Politics May 21, 2010

When will the circus end?

Yes, the players have brought shame upon themselves but their behaviour has been tacitly encouraged by their employers

Mohammad Yousuf led Pakistan during the disastrous tour of Australia © Associated Press

Amid the fuss about Pakistan's performance on their latest tour of Australia, two conclusions are clear. First, the ICC's anti-corruption unit does not have any evidence to suggest that Pakistan's players were involved in match-fixing, although the investigation is 'live'. Indeed, it laments the disintegration of the team. Which leads to the second conclusion, a conclusion that has been hammered into our skulls for the last 12 months and beyond: Pakistan cricket is a mismanaged circus.

It is somehow convenient to blame the players for their ill-discipline and lack of professionalism but how can you expect barely educated, ill-guided young men to behave to top standards? Even the best educated, most experienced senior executives squabble, backbite, connive, and act with self interest if their organisation creates the appropriate malignant atmosphere.

How can we expect high standards from cricketers who do not know what standards are? Ignorance may not be an excuse, you might argue, but Pakistan's players are hardly equipped with the tools to learn for themselves. The failings in Pakistan cricket are the crassest example of mismanagement, and that mismanagement is by the PCB and its appointed team officials.

Yes, the players have brought shame upon themselves but their behaviour has been tacitly encouraged by their employers.

Why then have these selected videos come to light now? It is not clear that the players and officials even knew they were being filmed. The excuse the PCB is peddling is that it released the videos to some of the accused players. Why was this done? It is usual in a legal process to simply send a transcript of a hearing.

Ultimately, if your management of an enterprise is so hopeless and you are so unaware of the real problems your organisation faces that you have to launch an inquiry after each failure, you will encourage a destructive atmosphere. People will conspire against colleagues, skeletons will tumble out of cupboards, and morale will be destroyed. In this behaviour, badly managed Pakistan cricketers are no different to badly managed government ministers or corporate executives.

A wise head is required, however, to call time on this circus in Pakistan cricket. Instead of a wise head, we have a ringmaster thrashing the circus to higher and higher states of frenzy. That ringmaster isn't Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, or Shoaib Malik. That ringmaster is the PCB. When will the circus end?

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • testli5504537 on June 7, 2010, 18:50 GMT

    I had enough with Pakistan Cricket and I dont give a damn anymore. PCB is pathetic in its decisions and so are the players. A bunch of loosers fighting for money not for glory ......

  • testli5504537 on June 1, 2010, 7:10 GMT

    Sports can generate big money, which has atracted vested interests, including politicians, clamoring to keep their hold on power, knowing that potency emanates from money. Politicians have deliberately kept PCB without a democratic constitution. This gives the President the authority to appoint a Chairman and to control the cricket body in Pakistan. I see no end to this circus until a honest politician is elected as the Head of the State and agrees to make it an independent body.

  • testli5504537 on May 31, 2010, 17:16 GMT

    The Show must go on. Money ,fame,glamor, huge following .News on front page , hundreds of blogs on internet, breaking news on TV networks.

    Mr Abbasi No One Can stop this Circus." Even labeling ex PCB Chief or Ex Chief Selectors, or Ex X or Ex axe of cricket guarantees your name on front page of news paper, Interviews on TV shows. Mr Abbasi You are also a well known person due your blogs on cricket.Even the elected/unelected politicians are jealous of this coverage , They are also jumping in this bog top tent.Australian Ex Prime Minister also wants to hang on trapeze. " We have acrobats.clowns,tight rope walkers ,jugglers,stunt oriented artist, and Now IPL has added music Choreography and dance. What else You need "The Show Must GO ON"

  • testli5504537 on May 30, 2010, 6:44 GMT

    Just heard that Shoaib is back .... the circus continues ... wait for the next act

  • testli5504537 on May 29, 2010, 23:15 GMT

    Ejaz BAD or AGES Butt

  • testli5504537 on May 29, 2010, 8:49 GMT

    psssssssst ROHIT!!!!!! You are angry because india lost to keneya!!!!! . AREN'T YOU??????

  • testli5504537 on May 29, 2010, 0:40 GMT

    Yousuf denied PCB the slightest of satisfactions by declining the invitation of Afridi to return to Pak side for a difficult tour of England. MOYO performed below par both in Newzealand & Australia. His reflexes were not the same as of old. He had no answer to superb pace & spin bowling. Win or lose it is time to induct new batsmen. The selectors have to show faith in Shahzaib Hasan, Hammad Azam & other U19 players. Burdened with controversies Younis & Yousuf will perform poorly. They are no longer in their prime. In their presence Pak batting may look stronger on paper only, but will actually be lot weaker. It is time for the selectors to experiment with youngsters. The future of Pakistan cricket lies with our young lads. Selectors should look for talented batsmen like Umar Akmal, who thrive in adversity, bat fearlessly, can demolish any opposition attack to ultimately win matches.

  • testli5504537 on May 28, 2010, 14:31 GMT


  • testli5504537 on May 28, 2010, 5:35 GMT

    i think if we have decent bating likeup and good fielding for England series, we can give good tough time to Eng and aus's though currently both teams are best in the world. currently our bowling is better.

  • testli5504537 on May 26, 2010, 20:30 GMT

    Asak, Atlast the pcb finally woke up and made the right decision by appointing Afridi captain of all formats.Now as usual the former players like Amir Sohail,Zaheer Abbas and some others instead of backing Afridi r giving idiotic statements that Afridi is not good enough for tests.I think it was pcb's fault for not using Afridi in the tests for the last 4 yrs even though he was averaging about 45 runs in the last 12 tests prior to his last test.Mr.Amir,Zaheer and other detractors of Afridi should know that an average of 37 @ 86 strike rate with 5 100's is not only good enough but better than Amir Sohail,Ramiz raja,Salman Butt,Malik and many others.Also Amir and Ramiz and many others have played more tests than Afridi eventhough their average was no better than Afridi.Also Afridi's bowling along with his brilliant fielding makes Afridi an automatic choice for the tests tests too.Amir Sohail and Zaheer should remember the madras and bangalore tests in which Afridi was instrumental in winning the matches.Afridi is a match winner and his mere presence instills fear in the opposition and his becoming captain will revive new interest in the boring tests too and bring more crowd in tests also.So I think it was a very bold and good decision and hope pak will do much better under Afridi's captaincy.

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