplifted. End of discussion.

Posted by mohsin on (November 11, 2008, 8:59 GMT)

Oh Cricketfan That Jaw-ate from montreal was free those days and was surviving on Employment insurance. The 9 months of EI are over I guess and he working out of compulsion at some packing firm in La salle and spending his weekend at Parc locality. Thats why u dont see much of him. Besides for him it will be heartache to accept India just defeated Aus 2- 0 and this is same Aus which refused to tour Pakistan. He is reading all this but wont reply be assured.

Posted by CricketFan on (November 11, 2008, 7:24 GMT)

I think it was only the BCCI which took some stern action against match fixing offenders like Azharuddin, Jadeja etc. All other boards wanted to show that their players are not involved in this filthy business. Even PCB probably just hid Wasim, Waqar who were under the scanner at that time because they were great stars at that time. Malik became the only (or one of the very few) victim. So now anyway he has lost his face in the public. Infact most people outside pakistan do not even remember him. So it makes no sense to anyone except Malik now about lifting this ban.

BTW, there was one manic from montreal, Javed khan who used to kept talking rubbish about everyone (especially regarding indian cricketers )under the sun. Where is he now? Do not see any of his posts recently. I think he is hiding himself now. Is it because kamran is only posting the bad news from pakistan? Hope he stays away from this blog.

Posted by Arsh Vada on (November 11, 2008, 1:42 GMT)

So glad to hear the name Asim Kamal again. There was def some politicing in the way he was dropped - good international form, poor domestic (does Pakistan do domestic? Does it count??)

Dream team could have been Hameed, Butt, Younis, Inzi, Youhana, Kamal, not-Akmal, Afridi/Asif, Kaneria, Gul, Tanvir/Akhtar with Misbah talking over when Inzi quit, Alam and Rao as 12th men. That leaves out Malik with Misbah taking over the other Haq. Even till last week, Younis, Misbah, Youhana + Kamal would represent a stronger middle order than Australia’s (and a non-drunkard educated captain!) - and could challenge India’s as their greats gradually recede.

But now half are ICL’ed, others not worthy (Afridi, Asif, Akhtar) and some lost in the sea of green for no apparent reason (Hameed & Kamal).

Kamal is the type of steadfast player some of the bloggers have spoken of (Damien Martyn, Inzi, Clarke, Thorpe, Mahanama, Kallis) that we’ve been crying out for. We have him, just refuse to pick him

Posted by Dawar on (November 10, 2008, 16:44 GMT)

Although he was not able to make a record for scoring a century at Test debut, 99 is never a bad score against SA bowlers. Kamal has played Test matches against Australia and India as well. He was always there to respond positively when the whole batting line collapsed. In fact, most of his scores were achieved in crucial situations where Pakistan needed to build a partnership after some sort of debacle in the batting line-up. He is firm in his technique and plays the ball with concentration and treats it according to merit and situation. He is never in panic and that is the key to success for a middle-order batsman. There are some world-class bowlers who look struggling against a left-handed batsman and a left-right combination always puts the opposition in trouble.If we consider his overall Test record till date, we find he has scored 717 runs in 12 matches and 20 innings he has played. He has played.He has scored eight 50s in 20 innings and two out of those eight 50s were 90+.

Posted by Arshad Jamal on (November 10, 2008, 5:07 GMT)

Sorry its off topic but there is no new thread. Has anyone seen the ICL match between Lahore and Chennai and Mohammad Yousuf batting? It was simply brilliant and a treat to watch. And come to think that somebody has traded in Mohammad Yousuf for Shoaib Malik...Its simply disgusting. Yousuf has shown it to the word that a good batsman is for all occasions and it was a mistake to keep him away from T20. Batsmen like Mohammad Yousuf are not born every day but the conniving little foxes like Shoiab Malik comes dime a dozen. There won't be any Pakistani team left if Shoaib Malik is kept anywhere near the team. PCB should break the spell of BCCI and lift the ban from the ICL players because its unjustified and moronic. When ICL guarantees release for players' national duties then there are no grounds for objection. Its about time that Fawwad Alam is entrusted with a higher and a permanent position in batting order because he could be the next best thing for Pakistan cricket after Yousuf.

Posted by Rauf on (November 9, 2008, 10:23 GMT)

Now the PCB has their gloves off against Yousuf http://content-www.cricinfo.com/pakistan/content/current/story/377448.html to please their masters in the BCCI.

When will this "screw-them-openly-if-they-sign-up-for-ICL" rubbish stop? Anyone?

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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 international editor of the British Medical Journal. @KamranAbbasi

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