April 19, 2014

The home invasion

The Emirates have been a home away from home for Pakistan for three decades now. To see the IPL, which excludes Pakistan, being played there must feel like betrayal
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Wasim Akram got a fair chunk of his 502 ODI wickets in Sharjah © Getty Images

A man dressed in Arab garb is sitting alone. Within seconds he's surrounded by Pakistanis of various professions, each begging him for a ticket to paradise, the visa for Dubai. It's a sketch from Fifty Fifty, probably the most influential Pakistani TV show ever. Like so much else in the show, that 100-second skit hits the nail on the head, encapsulating the viewpoint that everyone in the country had towards the Gulf in general, and Dubai in particular. The sketch is from the early '80s but it could have been shot at any time in the last quarter of the 20th century and it would have been part of the zeitgeist.

The Emirates, in the eyes of the Pakistani lower and middle classes, was the land of opportunity, the gateway to a better life - the Pakistani dream was to not be in Pakistan. But by the end of the century, Pakistanis were fond of the Emirates for a whole other reason. It had become the home of Pakistani cricket.

Now that may seem a bit strong to the defenders of the Gaddafi or NSK, but here are the facts: from playing their first ODI in Sharjah in April 1984, till April 2003 (when the ground went off the international circuit), the Pakistan national team played more at that small stadium in the desert (108 ODIs) than they did in Pakistan (92 ODIs). They even had a better win-loss ratio in Sharjah (2.24) than they did in Pakistan (1.69). Pakistan won 74 off their 108 matches in Sharjah, yet even the lone tie there is remembered fondly by a generation that would never see Abdul Razzaq the same way again.

Sharjah became the place where Pakistan called out other teams. It became the place where new heroes were born and legends shone. Almost a quarter of Wasim Akram's ODI wickets were taken in Sharjah, and seven of Saeed Anwar's 20 hundreds were scored there. The two greatest Pakistani teams are defined more by what they did in the Emirates than what they did at home. It was not coincidence that when Osman Samiuddin wrote of the haal of Pakistan, the match that became his inspiration was a Pakistani comeback in Sharjah. In that article Younis Khan describes the haal as a "tradition of Sharjah". Sharjah really did see the best of Pakistan.

When the stadiums in Dubai and Abu Dhabi were inaugurated in the mid-noughties it seemed like a poor attempt to try and recreate lightning in a bottle - there was too much that Pakistan did with Sharjah; no ground was going to truly replicate that or replace it. But as the Emirates had seen the best, they were to drag Pakistan out of the worst too. Pakistan returned to the UAE immediately after the fateful tour of England in 2010, and four years later they are still unbeaten there. It has been the backdrop to Pakistan's resurgence, and stagnation, and after a record of eight wins, three draws and eight losses in the 19 home series before the move to the UAE, Pakistan have now gone five series without losing.

The Emirates have essentially become Pakistan's home away from home. One could go as far as to say that Pakistan enjoy themselves more there than they would at home.

And now the IPL is being played there.

The IPL is, in some ways, the living embodiment of Pakistan's place in international cricket. It represents the monopolisation of the game by India, an idea that is not particularly well appreciated across the Radcliffe Line. It is also - in the absence of Pakistani players in the league - a sign of the pariah nature that Pakistan has in international cricket now. As players from across the world get together to improve their short-form games and interact with the best in the world, Pakistani players look on from the outside, envious, if not of the experiences then certainly of the money involved. And of course, it allows Pakistani uncles to air their victim complexes - to rant about how the whole world is crooked yet it's only our lot that is punished for it; it's us against the world, as shown so clearly by this domestic T20 league.

The IPL in the UAE, the IPL in Sharjah - it's just not supposed to be, the Pakistani fan wonders. It's like wooing and then loving someone for two decades and then finding out that the beloved has given herself over to a sugar daddy who'll use her for three weeks and throw her away. But at the end of those three weeks, Pakistan will be there, forever willing to love some more. Or that's what we'd like to tell ourselves.

Stadiums are just structures, arenas to hold mindless children's games in. And yet they develop souls; we give them characteristics, attach memories to them, make them our own. Saeed Anwar caressing a ball through the off side towards those canopied stands, as Henry Blofeld pontificated over nothing.

Sharjah, to the Pakistani mind, is an amalgam of memories that have no link except their common backdrop. And an international event that specifically bars Pakistanis from it being played in the land that Pakistanis consider their own, it just feels wrong. Nostalgia isn't supposed to be made of this.

Hassan Cheema is a sports journalist, writer and commentator, and co-hosts the online cricket show Pace is Pace Yaar. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • AP_88 on April 20, 2014, 12:11 GMT

    Being a Pakistani, I know exactly how the writer feels. Extremely well written. Contrary to what some people have posted on this article, the writer is not crying nor is he complaing that the IPL is being held in the UAE. He is just conveying the feelings of a Pakistani cricket fan who has grown up seeing Middle East as a home away from home. I personally would love to see the Pakistani cricket players playing in IPL. It will be mutually beneficial to all parties involved. Imagine Ajmal and Narine bowling in tandem, or Shahid Afridi and Kieron Pollard hunting down a target or Umar Akmal batting alongside the likes of Kohli and De Villiers. Unfortunate that this seems years away given the political tensions, but we can always dream...

  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on April 19, 2014, 15:58 GMT

    @Desihungama: That's the thing though. In this modern world Russians will play Mwxicans in Spain in Basketball without any Spanish involvement. The UAE hosts Tennis tournaments and Golf tournaments without any Arab, Pakistani or Indian involvement(not to any good level anyway). That's the modern world. In cricket we have an Afghan team created in Pakistan that uses the UAE as its base and has never played in Afghanistan. Strange but real.

  • Desihungama on April 19, 2014, 14:08 GMT

    Andy - Sure those are all valid points but you have missed the true essence of this article. I happen to belong to the expat family who were working in UAE from back in 60's, 70's and 80's and Dubai in general and Sharjah ground in particular always felt like home no matter where you were. What writer is implying that all of a sudden there are other boys playing in your home with stipulation that "You" are not invited to the party. I am sure it ll feels strange to Pakistani cricketers and fans alike. At least it did to me when I hear IPL was being played in UAE. I simply could not digest it. Imagine Russians taking basketball to Madison Square Garden with no US players allowed.

  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on April 19, 2014, 12:13 GMT

    I'd also like to ask, do you think the UAE will feel betrayed when the inevitable day comes along and Pakistan goes back home. How many matches do you think they'll arrange in the UAE when teams feel safe and secure enough to travel Pakistan? Will the UAE feel betrayed? I don't think they will. They know the ultimate aim for Pak cricket right now is to get cricket back in Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi. And I think they'll fully understand the decision.

  • Venkat_Gowrishankar on April 22, 2014, 2:11 GMT

    Very very Biased article. T am sorry , the IPL never stopped participation of Pakistan players . They did play in the first 2 -3 seasons, then what happened, we all know. For every action , there is a reaction. I am sorry, so much has been pointed against the BCCI,there is not a word about PCB, which is one of the most poorly run organizations. Mr Cheema , I woulld recommend to write an article on what the PCB has done for playing cricket in your own country ?. Write an article on how PCBi is near bankruptcy.

  • natarsx on April 21, 2014, 13:29 GMT

    @AP_88 - The main concern of the author is that UAE stadiums host Indian event where International players participate bar Pakistanis. It would be nice to see Pakistanis playing IPL but thats not the main concern of this article. Had Pakistani players play IPL - the author would have written IPL being played in Pakistan's adopted home. This is over reaction. The stadiums are full even on week days. UAE people enjoy a small IPL window - please be happy that the crowd are really enjoying this rather than over reacting that UAE stadiums are being used by Indians!! Grow up guys!!

  • aniltjoseph on April 21, 2014, 7:25 GMT

    While the author's nostalgia is completely understandable, the fact is that the UAE too has moved on since the 1990's. Sharjah is now a secondary venue to the wonderful Dubai and Abu Dhabi stadia. And while earlier, Pakistanis would flock to see their team play, all we see now is empty seats for Pakistan matches (even ODI's on weekends against South Africa attracted 50% capacity crowds). Indians in the UAE are now a far more affluent and influential community than before and that is reflected in crowd support too. The IPL in UAE has been fantastic so far- great crowds, great atmosphere and lots of families attending

  • Nadeem1976 on April 21, 2014, 3:11 GMT

    After seeing the reception IPL teams get in UAE i do not think that UAE is Pakistani home at all. Because there are millions of sub continent people lives in UAE therefore it's hard to define who owns the cricketing rights in UAE, Pak or Ind?

    I think India should start playing with Pakistan in UAE and also allow Pakistani players to play in IPL, it will be great for both countries and for the future of cricket.

  • gandabhai on April 20, 2014, 21:23 GMT

    As an Indian, i would love to see the wonderfully talented Pakistani players playing in the IPL. But i also understand the reason why they are not allowed to participate in that particular competition.

  • ImonG on April 20, 2014, 12:48 GMT

    Look Mr Cheema, I can understand your emotions, but then again the fact remains, although ones rented house can be wonderful abode for a long time, and one can have some great memories in there, but it just doesn't becomes his own. It remains a rented property & the owner ( i.e. UAE cricket) reserves every logical, legal & emotional right to let it out to some one else. And who ever he has rented out to( i.e. IPL), reserves the right not to invite the previous occupants in his house warming party. So when the previous occupants ( i.e. Pakistan ) cringe about it, it doesn't look good, in fact it becomes a classic example of one who is really desperate to get to that party, & crying when denied an invitation. I think its time that the Pakistanis come out of the nostalgia of considering UAE "as their own country". IT ISN'T. Only one's own country is his/hers homeland. All other places, no matter how many people you have their & how similar your cultures are, you always remain an expat

  • AP_88 on April 20, 2014, 12:11 GMT

    Being a Pakistani, I know exactly how the writer feels. Extremely well written. Contrary to what some people have posted on this article, the writer is not crying nor is he complaing that the IPL is being held in the UAE. He is just conveying the feelings of a Pakistani cricket fan who has grown up seeing Middle East as a home away from home. I personally would love to see the Pakistani cricket players playing in IPL. It will be mutually beneficial to all parties involved. Imagine Ajmal and Narine bowling in tandem, or Shahid Afridi and Kieron Pollard hunting down a target or Umar Akmal batting alongside the likes of Kohli and De Villiers. Unfortunate that this seems years away given the political tensions, but we can always dream...

  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on April 19, 2014, 15:58 GMT

    @Desihungama: That's the thing though. In this modern world Russians will play Mwxicans in Spain in Basketball without any Spanish involvement. The UAE hosts Tennis tournaments and Golf tournaments without any Arab, Pakistani or Indian involvement(not to any good level anyway). That's the modern world. In cricket we have an Afghan team created in Pakistan that uses the UAE as its base and has never played in Afghanistan. Strange but real.

  • Desihungama on April 19, 2014, 14:08 GMT

    Andy - Sure those are all valid points but you have missed the true essence of this article. I happen to belong to the expat family who were working in UAE from back in 60's, 70's and 80's and Dubai in general and Sharjah ground in particular always felt like home no matter where you were. What writer is implying that all of a sudden there are other boys playing in your home with stipulation that "You" are not invited to the party. I am sure it ll feels strange to Pakistani cricketers and fans alike. At least it did to me when I hear IPL was being played in UAE. I simply could not digest it. Imagine Russians taking basketball to Madison Square Garden with no US players allowed.

  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on April 19, 2014, 12:13 GMT

    I'd also like to ask, do you think the UAE will feel betrayed when the inevitable day comes along and Pakistan goes back home. How many matches do you think they'll arrange in the UAE when teams feel safe and secure enough to travel Pakistan? Will the UAE feel betrayed? I don't think they will. They know the ultimate aim for Pak cricket right now is to get cricket back in Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi. And I think they'll fully understand the decision.

  • Venkat_Gowrishankar on April 22, 2014, 2:11 GMT

    Very very Biased article. T am sorry , the IPL never stopped participation of Pakistan players . They did play in the first 2 -3 seasons, then what happened, we all know. For every action , there is a reaction. I am sorry, so much has been pointed against the BCCI,there is not a word about PCB, which is one of the most poorly run organizations. Mr Cheema , I woulld recommend to write an article on what the PCB has done for playing cricket in your own country ?. Write an article on how PCBi is near bankruptcy.

  • natarsx on April 21, 2014, 13:29 GMT

    @AP_88 - The main concern of the author is that UAE stadiums host Indian event where International players participate bar Pakistanis. It would be nice to see Pakistanis playing IPL but thats not the main concern of this article. Had Pakistani players play IPL - the author would have written IPL being played in Pakistan's adopted home. This is over reaction. The stadiums are full even on week days. UAE people enjoy a small IPL window - please be happy that the crowd are really enjoying this rather than over reacting that UAE stadiums are being used by Indians!! Grow up guys!!

  • aniltjoseph on April 21, 2014, 7:25 GMT

    While the author's nostalgia is completely understandable, the fact is that the UAE too has moved on since the 1990's. Sharjah is now a secondary venue to the wonderful Dubai and Abu Dhabi stadia. And while earlier, Pakistanis would flock to see their team play, all we see now is empty seats for Pakistan matches (even ODI's on weekends against South Africa attracted 50% capacity crowds). Indians in the UAE are now a far more affluent and influential community than before and that is reflected in crowd support too. The IPL in UAE has been fantastic so far- great crowds, great atmosphere and lots of families attending

  • Nadeem1976 on April 21, 2014, 3:11 GMT

    After seeing the reception IPL teams get in UAE i do not think that UAE is Pakistani home at all. Because there are millions of sub continent people lives in UAE therefore it's hard to define who owns the cricketing rights in UAE, Pak or Ind?

    I think India should start playing with Pakistan in UAE and also allow Pakistani players to play in IPL, it will be great for both countries and for the future of cricket.

  • gandabhai on April 20, 2014, 21:23 GMT

    As an Indian, i would love to see the wonderfully talented Pakistani players playing in the IPL. But i also understand the reason why they are not allowed to participate in that particular competition.

  • ImonG on April 20, 2014, 12:48 GMT

    Look Mr Cheema, I can understand your emotions, but then again the fact remains, although ones rented house can be wonderful abode for a long time, and one can have some great memories in there, but it just doesn't becomes his own. It remains a rented property & the owner ( i.e. UAE cricket) reserves every logical, legal & emotional right to let it out to some one else. And who ever he has rented out to( i.e. IPL), reserves the right not to invite the previous occupants in his house warming party. So when the previous occupants ( i.e. Pakistan ) cringe about it, it doesn't look good, in fact it becomes a classic example of one who is really desperate to get to that party, & crying when denied an invitation. I think its time that the Pakistanis come out of the nostalgia of considering UAE "as their own country". IT ISN'T. Only one's own country is his/hers homeland. All other places, no matter how many people you have their & how similar your cultures are, you always remain an expat

  • Ramesh_Joseph on April 20, 2014, 10:47 GMT

    The author is really over-reacting. FIrst of all UAE is not part of Pakistan. Secondly, these stadiums are owned by the UAE cricket bodies and not by Pakistan. Thirdly, there are no other matches scheduled on these grounds during the two weeks of IPL being played here. The stadiums in UAE are as much a 'Home' for Pakistan as a hotel room is a 'Home' for some one staying there. When some of the guests vacate, the owner is free to rent it to others, unless that person can rent the rooms for the entire year, whether he is using it or not. So unless Pakistan can rent these stadiums for the whole year or Purchase them outright, anyone can play here. Regarding Sharjah, India has better rights than Pakistan here. Remember Sharjah became dead as an International venue of Tri-Series, once India stopped playing here. It was only from 2010, that Pakistan started playing here again, since they could not play in Pakistan. Once Cricket returns to Pakistan, I doubt if they will continue in UAE.

  • Rahul_78 on April 20, 2014, 5:48 GMT

    "It's like wooing and then loving someone for two decades and then finding out that the beloved has given herself over to a sugar daddy who'll use her for three weeks and throw her away." Beautifully summed up by the author. Not only Pakistanis but most of the people in UAE who have seen and followed lot of legendary performances from Pakistani greats at Sharjah stadium can only understand the feelings associated with the venue. It must be hurting for Pak fans to see Kohli and Yuvraj walking with swagger at the Sharjah stadium when Ajmal and Afridi are not invited to the party. You must say..life sometimes can be quite unfair.

  • on April 20, 2014, 5:42 GMT

    The facts are wrong there are more Indians in UAE than Pakistanis in UAE ...also never did we find all the tickets sold out in the past decade so

  • natarsx on April 20, 2014, 3:19 GMT

    Don't forget the fact that Indians make more than half of the expat population in UAE. We Indians missed Indian teams playing here for more than 14 years. You guys can't hold on for 14 days of Indian cricket in UAE. Come on!! Pls stop crying

  • on April 20, 2014, 3:18 GMT

    Nice thoughts Hassan Cheema but I wonder you don't understand BCCI do not have much of a choice and its a win win scenario for everyone. Indian team will feel more safe to play in UAE in the coming years and this will surely boost the economy of PCB not to forget the contest that a cricket lover can expect from Pakistan vs India matches in UAE. Indian batsmen vs spin(food) against the mighty Pakistani spinners on the turning tracks of UAE.

  • on April 19, 2014, 23:04 GMT

    What a fantastic article .. Just as Dambulla is a fortress for the Sri Lankan Cricket Team, in the same way Pakistan are next to invincible at Sharjah! I feel IPL just trolled itself shifting to UAE and Sharjah for 3 weeks (for one season they went to SA). God knows how many times this will happen?!

    I feel Pakistani Players should play in IPL if it is not being held in India. Pak players not getting access to India is one thing but disallowing them from Sharjah is blasphemy.

  • on April 19, 2014, 20:10 GMT

    There are no doubts , that we witness some amazing matches played between India and Pakistan in sharjah, however it is just a stadium where the cricket matches are being played, Its a bit disheartening to see that the Pakistani players are not playing in this IPL, but how is this different when IPL 2 was played in south Africa. It attracts different countries to be entertained by watching cricket, that is IPL is for, so overall its goign to attract the viewers in that part of the world to watch IPL matches and by their favorite teams accessories and that I all.

  • on April 19, 2014, 17:25 GMT

    Pakistani Players should play in IPL ! IPL is boring without them ! Specially Afridi....

  • on April 19, 2014, 17:10 GMT

    i love to see pakistani player in IPL

  • on April 19, 2014, 16:45 GMT

    as an indian i would like to say i agree with every word of this article. it's not only pakistanis, but even indians remember sharjah for sachin's hailstorm innings, our victory over australia, when they were at top. IPL has just ruined that nostalgia. it's like converting a classical art gallery into a night club? discotheque

  • on April 19, 2014, 16:26 GMT

    I don't understand why Pakistanis think UAE is part of Pakistan. UAE gets a chance to earn some real money from hosting the IPL. Pakistan played a test series in England against Aus and also a test series against Aus in Sri Lanka, Does that mean the English cricket fans or lankans should be hurt that they didn't allow the home team? IPL is not being played in Pakistan, its UAE. Mind you, there are many many indians in the UAE as well, not just pakistanis.

  • ac_Indian on April 19, 2014, 14:48 GMT

    "It's like wooing and then loving someone for two decades and then finding out that the beloved has given herself over to a sugar daddy who'll use her for three weeks and throw her away."

    What a melodramatic reaction!!! Yes it is practically Pakistan's home when Pakistan are playing. But when they are not, it is a neutral ground isn't it? Did 2 weeks of IPL displace any plans of Pakistan cricket in UAE at that time? No? Don't forget, there is a large Indian diaspora in UAE as well.

  • on April 19, 2014, 14:36 GMT

    Completely agree, an event in the UAE with no Pakistani involvement! its just surreal

  • RambunctuousRex on April 19, 2014, 14:00 GMT

    This is such hyperbole...

  • shaks72 on April 19, 2014, 12:34 GMT

    IPL was invented to combat rebel cricket and no one had an idea that it would be great success,now coming back to manilpulation no cricketer is forced to come and play in IPL,the respective board clears the player to participate more ever there lare number of cricketers who are earning there bread and butter even after the retirement,so let me say this way that are you a negative thinker. Now coming to why pakistan players are not picked everyone knows due to bilateral polictical tensions between two countries and political pleasure back home no franchise is ready to put on cash on players,but to enlighten your memory pak players played in 1st edition of IPL and players were accepted when they come to play in india.It is sad that you being columnist here you defaming lovely sport. Lastly U.A.E has been home away from for every nationality who resides here and accepted in the society.

  • on April 19, 2014, 12:08 GMT

    What more can one accuse ICC and BCCI for their double standards that at one stage they completely banned sharjah from hosting international events and India in particular backing out by labelling sharjah as the den of match fixing, now the same BCCI is organizing a world event with the backing off ICC at the same venue. Money may buy India cricket but it can never buy her respect.

  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on April 19, 2014, 12:00 GMT

    There is a humongous of cricket that gets played in the UAE that has nothing to do with Pakistan. The IPL is just one small 2 week part of it. The UAE has been a good home for us but it is not our true home. That will always be Pakistan. The UAE is stop gap. Nothing more. Please don't make up stories to pander to certain demographics about how hurt Pakistanis are over the IPL in the UAE. If you take a look around most Pakistanis aren't displeased. Some have embraced the IPL in the UAE. Some are happy that this will pave the way for Ind-Pak matches in the UAE. And some just ignore it, like most of the wider crucketing world and get on with their lives. In 10 days time the IPL will have moved on. I'm one of those sitting firmly in the camp that I hope many of these Indian players return. Dressed in blue next time.

  • StarHawk on April 19, 2014, 11:31 GMT

    Sounds like a pretty immature article to me. So, what are you trying to say? IPL shouldn't have been held at UAE? UAE is only for Pakistan?

  • StarHawk on April 19, 2014, 11:31 GMT

    Sounds like a pretty immature article to me. So, what are you trying to say? IPL shouldn't have been held at UAE? UAE is only for Pakistan?

  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on April 19, 2014, 12:00 GMT

    There is a humongous of cricket that gets played in the UAE that has nothing to do with Pakistan. The IPL is just one small 2 week part of it. The UAE has been a good home for us but it is not our true home. That will always be Pakistan. The UAE is stop gap. Nothing more. Please don't make up stories to pander to certain demographics about how hurt Pakistanis are over the IPL in the UAE. If you take a look around most Pakistanis aren't displeased. Some have embraced the IPL in the UAE. Some are happy that this will pave the way for Ind-Pak matches in the UAE. And some just ignore it, like most of the wider crucketing world and get on with their lives. In 10 days time the IPL will have moved on. I'm one of those sitting firmly in the camp that I hope many of these Indian players return. Dressed in blue next time.

  • on April 19, 2014, 12:08 GMT

    What more can one accuse ICC and BCCI for their double standards that at one stage they completely banned sharjah from hosting international events and India in particular backing out by labelling sharjah as the den of match fixing, now the same BCCI is organizing a world event with the backing off ICC at the same venue. Money may buy India cricket but it can never buy her respect.

  • shaks72 on April 19, 2014, 12:34 GMT

    IPL was invented to combat rebel cricket and no one had an idea that it would be great success,now coming back to manilpulation no cricketer is forced to come and play in IPL,the respective board clears the player to participate more ever there lare number of cricketers who are earning there bread and butter even after the retirement,so let me say this way that are you a negative thinker. Now coming to why pakistan players are not picked everyone knows due to bilateral polictical tensions between two countries and political pleasure back home no franchise is ready to put on cash on players,but to enlighten your memory pak players played in 1st edition of IPL and players were accepted when they come to play in india.It is sad that you being columnist here you defaming lovely sport. Lastly U.A.E has been home away from for every nationality who resides here and accepted in the society.

  • RambunctuousRex on April 19, 2014, 14:00 GMT

    This is such hyperbole...

  • on April 19, 2014, 14:36 GMT

    Completely agree, an event in the UAE with no Pakistani involvement! its just surreal

  • ac_Indian on April 19, 2014, 14:48 GMT

    "It's like wooing and then loving someone for two decades and then finding out that the beloved has given herself over to a sugar daddy who'll use her for three weeks and throw her away."

    What a melodramatic reaction!!! Yes it is practically Pakistan's home when Pakistan are playing. But when they are not, it is a neutral ground isn't it? Did 2 weeks of IPL displace any plans of Pakistan cricket in UAE at that time? No? Don't forget, there is a large Indian diaspora in UAE as well.

  • on April 19, 2014, 16:26 GMT

    I don't understand why Pakistanis think UAE is part of Pakistan. UAE gets a chance to earn some real money from hosting the IPL. Pakistan played a test series in England against Aus and also a test series against Aus in Sri Lanka, Does that mean the English cricket fans or lankans should be hurt that they didn't allow the home team? IPL is not being played in Pakistan, its UAE. Mind you, there are many many indians in the UAE as well, not just pakistanis.

  • on April 19, 2014, 16:45 GMT

    as an indian i would like to say i agree with every word of this article. it's not only pakistanis, but even indians remember sharjah for sachin's hailstorm innings, our victory over australia, when they were at top. IPL has just ruined that nostalgia. it's like converting a classical art gallery into a night club? discotheque

  • on April 19, 2014, 17:10 GMT

    i love to see pakistani player in IPL