Politics April 17, 2009

No tears for this World Cup loss

Pakistan cricket must focus on what is important: ensuring that it retains a viable domestic structure and regular international cricket

The ICC's decision to drop Pakistan as a venue for the next World Cup is a reasonable one. Pakistan's failure to protect Sri Lanka's cricketers looks even more shocking considering the level of security that now surrounds Pakistan's players. The failures of Pakistan's government and cricket board will take many years to recover from.

In the meantime, Pakistan cricket must focus on what is important: ensuring that it retains a viable domestic structure and regular international cricket. Trotting the globe is a lifeline for Younis Khan's team, an imposition that offers their only hope to remain competitive. When Pakistan take the field against Australia next week they should breathe in the relief of their new nomadic way, embrace it, and make it a success.

Of course, the international community should do more to support cricket in Pakistan but we know it won't. In these circumstances, hosting international matches is unimportant provided that neutral venues can secure sufficient revenue to sustain Pakistan cricket. A cricket series or tournament is fundamentally a revenue generating opportunity; for proof look no further than the IPL in South Africa. But keeping the sport alive is the utmost priority, and the lost chance to host a World Cup and other international matches is the least of Pakistan's problems.

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

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