Osman Samiuddin
Sportswriter at the National

All emotion, no logic

Why the PCB's move to press charges against the ICC for the loss of the World Cup is misguided

Osman Samiuddin

May 10, 2009

Comments: 121 | Text size: A | A

Ijaz Butt tries to get his point across, Lahore, March 5, 2009
The PCB and its chairman, Ijaz Butt, still don't seem to have grasped the gravity of what happened in Lahore and how things have changed since © AFP

The emotion behind the PCB's decision to send a legal notice to the ICC over the 2011 World Cup decision is understandable. The board, the whole country, feels isolated, victimised and targeted. Two major tournaments have been taken away from them, countries have not toured them in better times and are now unlikely to tour for some time. Those the board once thought were friends within the Asian bloc have, in their minds, not helped them. Instead, they have pushed them further to the margins.

The process to exclude Pakistan, it also emerges, was not without considerable flaw. Any such decision is usually to be taken by the commercial arm of the ICC, the IDI board. That was not the case here. The subject was not on the agenda at the April meeting, and the PCB was seemingly caught unaware. Not as unaware and unprepared as it should have been, however: the ICC had, in February, asked the 2011 World Cup co-hosts to think of alternative venues should the situation worsen. After the Lahore attack, when everything changed, the PCB should not just have been thinking about such advice, it should've been acting on it.

The Lahore attack, and its implications, were on the agenda of the meet. One implication was clearly the World Cup and Pakistan's place in it: would it not have made sense to have a plan at the ready to present? A proposal for Abu Dhabi and Dubai to "host" Pakistan's matches was said by PCB officials to be on the cards - after the decision was taken. Apparently such a proposal wasn't tabled at all, perhaps because board officials balked at the possible expense involved in any such move.

Still, ostensibly, Pakistan feels humiliated, short-changed. A bullish, emotional response is inevitable, especially if there is a valid sense that legally a decision can be challenged. Some face also needs to be saved domestically. The problem, however, is just that: that the response is an emotional one, not one driven by cold-hearted logic.

Had it been, perhaps the board might have realized that even if the decision is referred to the rightful organ, which somehow finds that Pakistan should remain a host, no country can be forced to play here. Amazingly, the board still doesn't seem to have grasped the gravity of what happened in Lahore and how things have since changed. An international cricket team was targeted by terrorists, who eventually got away. No amount of legalese will convince cricketers to visit after that. They were unwilling before the attacks, as the Champions Trophy decision attests. How can their resolve to not tour Pakistan not have been strengthened now that the government and the board have failed to provide the kind of security that was needed - even if nobody really knows what kind of security measures will suffice against such barbarism? That is the bottom line.

Better it might be for the board to just move on; better than a legal notice might be a demand for a review; better it might be to try and repair a faltering relationship with the ICC and its members; better it might be for the PCB to remember the mantra of world politics, that there are no permanent friends or enemies, only permanent interests

And if the Middle East as a surrogate host is an option, then the PCB has not yet made it official. Thus, a legal battle appears futile. Potentially, for a cash-strapped board, it will hurt, for lawyers come as cheap as Hollywood stars.

There is also an unsavory sense - emanating from the core of those behind this move - that Pakistan will push for the entire subcontinent to also lose out. If Pakistan is not reinstated for 2011, the board seems to be saying, then the subcontinent should host the 2015 World Cup and not this one. The PCB's statement, trying to bring in the troubles in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, confirms it.

It comes across as a tasteless, anticipatory schadenfreude, taking pleasure from the potential misfortunes of others in the hope of lessening your own gloom. Whatever the situation in these countries, no team has yet been attacked there and that makes all the difference. And how easy will it be to convince those very countries whose hosting rights you are trying to derail for 2011, to cooperate with you for 2015? Do these lines even have to be written to spell this out?

In the longer and broader term, logic says such a stance is disastrous, for confrontation will alienate Pakistan further. As it is, the present PCB administration is not about to write the sequel to How to Win Friends and Influence People. Their reputation within and with the ICC - it is reliably learnt - is as low as it has ever been.

Better it might be for the board to just move on; better than a legal notice might be a demand for a review, having tried to garner some support or have some firm alternative in place; better it might be to try and repair a faltering relationship with the ICC and members; better it might be for the PCB to remember the mantra of world politics, that there are no permanent friends or enemies, only permanent interests; finally, better it might be to use - and not squander - some of the genuine sympathy out there for Pakistan's plight more constructively.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo

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Posted by RaviKarri on (May 12, 2009, 16:57 GMT)

1) I am assuming they want to relly on walkaway points to get to World cup Semi final and Final 2) I am sure even Bangladesh will not play in Pak with present conditions and one way Sri Lanka taught a lesson to the world by ignoring India 3) Pak should have decided earlier whether they need cricket or terror, They ignored their big brother and world and opted for terror 4) They should play domestic cricket for sometime like what SA did in the past to get back to regular track after a decade (if things get better)

Posted by faisalnoor70 on (May 12, 2009, 16:53 GMT)

I fully support PCB's decision to go to arbitration, logic or no logic, it is a right that PCB should use regardless of the result. Why people are saying to stay silent and take this decision as if the PCB is servant to ICC. ICC is blindly following where the money is, if it was in Pakistan they would have gone for it. Whether countries want to tour Pak or not, the manner in which this decision is taken is worng, "the notion is, either you are on the bus or under the bus". PCB kept quiet at the time becuse they were not prepared or expected that such decisin would be taken in so much haste. After regrouping PCB bigwigs decided to take the best route to voice thier ocncern. Oman Samiuddin should be asked, if the boss takes away his job without giving him notice whether it was his fault or not, what would he do, would he take it silently, or go a legal route, if he would feel as a victim. If Pakistanis will not support Pakistan, then who else would Indians???

Posted by samranm on (May 12, 2009, 16:52 GMT)

I understand the concern shown by ICC as to the safety of players in Pakistan, but who would ensure safety of Pakistani players in India.I hope we have not forgotten the treatment that the Pakistani cricket team got in Bombay by Shiv Sena and very recently the treatment dished out to Pakistani Artist and media men.The Indian government has acknowledged that it Intelligence and security failed during Bombay episode( inspite of the fact that it had advance information), how can one be assured that it can't fail again.

Posted by vakkaraju on (May 12, 2009, 16:44 GMT)

It is time all of us realize that Pakistan and India are different countries and as such cannot be compared anymore. This hyphenated way of thinking is dangerous. This is a childish rivalry that says" What India has I want to have or vice versa" is not possible.

When the people grow up and accept each other as independent countries and understand regardless of religion and internal politics, whatever Pakistan is facing is its problem. What India is facing is its problem.

What I feel is while we are different nations, we still carry the baggage of history and culture to such an extent, that we cannot live with each other or live away from each other without comparisons.

Posted by kaushiq on (May 12, 2009, 16:36 GMT)

i missed a vital point which i want to point out. is it not that the security for the sri Lankan team fled when the terrorists attacked them? so what guarantee do we have that the Pakistani security is strong enough? Mr Osman is right. PCB is fighting out of shame and fighting with their heart and not brain. God forbid, if there were any casualties in the Lahore attack, i do not think PCB would have the face to show in general public ever again. this is pathetic from PCB.

Posted by kaushiq on (May 12, 2009, 16:28 GMT)

one more thing, Pakistan should be bold enough to accept that their security failed to protect the Sri Lankan players and accept the decision of ICC. The more they will drag this, it will only get nasty and even if they do manage to get to host the tournament there will be lot of walk over which I am afraid will dent the tournament.

Posted by kaushiq on (May 12, 2009, 16:26 GMT)

to all the people who wants the world cup still to be held in Pakistan, I have one question to ask. If such attack like Lahore happens during the tournament, who will be responsible? God forbid, if there are any casualties then who is going to answer? My believe is that if teams like Australia, New Zealand and England have matches in Pakistan, I doubt whether they will play or not just like 1996 world cup where Sri Lanka got walk over. To all those people who thinks Pakistan should host the world cup all I got to say is, think broadly, think of the security of the players and do not just think of your chances of watching the matches if Pakistan host the tournament. This is not a country tour, its the biggest tournament of the sports and God forbid if anything happens mid tournament then where will those matches be shifted, will the players be flown to South Africa just like the IPL?

Posted by m.salmanali on (May 12, 2009, 16:10 GMT)

ICC should have given time to Pakistan to see how the situation would pan out in the future. In Germany, after 2 years Munich 1972 incident happened, Germany hosted 1974 soccer world cup and that is by far much bigger event than cricket world cup. No body should jump the gun and make a decision so soon. But I understand the insatiable hunger of Indian board to make money so they influenced this decision

Posted by karachi_hibachi on (May 12, 2009, 15:39 GMT)

You have articulated the situation in a very fair manner. Thanks for sharing your views. As its obvious from the comments, people will disagree on whether the PCB's actions are reasonable or not, but I think a valid question we should be asking ourselves is whether this action will help Pakistan cricket in some tangible manner or help its image as an organization. I think the answering is an overwhelming NO! This is just pure posturing by PCB.

Posted by atharsherwani on (May 12, 2009, 15:04 GMT)

Although, I agree that what happened in Lahore was a disaster of major proportion, as it was in Munich Olympics 1972, I do not recall that Olympics were moved from Germany and games cancelled or moved altogather. If we give in to to terrorists meekly then it surely confirms that terrorism succeeds. Pakistan needs to get it's act togather and prove to the world that it has learned from it's Police's shocking, if not criminal, shortcomings and produce a security plan which satisfies powers that may be. Major disaster do happen every now and then but running away is done by cowards. Bombay carnage comes to mind. There is still plenty of time left to formulate a foolproof security plan,overseen by ICC and Players Unions. Let's not give in to terrorists!

Posted by Jupiter_Uranus on (May 12, 2009, 14:58 GMT)

I really appreciate all the concern Pakistanis are showing for teams touring India/SL/BD for WC11. They are worried about the security of the players of other nations.

But I think these other countries/players can speak for themselves if they do not want to play. Let them make their own decisions and I would respect their decision whatever it may be.

IPL was moved as there was a month-long election in India. SA has an election too but the election is on a single day and they do not have hostile western neighbor trying to sabotage the election and SA has far fewer people, so security is easy.

For Aus withdrawing from Davis cup: that's reasonable since it's election-time in India, and election is important than any sport.

Again I ask Pakistanis: Let the players and their countries decide if they want to tour India for WC11.

If there was a terrorist attack on a foreign player in India, I would be ashamed to even think of hosting intl teams in India for a very long time.

Posted by cricket20202020 on (May 12, 2009, 14:51 GMT)

well.as far as Osman goes,it is common for Pakistani media personals to just look at one side of the coin instead of looking at both sides.It is a bad thing that Pakistan got stripped of being one of the co host of the World Cup 2011,but they could have been much more careful when Sri Lanka toured Pakistan and almost losing their lives at Lahore.Where was Pakistan security then?It was a serious security lapse.Suppose that ICC did not strip Pakistan co hosting the world cup 2011 ,still i do not see that teams would be wanting to tour Pakistan for the World Cup.Sri Lanka tried to break the shackles when they came to Pakistan earlier and the security took them easy thats why the terrorists took advantage of the situation and attacked.PCB does not care about the cricket as they want to bluss ,all they look at is making money and to neglect the security level of the players

Posted by Rahul_007 on (May 12, 2009, 10:31 GMT)

Only Pakistanis supporters with hurt pride are against this decision, and against this article. Stop being so blindly nationalistic, and consider the lives of the cricketers. Who'd want to play in your country right now? No one.

Posted by Mr_Afzal on (May 12, 2009, 7:13 GMT)

Wake up Mr. Samiuddin. Cricket is as much about sport as it is about money. The PCB's main interests lie in getting a share of this coming World Cup.

Sure...the country is under a stressful situation and most professional athletes would not like to tour at the moment. In fact, I am even sure the PCB recognizes that (based on actual comments by everyone important). No one is doubting that. At the same time, are you familiar with the details (of the ICC's agenda) in formally requesting for alternate venues for the World Cup? Was this issue brought up when Pakistan was expecting to speak of Sri Lanka attacks, or the World Cup? Did the PCB know that they would be kicked out of the beneficiary's committee that day?

Please don't insinuate that Pakistan is trying to be a spoil-sport by paving the way for requesting a share. By all means, let all the Asian boards make their money. But come on...must they take Pakistan's money too? Is that really the answer to all of this?

Posted by Sampdoria on (May 12, 2009, 6:54 GMT)

Big Tournament Planned - Due to Elections, India refuses hosting tournament - Is Aware and realistic of limits of its security infrastructure - Location changed - Everyone Happy.

Series Planned for India/Aus in Pakistan - Teams refused to visit due to security - PCB outraged - Sri Lanka lunges in - Pakistan out to prove a point - Team Attacked - Pakistani authorities "helpless" and "pathetic" - And PCB living in denial - Decides to sue ICC?


Posted by SquadroDaredevils on (May 12, 2009, 6:24 GMT)

I would like to point out to all those who are letting their emotions get in the way that the decision taken by the ICC is a valid one. I have travelled to Pakistan and have found it to be a warm and friendly place where I had a lot of a fun and didn't feel unsafe at all. But it has to be said that this attack on the Sri Lankan team, as much as you'd like to downplay it, is, the first time a national team has been attacked since Munich in 1972.I cannot stress enough on the fact that this attack is very disconcerting to the outside world and the cricket lovers of Pakistan need to understand that the reaction that they are seeing, even though they view it as unfair and discriminatory, is justified.However, Pakistan cannot be abandoned at this time. I refuse to accept the arguement that the players should be made to pay for govt lapses. Let the Pakistan team play, outside the country, wherever, but let them play. We cannot leave Pakistan out in the cold.

Posted by Satya_Cricket on (May 12, 2009, 5:32 GMT)

Comparing IPL shift to SA is ridiculous. Atleast, the Indian Govt. were more concerned about the loss of a single life, be it a player, official, security person or ordinary man. And it got shifted to SA.

But, in other words, it was a blessing in disguise for the IPL. It proved to be a major crowd puller there also.

But i truly, back PCB's decision to question the ICC's decision, as the matter was not on the agenda while the meeting took place. Whatever the situation, PAK cricket is being insulted there.

Posted by chazif on (May 12, 2009, 4:07 GMT)

Osman I would recommend that you look at both sides of the picture and analyze the situatuation better before having a say on it.......!!!

Posted by fmrana on (May 12, 2009, 2:25 GMT)

For once I don't agree with Osman. Altough I remorsefully agree with ICC's decision, I don't agree with the manner of the proceedings and the logic with persisting with the other countries. SriLanka, BanglaDesh and India all have big security problems at the moment. Having said that, PCB is just countering for the sake of countering because they always blamed the previous administration for not going enought to prevent the woes that fell on Pakistan Cricket.

Posted by rahilkh on (May 12, 2009, 1:58 GMT)


I couldn't agree more. Very well written article, indeed.


Posted by DKV11 on (May 12, 2009, 1:15 GMT)

Mr Zeedo. I dont think you exactely know why IPL is not played in India this year: Its because India's general elections were to happen at the same time as IPL and elections are a long process in India and involves many security personal. Players security was the major concern to the organisers and because of the elections they could not provide proper security to the players. So, next time do your research before making a statement

Posted by adityadhar23 on (May 12, 2009, 0:27 GMT)

Bang on Osman Samiuddin. Nevertheless, there are still going to be people crying out with the same old argument, just as you highlighted, I've been hearing since the decision to strip Pakistan of its World Cup status was made:

"India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh aren't much safe either!"

To that I say, "Stop whining about it. If something of that magnitude happens in either of these countries, cricket will definitely be stopped for a while. Instead of pointing fingers, fix the situation in your country."

In fact, international players themselves don't want to play in Pakistan. Even if the decision to strip Pakistan of its status wasn't made, chances are, several international players would have not wanted to play in Pakistan ANYWAY. People, cold-hearted logic goes a long way. Emotionality doesn't.

Posted by nccricket on (May 11, 2009, 22:00 GMT)

Osman's editorial is for a change a relatively factual and logical public comment on an unfortunate problem by a Pakistani supporter. The part that strikes me, and I am sure does many others, maybe even Osman albeit silently, that were it not for the Indian board Pakistan Cricket may actually have suffered more gravely much earlier - but before anyone pulls the tirgger, the BCCI wasn't soley acting out of pure brotherly love but more business interests in doing so in the past. Now, however, even they can't do a whole lot. The usual suspects in Pakistan are however upto their expoliting whatever mileage they can ways at the expense of the gullible. But this happens the world over and in all walks of life. Take for example the hosting of the IPL in RSA - I am sure that the reasons the IPL was moved out of India wasn't purely what the PCB wants you to believe... Oh well, I'm preaching to the choir I'm sure and those not on the choir don't give a hoot about this anyway. My 2 cents...

Posted by Virender-Seattle on (May 11, 2009, 21:59 GMT)

A very well written article - should prompt PCB to get their collective head out of the sand.

Posted by Vkarthik on (May 11, 2009, 21:55 GMT)

Among the list of most dangerous countries in the world Pakistan ranks 2nd behind Somalia. Among the list of failed states Paksitan ranks 3rd or 4th. There is so much instability. Entire world is worried about pakistan's nuclear devices being taken over by elements that world want to get rid of. There is so much going on in Pakistan. So hosting world cup should be the last thing on their mind. Nobody is going to visit Pakistan. Even before the attacks nobody wanted to visit Pakistan. Out of courtesy Srilanka visited. I don't think even they will visit now. This decision of suing ICC is going to backfire on them big time. It is ridiculous to compare the dangerous scenario that is going in pakistan with other countries.

Posted by Malcv on (May 11, 2009, 19:20 GMT)

My heart goes out to the good people & great cricketers of Pakistan. They need the help of the cricket family more than ever but you cannot expect sportsmen to (potentially) lay down their life to play there. The solution is in the hands and the will of the people.

Posted by Maxgilli on (May 11, 2009, 19:11 GMT)

The comparison between the situation in Pakistan as similar to India is totally misguided. Even though the politicians in India might be corrupted, we and the world has a clear idea of who is in power and who has the final say in things, the PM and luckily almost all of the PMs so far in this country have had their dignity intact. Barring the terrorist attack, India is a nation that is making rapid strides and getting stronger each and every passing moment while Pakistan on other hand is disintegrating every day and who knows by 2011 WC, cricket might become a banned sports in Pakistan. So, all my Pak friends, it is better you all realise the current situation in Pak and cry hue over India coz the enemy lies within rather than across the border.

Posted by BD1982 on (May 11, 2009, 18:41 GMT)

Osman Samiuddin is perfectly right. The PCB is oblivious to the fact that human lives are more important and the country is yet to show any concerted effort on saving their own citizens leave alone international cricketers. Also a point of note to Mr. Nayyar. The IPL was shifted out of India not because of security concerns but because India has an ongoing election and adequate security cover could not be provided to visiting teams as requried in the aftermath of 26/11.

Posted by idontknowidontcare on (May 11, 2009, 17:42 GMT)

There is a civil war in Sri Lanka, terrorist attacks every 3 months in India, and plenty of problems in Bangladesh. Why are any of these countries safer than Pakistan? BCCI was lucky that no team was on a visit to India when the attack on Hotel Taj happened.

Now, the only difference is that in Pakistan, the attacks took place on the visiting cricket team, and in other places, on the "ordinary" people. Do you really believe that makes India or Sri Lanka safer than Pakistan?

It has taken a long time coming, but finally someone took the ICC to the court. Now, stop complaining about PCB's emotions, and pray for a ICC defeat in the court.

Posted by Wajahatt on (May 11, 2009, 15:54 GMT)

1) If my teacher says, you will have a Chemistry test tomorrow and instead takes a Calculus test. Would that make 'any' sense?

May be my reaction towards this act of my teacher will label me as emotional?

2) "It is very surprising that this decision was passed in a meeting which was not even authorized to do so."

Oops, I think that is a logical point, Mr. Osman.

Just some eye openers for our dear author.

And also, the Asian bloc did not support Pakistan regarding the decision taken. Do not expect Pakistan to be all friendly to these unfriendly friends! PCB needs to strengthen itself, so that it can affect the decisions made by ICC. The first step definitely has been taken by PCB in this regard.

Posted by Man-Laks on (May 11, 2009, 15:19 GMT)

Osman is right. PCB top brass have lost their mind. Instead of asking their govt., to provide additional security, they are trying to take on ICC. This will waste money and time. They have no idea how to deal with it. If PCB and its bosses or the Govt of that country can't provide security to a touring cricket team, how in the world would they be able to host multiple teams in their country ? Just saying conditions in India or Srilanka is similar doesn't mean anything. PCB has to accept ICC verdict and move on or just blow up millions in Legal fees and keep quiet.

Posted by pradeep_dealwis on (May 11, 2009, 15:11 GMT)

what saddens me the most is that the PCB is trying to sabotage the world cup 2011 in the other countries. It seems as if they are saying if they cant get it, no one else can. What they don't understand is this.India didn't host the IPL because of the Election in India, and they wont have elections in 2011.Bangladesh was a short term issue, that was sorted out, and Bangladesh is safe now.The Issue in SL is winding down, and most believe the violence will end soon. and NEVER in ANY of these countries were a foreign cricket team attacked. PAK should think a LOT more before making statements.

Posted by Neeraj_Shah on (May 11, 2009, 13:55 GMT)

Great article. I am happy that Osman has presented the true picture of PCB. This represents a very broad minded attitude on part of the author. Very well written !!

Posted by harshalb on (May 11, 2009, 13:45 GMT)

come on my pakistani friends, don't be so angry. i do think that ICC decision was made too early and maybe they could have waited for one more year with a back up venue in hand to see how things are going in Pakistan but what PCB is doing wrong here is to try and project other co-hosts to be as insecure as Pakistan. you have to angree that Pakistan is a major battle scene right now and cannot be compared with India/ SL/ Bdesh. The IPL comparison is wrong too because the shift was made due to General Elections. Anyone who understand how huge that elections are will accept that it was a good decision from practical point of view. so please do be angry with everyone else, enjoy cricket no matter where WC is held.

Posted by BangRaj on (May 11, 2009, 13:15 GMT)

While it is allright for other cricketing nations to not think of touring Pakistan at this juncture & also the ICC is correct in removing pakistan from the world cup host list ,I being an INdia should admit whatever has happened or could happen in Pakistan can very well happen in India,Bangladesh or Srilanka..So its unfair to singleout pakistan even though it is more terror prone state than the other 3 sub continent nations ...what about Srilanka where there is civil unrest & conflict with LTTE who knows what will be situation there during world cup?? ..India being the cricketing financial powerhouse is highly influential nowadays ..If Pakistan is totally unsafe ,INdia,Srilanka & Pakistan is not way behind...

Posted by TurboKam512 on (May 11, 2009, 12:52 GMT)

Osman is right about all the things and i agree completely if it was not for the dreadful attack , Pakistan cricket was in dire straits anyways, this attack just nailed the coffin uptight and i would sadly say that Pakistan's situation is gloomy as far as cricket is to be played in the country, yes the logical venues are like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah are their way out to be in the game for good as the UAE has the sound reputation of one of the safest countries in the world and if Australia can play here then why not make it the home ground for Pakistan till situtations better in Pakistan. ICC HQ are in Dubaiso why not PCB. WC2011 also should be here as the threat of terorrism is not only in Pakistan but in the other host countries as well, it is the luck and bravery of that blessed driver who steered the players to safety before any of them could have been killed, Mumbai attacks goes down for India and Srilankans have the tamil tigers to be sorted as in B'desh same insecurity exists.

Posted by Ulio on (May 11, 2009, 12:45 GMT)

Thanks for the article Osman. If Pakistan had people like you in PCB then it would have been a lot better. Currently PCB and most Pakistani's are in a state of denial. They are comparing India to Pakistan which always gives me a chuckle, because we all know the economy and situation of each country. Someone called India a fail state, well all I can say is that you are not checking much news and not up2date with current economy. I want to end my comment with something simple.

Lets say ICC allows PCB to host WC games, question comes in mind. WHICH COUNTRY WILL VISIT PAKISTAN? ICC CANNOT FORCE BOARDS/PLAYERS.

Further, Pakistan is just moving to its own grave by going against other SE boards.

I wish you luck and lets see which country will visit Pakistan.

Posted by 1951 on (May 11, 2009, 12:37 GMT)

It seems Mr. Osman Samiuddin is badly hurt by the PCB notice to ICC. Remember, you determine your own level of insult i.e; The other party will insult you to the level you permit your own insult. Mr. Osman, it is not a matter of PCB only. The whole nation of Pakistan has been ridiculed by the ICC. In the year 1996, law & order in Sri Lanka was much worse than what it is in Pakistan nowadays. At that time, a civil war was going on in S.L. What happened then? Australia & West Indies refused to play their world cup matches in S.L. But other teams played there. Now come to the recent shifting of IPL from India to S.A. on security grounds. Sir, if India can't arrange security for foreign teams now, what is the guarantee at the time of world cup for security in India, Bangladesh & S.L. Only time will that Pakistan has been singled out not for the reasons of security, but there is a malice behind this decision. Mr. Osman should have seen these angles also. Nayyar Lhr.Pak. 0321-9402157

Posted by J._Doe on (May 11, 2009, 12:32 GMT)

Two very important points, in my opinion, that Osman made were;

1. Even if Pakistan wins the legal action, there are significant number of countries that will still refuse to play in Pakistan because of the risk of a repeat of Lahore incident.

2. If Pakistan's winning the legal battle with ICC results in the world cup being taken away from the other Asian countries, Pakistan will further allienate themselves from countries that might understand Pakistan's plight.

Posted by jk16 on (May 11, 2009, 12:18 GMT)

While each of the South Asian countries have security concerns, it is only Pakistan where in 2011, it is not unlikely, that cricket may itself stand banned if things continue in the same vein as they are right now!

Posted by harry1466 on (May 11, 2009, 11:53 GMT)

Talking about england team visiting in Taj is utterly rubbish.Had english team been it TAJ at 26/11 the attack may not have happened at all.As security cover would have been much higer than it normally is.It is a Fact that England toured India after that attack as they understood this and believed in India providing them security.On the other hand your country was not able to provide bulletproof bus to an international team and left umpires alone to die. The fact that IPL moved shows our maturity that when we thought security was overly stressed because of huge election process (involving 700million voters)Rather than making false promises.many states in India have never seen terrorism so situation is drastically different.

Posted by crpcarrot on (May 11, 2009, 11:47 GMT)

i am a Sri Lankan and ahvinf suffered LTTE terrorism for 30 years we are kinda immune to suicide bombing etc so tend to find fault with Enland and Australia when they refuse to come citing security. however after what happend to our team there is no way i would expect any team in their right minds to visit pakistan. The strange thing is other than hsout and complain Pakistan has done nothing to reassure the intenational commnuity that is serious about security. the maniacs who carried out the attacks are stilla t learge and the pakistani police has made no progress that we have heard about. why would anyone outside Pakistan think things have improved?

Posted by Nadzzz on (May 11, 2009, 11:41 GMT)

Is Mr. Samiudin a lawyer? :) I do not think so. I do not know how they talk on topics they have no grip. Such a moron.

Posted by chawlaaaa on (May 11, 2009, 11:37 GMT)

"there are no permanent friends or enemies, only permanent interests" The permanent interest for Osman is his job with cricinfo. Every article Osman writes or whatever Rameez Raja says on tv is very diplomatic, they don't want to make their friends angry. They want to be termed as good people, liberal people. Let me tell you my friend, this is one good decision taken by PCB. This is more money orientated. We know we have lost as hosts. But we have loads of stake involved in this world cup. We had 16 cricket matches and we were supposed to be paid loads of amount. We should get our share of income. This is what it is all about Mr Osman. Without finances, international cricket teams not visiting Pakistan, our players getting discriminated in IPL, how would you stop these actions? PCB took its time, consulted the best lawyer, weighted the case and then came out with the lawsuit. I am very sorry to say but Osman has represented a very little minority from Pakistan by writing this article.

Posted by anarkanu on (May 11, 2009, 11:37 GMT)

I am not sure about the kinds of noises some of the so called emotionally charged bleeding hearts(no pun intended) are going on and on about what Osman has said here. Instead of understanding the viewpoint of the writer, you are indulging in same sort of pathetic vicitmised babble that India n sri lanka are as affected.I do not profess that this incident could have happened anywhere, that is precisely why the govt of India didn't want to take its chances and let IPL move out. Btw am very sure most of crybabies here understand the kind of epic proportions of conducting an general elections in India is(understandable knowing their experience or lack of it), and the gargantuan security apparatus it needs to be conducted in free n fair manner possible, so it would gross oversimplification of looking at it as 'since IPL has moved out so security is bad in india.' Please let some sense prevail across the board here and get out of your 'victim syndrome' for early resolution of this issue.

Posted by Rahul_007 on (May 11, 2009, 11:31 GMT)

A casual read through the comments, it would appear this is the 'pulse' of the audience - If you are a Pakistani, you either a) Sadly, and reluctantly, agree with Osman...but don't comment. b) Question Osman's patriotism, and ask him to be more blind c) Erroneously compare terrorists targeting cricketers at random in Pakistan with the caution of Australian Tennis and IPL of avoiding the Indian elections period. There has been terrorism in India and Sri Lanka, but none towards cricketers - unlike Pakistan.

If you are from the rest of the world - a) The world cup should not be hosted in Pakistan.

Pretty clear I think...the ICC made the only decision that made sense. Well done Osman for arguing for more enlightened leadership from the PCB. A very thoughtful article.

Posted by agm_ on (May 11, 2009, 11:27 GMT)

Those continuing with the PCB's line of argument about other countries in the sub-continent not being safe are missing the point. All that matters is which countries teams are willing to play in. And, at least as of now, chances are players will, by and large, agree to play in India, SL and BD, but not Pakistan.

At the end of the day absolutely no place in the world - not even the MCG and Lords - can guarantee 100% safety. Teams and administrators will just take a calculated risk about where they will play. And the ICC has calculated that, as of now, Pakistan is too risky.

The PCB will be best served by channeling all its energies towards making teams feel safe again about touring Pakistan. (A lot of it, of course, is directly out of their control.)

Posted by npraveenku on (May 11, 2009, 11:14 GMT)

I am an Indian, I saw Pakistanis life in movies, in various channels. I like their culture their hospitality. I enjoyed watching cricket in pakstan, the support the hospitality was amazing. Even the President(Shri Parvez Mush.. ) enjoyed the sport and not hesitated to support oppenent team's player (Indians-Balaji, Dhoni, Sachin....) But people and cricket fans of Pakistan should understand the current situation there. Attack on an international cricket team, Umpires match officials is a very fearful act. We all know that no international team was ready to visit Pakistan and it was Srilanka's greatness they did so but the result was very bad. So Osman you are correct, Its true that Its just showing emotions no logic at all. What PCB can do is to put pressure on government to have more security, solve the case of Lahore attack, punish the people involved. Conduct some cricket at home inviting may be teams like zimbabwe, Srilanka etc.. who are ready to come there and play.

Posted by JayPmorgan on (May 11, 2009, 11:11 GMT)

Lets no let blind patriotism deflect from the facts. Our situation is different from Ind/Bang/SL. Remember that Cricket was DIRECTLY targeted in Lahore not just normal terrorist attacks. This was completely the fault of the powers to be in Pakistan. I used to have much sypmathy for Pakistans cause when teams used to not visit on the pretext of terrorism. But we can't really have any argument after the SL debacle. As Osman rightly pointed out we need to keep as many friends as possible for the sake of our future.

Posted by aryan_kb on (May 11, 2009, 11:04 GMT)

Its laughable how Pakistani fans have taken a U-turn as far as their arguements are concerned. Before the attack on Sri Lankan team the whole of Pakistan was citing reasons that no terrorist attack has taken place against a cricket team in Pakistan. Imran Khan took personal guarantee against an attack on a cricket team in Pakistan. Hence teams should visit and play in Pakistan. Now surprisingly they are contradicting themselves by saying that just because an attack on a cricket team has not taken in India,cricket teams should not tour India. How hypocrite can you be for using a reason to ask countries to visit Pakistan and then using the same reason to ask countries to not tour India? I wonder where Imran Khan is hiding?

Posted by saleemabbasi on (May 11, 2009, 10:58 GMT)

We Pakis love cricket. Whether sleeping, relaxing, awake, busy or else we are always in cricket and are crazy for this sport. If you don't believe visit the cities, towns and villages of Pakistan you will see kids, youngsters, older people all playing cricket. Now this debate to wipe Pakistan from world cup seems to me one sided decision with partial research of the ground realities. Will Pakistan remain as current for very long? In short the world cup matches should be given to Pakistan with the hope of normalcy in the current situation but backup venues wherever ICC want must be kept ready that if in case the current instability, lingers on till 2011, the World cup should not suffer. Hope governing bodies will re-think about the cricked fever in Pakistan.

Posted by Rawal on (May 11, 2009, 10:49 GMT)

As always, a very good and interesting read from brother Osman. I just wanted to correct one foreign word here - it´s 'Schadenfreude' and not 'Schadenfraude'. You can take it since it´s coming from a German-speaking person.

Posted by Sitting-on-a-gate on (May 11, 2009, 10:47 GMT)

Going through some of the comments, it appears that its not just the PCB that cant see the writing in the wall. With a terrorist attack nearly every day in some part or the other, a civil war (almost) in large tracts of its territory, threats to its rulers and their family members, Pakistan unfortunately has degenerated into one of the most dangerous places in the world now. No one in their right mind would want to tour there even as a tourist let alone as a cricketer who can and as the Lahore attack showed, will be targeted. Can you imagine an Indian team touring there when India is now enemy no.1 both in the minds of the fundamentalists and the average Pakistani? Can you imagine a Sri Lankan team? If these battle scarred countries wont tour why will and western team do so. Like it or not, the ICC or BCCI is not responsible for the state that Pakistan finds itself in. The problems lie witin and no amount of finger pointing will hide that fact.

Posted by astopal on (May 11, 2009, 10:37 GMT)

A knee jerk recation, no way ,this is utter madness from pakistan. A lawsuit that will start with focus on condition pakistan is in right now. Taliban and all ,huh,making whole subcontinent lose the tournament yeah they can succeed if some kasab's strike at will in other countries as well . End of road or you , set your house in order . Clear taliban , root out terrorists , get isi sponsored terrorism under control set up a stable government and then come back to invite anyone to you home. This however will take a long time. SAD BUT TRUE!!!

Posted by abhi_0511 on (May 11, 2009, 10:34 GMT)

I totally agree with bthis article. now 4 other SE Asia countries. Indian govt and board knows their responsibilities and when they knew that they cannot provide adequate ecurity they shifted IPl to SA rather than inviting players to home and exposing them naked infront of terrorist. and it all happened because India was holding worlds largest elections and it was surely not easy to hold IPL at the same time. However Pakistan has now became a second home for terrorist and they are struggling to secure their own life. To make the things better in Pak, the people of Pakistan has to come up and change the situation.

Posted by mrgupta on (May 11, 2009, 10:15 GMT)

One more thing i would like to add is that its incredible hows Pakistan is accusing SL also of all countries for lack of Security. Has everybody forgotten how brave they were to tour Pakistan when nobody else was willing to do so and in turn got attacked but still said that they will still tour Pakistan again sometime. Their hostility towards India is well known but Sri Lanka?? Nice way of returning to the Brave and friendly gesture shown by them. Through this step they are sure to loose the goodwill of their neighbours. Whatever Osman has said in his article is only a way to placate other people towards Pakistan, a step which PCB should have taken. PCB's step will leave them all alone in the Cricketing world.

Posted by vinodkd99 on (May 11, 2009, 10:14 GMT)

It is a request to all Pakistani Hyper Nationalist to see the things from point of view of a logical person rather than act as a 5 year old kid who raises hue and cry against his siblings over a lolly. Just because Pakistan has been stripped of rights over hosting WC 2011 matches does not mean that you start talking on the extreme lines of "take away the WC 2011 from the sub continent itself and host in Australia". ICC did act in this way on account of logical backgrounds, it was not just a wishful act carried out by some anti Pakistan element.

Posted by scritty on (May 11, 2009, 10:13 GMT)

Any victory by the PCB would be pyrrhic.

Sadly Pakistan would have an empty tournament, Media will realise this - no revenue will be generated, everyone (esspecially cricket) will lose as (at best) teams full of players no-one has heard of play empty stadia with no international interest in the outcome.

I look at the news this morning to see that half a million people have been made homeless with hundreds of thousands more trapped because of the religious extremists that are destroying this beautiful part of the world.

The PCB MUST be compensated for any money spent so far, Pakistan must play a full part in world cricket, they are too good and exciting to be left out to dry. No-one blames the PCB. We know that given the right circumstances they could put on a great show and a wonderful sporting event.

It is sad they will not get the opportunity, if they remain brave and fight religious fanatacism then they will have thier day, and it will be a double celebration.

Posted by Lakshmana on (May 11, 2009, 10:02 GMT)

guys, the point isn't that India/SL/Bangladesh can't guarantee safety as well the point is that no-one is going to want to play in Pakistan. Be honest, which cricket team is going to travel to Pakistan...none! Hence the ICC instead of forcing teams to go there, decided to make the decision itself, simple as. Now if other international teams have any issues with playing in India/SL/Bangla, please speak up...

Posted by PakisGreat on (May 11, 2009, 9:55 GMT)

Well, No body is thinking about the scenario if Pakistan qualify for Semi's or Final (I know its a long shot especially Pakistan team's current performance due to lack of cricket but anything can happen in Cricket.)

Is Pak going to play in India? If the situation remains the same between the two countries. I hope the situation improve between these two countries but if it doesn't. WC2011 is in danger of being a political drama rather than a cricketing one.

Posted by bipulkumar on (May 11, 2009, 9:53 GMT)

Some Pakistani supporters are hell bent to state that India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are also unsafe so they can't host the world cup. I think they have included Sri Lanka and Bangladesh for the sake of it. What is getting difficult for them to accept is the fact that WC will still be hosted by India. This envy and hatred for India has almost brought Pakistan to self destruction. Still some section, specially the senior leaders can't get over it. This has costed not only the talented cricket team but the entire nation so dearly. I just pray God that this over obsession of Pakistan to demean India comes to an end and Pakistan becomes a prosperous nation.

Posted by mrgupta on (May 11, 2009, 9:48 GMT)

Its not so difficult to empathize with the feelings of our cricket loving friends in Pakistan, who of no fault of theirs have been deprived of being a part of their favourite sport. But if we keep commenting that even India, SL and BD are not safe for Cricket WC at this moment then there is no way cricket will be ever played in this Subcontinent ever. Nobody knows when the situation in Pakistan will improve, and as per the current scenario this legal notice by PCB will only serve one purpose, Take the WC out of the Subcontinent to some English speaking country (Who are safe). Abu Dhabi or UAE are difficult options as it wont be easy to travel so much for teams for their matches... my feeling is that they might also refuse that. Already the ties between India and Pakistan are weakening and if Pakistan manages to take WC out of Subcontinent then it will only worsen the situation and the already growing hostile feeling will be extremely difficult to manage.

Posted by BoonBoom on (May 11, 2009, 9:43 GMT)

In continuation to my two previous comments......

I am sure nothing will happen to this court battle but it is important to raise the noise and register PCB's concern. I do not rule out the possibility that PCB should consider boycotting WC 2011. When no one wants to come and ICC does not want to include Pakistan (not even the umpires), what's the fun to be a part of ICC and participate in the WC?

Posted by BoonBoom on (May 11, 2009, 9:42 GMT)

Secondly, umpires are nominated by ICC and not by respective boards. Then why Pak umpires were not considered for a tournament which is being played in South Africa?

Taking away the WC 2011 matches from Pakistan is yet another extremely biased decision. There is absolutely no denial about the law and order situation in Pakistan. I am also not in favor of inviting any foreign team to Pakistan for another 2 to 3 years. However, if Pak can play "home" matches in UAE, they could have easily host their part of WC 2011 matches in the UAE.

Then one should always remember the situation in Sri Lanka. Scores are being killed every day yet ICC finds SL a peaceful country!! Bangladesh refused to host Pak due to security grounds but still ICC finds situation in Bangladesh perfectly fine. Then who can guarantee security situation in India by the year 2011?

Posted by BoonBoom on (May 11, 2009, 9:41 GMT)

Although there are shortcoming as far as general approach of PCB is concerned yet I feel PCB's decision to take ICC to court is logical and not based on any emotions. One must consider the facts surrounding this decision before jumping to any conclusion.

It is now almost evident BCCI is causing more trouble to PCB than the current political turmoil in Pakistan. This is true that Pakistan government advised all the players not to travel to India for IPL due to security reason. The government never said that Pakistani players should not play against India. It was a precautionary step to ensure safety and security of the players. However, IPL was quick to drop all players from Pakistan. They did not even make payments to these Pakistani players. Moreover, when the authorities pressed for the inclusion of Pakistani player, a very flimsy logic was given by IPL that all the teams have already been finalized; hence they can not change the team and re-include Pak players.

Posted by ANSO on (May 11, 2009, 9:40 GMT)

I would just like to say something on behalf of the entire pakistani nation! We are not against India or the BCCI! We love the people of india and their cricketers! I think india & pakistan should live united as brothers and as good neighbors! Its a dream to see the two countries united without any differences! I think the world would be such a better place if we are somehow able to sort out our differences! It has always been great to see the cricket teams of the two countires play each other and be on good terms! There is nothing better than india & pakiatan playing each other on the cricket field! I pray for the the friendship of India & Pakistan and for progress and prosperity of the two nation.

Posted by prady_online on (May 11, 2009, 9:39 GMT)

Someone called here India as a "failed state". I just have to laugh at thier statement when everyone in the world knows that India is the only country which has stood against the major waves of recession and is still growing ( mind you that India and China are the two fastest growing economies in the world). I dont want to speak in about Pakistan and its rights to host world cup as I am not the right person. but I would like to inform those people who are questioning about IPL moving to South Africa. IT was moved because the Government of India which has all the adequate security measures and forces decided not to provide security to the games as there are General Elections running which is a top priority. I don't know about Sri Lanka and Bangladesh's conditions but I can definitely say that I as a person if given a choice would like to travel to Sri Lanka or Bangladesh but will never visit Pakistan considering all the activities which occurs on daily basis in Pakistan.

Posted by Xaks on (May 11, 2009, 9:33 GMT)

I have read so many articles by this gentleman Mr. Osman but this is the most astonishing and remarkable effort by him.. hats off to Mr. Osman. How well he supported the anti-Pakistan approach, this is certainly his great great success. I am not sure whether the 'bloggers' of Cricinfo should have biassed comments? A lot of people have asked repeated questions to Osman and importantly they are valid as well. Questions like 'Why IPL moved to SA' and 'Why Australian govt. refused to send its tennis team to India' might be ask to ICC and Osman... I will appreciate if Osman come up with an answer!!

Posted by kchoudhari on (May 11, 2009, 9:32 GMT)

As a fan of Indian and Pakistani cricets, my sympathies are with PCB. Their response is understandable to say the least, especially when none of the other Asian countries are secure from war or terrorism either. The difference is, however, in no other soil, so far, a foreign cricket team has been directly attacked. This makes other teams more anxious and jittery when it comes to travelling to Pakistan. The political perception that Pakistani Government is not capable or willing to take steps to halt terror, irrespective whether it's right or wrong, has not helped the situation either.

Personally, however, considering tremendous cricketing talent Pak possesses, Pak cricket should be allowed to suffer. The PCB should be taken into confidence by the ICC. Rather than banning matches from Pak, ICC should promote them, with extra outside security, if need be, with support from BCCI, so as to ensure that PCB is not left isolated and cricket in Pak is not jeopardised. - Indian Cricket fan

Posted by riz2g00d on (May 11, 2009, 9:22 GMT)

I totaly agree with Osman.come on guys be realistic even if world cup would have held in pak whick team would have come there. I bet even bangladesh would not play there.What PCB need to do here is accept the situation and find the new method to rise pak cricket.And the ICC should support pak.

Posted by AMUZAMMIL on (May 11, 2009, 9:22 GMT)

Dear Usma, to some extent your views are in line with my thaughts, however, realistically PCB has the right to save their face when they have lost working relation with ASIAN boards. At lease ICC should have offered PAKISTAN that if they can opt for UAE as their home venue then its a win / win situatio for both PCB and ICC. In this crunch situatio ICC cant leave PCB stand alone with bundle of problems. Look INDIA shifted IPL to south africa saying that due to elections they cant manage this event, one should ask BCCI, was there no elections in SOUTH AFRICA at the same time. My friends both BCCI / PCB are siting in the same boat but the first one is on the far corner which will take time to drown. BCCI should not make things difficult for PCB, who knows what is happening next and where. ICC should offer PAKISTAN atleast their own matches to be played in UAE, as UAE us their HEADQUARTER and cricket will take a new ROLE there.

Posted by KP_84 on (May 11, 2009, 9:05 GMT)

Very well said. Great article. Pakistan needs more people like Osman Sammiuddin here at the PCB.

Posted by desi_red on (May 11, 2009, 8:56 GMT)

I always laugh at how quickly these things descend into a India v Pakistan debate. However, for all those suggesting that the 2011 World Cup can continue in Pakistan lets be clear - if the ICC make a u-turn, no one will come to Pakistan to play and we will end up with the same farce that we have in 1996, when people didn't want to go to Sri Lanka. Come on people, stop the retarded bickering and lets focus on the cricket.

Posted by nick_japan_2007 on (May 11, 2009, 8:53 GMT)

Some people seem to be ignoring the fact that none of the international sides would visit Pakistan were it to host the world cup. Australia, NZ, SA, Eng, SL, India, WI.... who will go? No one. The tournament had to be moved and it has. The face that Pakistan weren't "consulted" on this says two things:

1. The ICC could have been a bit more tactful with how it arrived at and announced the change 2. The decision was so obvious that it barely required discussion in the first place

Posted by RashidMahmood on (May 11, 2009, 8:06 GMT)

Dear Osman! Its a good article which you have written. Every body knows what is happening in the cricket world and it does not need repeating. Osman you said that Asian bloc did not help. It is very obvious who is friend and who is not.They will hurt pakistan when ever they got chance. And i am sorry to say by writting this article we did not help pakistan's cause either.You, yourself, said in your article about the situation in SE asia. IF pakistan has protested, then its thier right. People should not started making faces and ignore that facts. Osman please think before what you write as it does cause deep impact on people's mind. Thank

Posted by dotnet on (May 11, 2009, 7:54 GMT)

Strange things are happening there, and i have a feeling at the end of day its the whole sub-continent thats going to suffer. in past few years, we have seen nice cricketing ties between pak and india, and all that brought was some excitement and happiness for the people in both countries. I cannot see, any country visiting even Sri Lanka or bangladesh in WC 2011 (some thing that had already happened in 1996) and who can guarantee WC can still happen in India? IPL was move out at the last moment, and same could happen with WC2K11. But that time, India would be alone to defend it, and may be thats what is being planned. Well just a hypothesis, only time would tell, but at the end of the day, i thing we people in sub-continent should understand we will serve our interest best when united and covering each other, rather pointing at each other's weaknesses.

Posted by asyed on (May 11, 2009, 7:32 GMT)

Mr. Osma is surely living in a fool's world. If u take emotion out from the game than what it will be? Second edition of IPL is being held in South Africa just because of security reasons. Intense fighting is taking place in Sri Lanka btw Tamil Tigers and security forces, since there are no Talibans in Sri Lanka an in India World Cup can take place there!!! Australian tennis team just announced the other day that they will not travel to India because of not sufficient security. If ICC dosent change its stance, thn we should boycot this world cup.

Posted by Wajahatt on (May 11, 2009, 7:28 GMT)

It is very sad to know your thoughts. At least support 'Pakistan' Cricket Board, if you can not, it is better to keep quiet. Try supporting decisions your country takes for once, instead of getting good monetary benefits from your writing against your own country's decision. Your article is totally pathetic to say the least.

I second what Tahir_Khan has said. Makes total sense, may be not for closed eyes of Osman?

Posted by Tahir_Khan on (May 11, 2009, 7:03 GMT)

It is difficult to agree or disagree with the article, but I would share some of the points already expressed.Can any one assure there will be no repeat of any terrorism attacks in India. Why Australia boycotted Davis cup in India.What is coming up in Sri Lanka?Why IPL was moved to Sth Africa.And ofcourse Pakistan should ve been given prior notice of the aganda. And if Pakistan is offering to host in UAE whats wrong with that, it is close from all host countires and much safe and world class facilities. Waht about Bangladesh whcih refused to provided security to Pakistan, how will they provide security to so many teams during the cup. Some of these countries have committed some of the blunders themself which makes you think how can they stage world cup. Like Bangladesh refusing to provide security to Pak team, Indian govt unwilling to provide security for IPL and unfortunately situation S Lanka what can I say.I think UAE should be allowed as venue for home matches for Pak team.

Posted by arman_zain on (May 11, 2009, 6:58 GMT)

Everyone has the right to inquire and protest.So if PCB thinks it is treated unfairly then they have the right to do whatever constitution of ICC allows them to do. Further as for a being emotional is concern then it is Cricket, it is all about emotions. If you take emotions out of game then it will become business where everything is money and no one really cares about pride , fan base or national identity. Then if one has to go by logic they should make match fixing legal as it is more logical for the players to make money.

Posted by nad-1 on (May 11, 2009, 6:51 GMT)

Mr.Osman is living in fool's world.PCB has done the right thing & how can one give guarantee that there will never be an attack on cricket teams in other parts of SE Asia. India cannot provide security to foreigners and they too are failed state. Srilanka cannot control tamil tigers , bangladesh recently postponed there home series vs Pakistan because there govt didnt give NOC to their board about security. I seriously doubt that teams can play in India because cricket team players can be the hostages there during a militant siege, they cannot play in srilanka because tamil tigers are there... and bangladesh cant guarantee them security

Posted by CricFan78 on (May 11, 2009, 6:50 GMT)

As usual a balanced article from you Osman. The fact that PCB is living in denial will continue to hurt them in future. With such an emotional step of giving legal notice to ICC , PCB has no friends left and they will continue to get singled out.

And I am not surprised at some of ignorant Pakistan fans here once again blaming India for all this.

Posted by CB20 on (May 11, 2009, 6:43 GMT)

I cannot completely agree or disagree with this article. What matters to me is the fact that every time an international tournament or series have taken place in the "so called" other blocks of sub-continent, whatever may have been the security situation or threat in those countries, no touring or home cricket team has been attached so viscously as it has happened in Lahore! Pakistan and PCB have been cornered, there is no doubt about it. But we should not forget that amongst all the other Cricket playing counties in the sub continent, there may be no greater threat to the cricketing establishment than the one that exists in Pakistan. Simply because the worst that could happen has unfortunately taken place in Pakistan. If the proof of the pudding is in eating it, need we say more? As far as "what can PCB do now?" goes, well, they have to remain constructive and optimistic. They need to meticulously build rather than demand!

Posted by vinodkd99 on (May 11, 2009, 6:41 GMT)

Dear Members who believe that ICC should not have said NO for WC 2011 in Pakistan: Main difference between situation in India/Sri lanka Vs Pakistan is the INTENT of respective Govts. It is a fact that in modern day world, no country is 100% safe. But what differentiates Pakistan from others is the intent of respective Govts. Now then as Taliban had really given Pakistan nation a tough time as such, Pakistan Govt has launched an offensive against them, though I very much doubt the claims of Pakistan Govt as far as results are concerned. Even yesterday only, Mr Zardari admitted in an interview that it is all of us who has created a monster by the name taliban.

Believe me the day Pakistan acts genuinely against all forms of terrorism, you shall see the difference. You shall see that Pakistan shall be on World Map of cricket again and more importantly, it shall be a better place for a common civilian to live peacefully rather than being under the gun all the time.

Posted by CrisSayHi on (May 11, 2009, 6:39 GMT)

"It comes across as a tasteless, anticipatory schadenfraude, taking pleasure from the potential misfortunes of others in the hope of lessening your own gloom." well written article. It is loose-loose game, but necessary to get the attention that solution is needed, not the one enforced by ICC. PCB and Pak need support of others, but as long as they are willing to use it coming out of denial mode that they are not worse than their neighbors.

Posted by Katri on (May 11, 2009, 6:33 GMT)

It is still mind boggling that so many of the comments bring up the Mumbai attacks and the fact that the English team was supposed to stay there a few days later. How deluded should someone be to not realise that the Mumbai attacks were not aimed specifically at an international cricket team like the attacks in Lahore were? Despite Osman pointing out that people in the PCB are trying to alleviate their own gloom by pointing fingers towards the security situation in the other host nations, its saddening to see so many comments in the same vein.

Posted by sickofwhingers on (May 11, 2009, 6:31 GMT)

PCB are acting like children, as well as a few of the posters commenting on this story. I am no fan of the BCCI but it really seems Pakistan fans and their board will blame anyone rather than accepting responsibility for their own failings. The main argument the PCB used over boycotts from other nations was the old "sport stars are never targeted, they will be in no danger" Well, they were, the security provided was embarressing and no-one has accepted any blame. Why try and take the game away from other countries becasue Pakistan can't have it? my children act the same way when they percieve one is getting more than the other. There is a few twisted facts as well, the BCCI were forced to move to SA because of the clash of dates with elections and the security would be stretched too thin, the games wern't moved for any other reason. The fact is the PCB and the goverment are not trusted by other countries, selfish acts like this are not helping them at all.

Posted by Pak_Dost on (May 11, 2009, 6:27 GMT)

Generally, I like what Osman has to say. But this time, I will have to disagree. PCB is protesting against the process that was followed and not the outcome. The outcome is pretty much known and no one can deny that. But the ICC has a particular process to follow and if that process is not followed than a wrong has been done. That wrong has to be undone. Osman certainly seems to know more than PCB - his comment about PCB's reputation within ICC refers - but he appears to have missed the point here. I am sure he will get around to it once he puts his emotions to the side, like he wants PCB to!!

Posted by saadiaanwar1 on (May 11, 2009, 6:08 GMT)

In other words, Mr. Samiuddin you are saying that we Pakistanis should accept the logic of "You're either with us, or against us" and should do nothing because it would be an emotional thing no matter what we did. YES, we have a problem. YES, we are fighting a war against Taliban, but what about the security situation in India, Sri Lanka and for that matter Bangladesh even. Let me just quote you an incident from history, Mr. Samiuddin, the Munich Massacre that occurred during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany, when members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage and 11 Israeli athletes and 1 German police officer were eventually murdered, but were the games stopped? The Olympic events were briefly suspended but then it was decided that "the Games must go on" that "we could not let the incident halt the games" and competition resumed a day later. It is all logic when we talk about western countries and india, but when comes Pakistan it becomes an emotional thing????????

Posted by samiakh on (May 11, 2009, 5:52 GMT)

Normally I agree with most of what you have to say. But I find myself fuming at the apolegtic drivle that you have written here. The last paragraph particulary is truly painful. You too it appears have fallen for the false statements of concern that emanate from the ICC. Agreed no cricket can be held in Pakistan, but if you are truly concerned about cricket in Pakistan there are genuine ways to help rather then offering to set up committees to look into things. Has any board stepped up and said, send us 4-5 of your most talented youngsters and we will play them in our FC season for them to continue their education? Did the ICC say we cannot host in Pakistan but lets look at revenue (and cost) sharing agreements where a certain number of games can be played at other host nations but count as "home" games for Pakistan? Bottom line Osman is that this Board does not have the respect of the ICC its about time they did something to earn that respect.

Posted by hazrat on (May 11, 2009, 5:43 GMT)

I wanted to comment as well, but then I thought no need as I am in agreement with most of the commentators here. Would just like to add that if ICC does not back out in dealing hard with Pakistan, Pakistan should also boycott the World Cup, and should refuse to accept the FTP. Please always keep in mind there is no sub-continent block, there never was.

Posted by chennaicricfan on (May 11, 2009, 5:43 GMT)

A well written article, with clarity of thought. At last some sanity. Mr.Osman Samiuddin has very clearly spelt it out...IF COUNTRIES WERE REFUSING TO TOUR PAKISTAN EVEN BEFORE THE LAHORE ATTACKS, WHO CAN FORCE THEM TO DO IT NOW? If people understand this simple concept, there would be no argument that the PCB is just plainly undertaking face-saving tactics. PCB and its supporters should stop playing the role of victim, and stop bickering about India, SriLanka and Bangladesh....Cricket is the victim here.

Posted by A_Janaka on (May 11, 2009, 5:40 GMT)

As Sri Lankan , just to remind everyone who is commenting on this blog , supporting the pakistan boards stance to say other three countries are also not safe , we sent a team to your country to show our friendship when no one was even considering touring your country. I guess this is a good way to Thank us !! i simply don't undertand how they can do this , i guess the thanks we will get is for us to also lose the WC. I hope the Pakistan Board will be happt when SL also loses the WC

Posted by shujaathussain on (May 11, 2009, 5:18 GMT)

It may be partially right that the legal notice is an emotional response. It slipped everyone's mind the points raised by the PCB chairman about the co-hosts and their vulnerabilities. All the points are valid and should be taken into consideration. Are we waiting for another Lahore like incident in these countries? World Cup should not be hosted in the subcontinent. Every host is vulnerable. Its just Pakistan is having the most of the problems but you cannot say that the Lahore incident cannot happen in India, Srilanka or Bangladesh. 2015 WC should be held in these 4 countries and 2011 be shifted to 2015 hosts.

Posted by Khan6 on (May 11, 2009, 5:03 GMT)

Osman do u want PCB to sit back and do nothing against this total bias of ICC or should we call it BCCI controlled ICC. Have we forgotten the Mumbai attack on the one of hotels where team players from different nations were staying to play IPL including Pakistani and English team players. English cricket team came back within one week stating that "terrorism is a common problem for all countries and we'd play to give a message to terrorists that we are not afraid of them". Indian security issues are not a secret when they have to move IPL to South Africa for security concerns. Bangladesh have to cansel a series with Pakistan because they wasn't sure about security situation in their country. Sri Lanka is in the state of on going war with Tamils and security is not different to any other south east asian country. Then only isolating Pakistan and depriving Pakistan from the ICC world cup hosting seems more like a BCCI controlled ICC decision. Well done PCB for unmasking Bias ICC.

Posted by cricbytes on (May 11, 2009, 4:46 GMT)

As far as i can see the decision, how it is made is more important then what is the decision. In the ICC meeting, it was not even on the agenda of the meeting. It shows that how much the rest of the Boards specially ICC and BCCI were keen to for the decision to come early. So its the protest against the way it was done. And About Osman,this is not the first time he has made fun of Cricket to just earn his name. please cricinfo exclude this man from Pakistan panel of writers.

Posted by KevinMarkson on (May 11, 2009, 4:42 GMT)

Hi All, what I got from Kamran's article is that Pakistan should sit quite and do nothing. I support Paki Board for bringing the facts to the world. ICC can not treat teams like they treat players against any decision of umpire. ICC can not behave like a dictator and do whatever it wishes. Here, I wish to quote an amazing article which I read yesterday..http://kkkayani.blogspot.com/ and must be read. India can not survive without Pak, Bang and Sirilanka. May be Pak will not win this battle (and who know they win) and may attract few countries to play too. I must also ask ICC that when Australia refused to play Davis Cup Tennis due to security concens what made them think that it will send its Cricket team there.... Please wake up!

Posted by True.Color on (May 11, 2009, 4:36 GMT)

Well Mr. Osman, if no team has been attacked in other sub-continent countries as of yet, what makes you believe that there is a guarantee it won't happen there in the future? If a hotel could not be provided a fool proof security in Mumbai while there was a high security alert issued, what makes someone believe that a mega event like cricket WC would be an incident free one? God forbid if such a mishap does happen again during the WC, who will take the blame for such a catastrophe?

Posted by vdewan on (May 11, 2009, 4:27 GMT)

Come On people! Whoever is saying that Pakistan is just in taking such action against ICC really need to see whats going on. I mean, Taliban and what not are openly saying that they will get behind all the top leaders of the present government and still Pak wants to host a global cricketing event and expect people to come there. I really dont have anything against the common person of Pakistan, since they are as good as anyone else. But, until certain elements are not thrown out of the Pak Society, You can't expect any countries to visit Pak.

Posted by original_jawz on (May 11, 2009, 4:15 GMT)

So what else are we supposed to do? Lie down and give up? Osman would have stop expecting to live like humans because of these terrorists and start living like exiles for crimes we have not committed, yet the the world insists us on punishing us for the terrorists. Seems like Osman has resigned himelf to the international community's verdict and is happy in his exile.

Well, if there is something .. anything .. regardless of whether emotional or not to show the international community that they are only allowing the terrorists to win this battles while staying safe in their own homes, they are eventually allowing the parasite to grow until they won't be safe anywhere.

It's only a matter of time before the situation gets like this all over the world. You think Sri Lankan's are safe in their own country? I spent 9 days there and by the 7th had started fearing for my life every time I Was in Colombo ..

Just because they haven't been attacked doesn't mean they won't be.

Posted by fruitypastille on (May 11, 2009, 4:15 GMT)

Well said. The PCB is alienating everyone by taking the legal course most particularly their earlier co-hosts. As Pakistan has also been shown to be the source of 'terrorist' attacks in India the other co-hosts will be overly careful in providing security during the WC in 2011 and Pakistan cannot afford to mount any 'terrorist' attack just to show the ICC that their co-hosts also cannot conduct a 'safe' WC in 2011. If they do so I doubt if Pakistan will play any cricket till 2020. The best thing is for them to accept the status quo and wait for the situation in their country approach normalcy before pressing their case with the ICC and the member countries.

Posted by NaveedZeb on (May 11, 2009, 3:56 GMT)

Well if the decision is emotional it should be rightly so coz our cricket is suffering.I wonder how other countries in the same vacinity could be called safe after mumbai attacks,that too at TAJ and OBROI hotel where champions league teams were supposed to stay,so how could you all say cricketers there could not be made target.I agree that PCB should have fighted for its stance at the meeting but to say that one should move on is rediculous.The best thing is to swap 2011 world cup with Australia/Newzeland for 2015.Unfortunately here alot of Indians are posting comments again here some sort of patriotism comes and try to proof some how that their country is more safe for sports.Had it been safe they would not have switched IPL to SA and Australian Devis cup team would have toured there country so get a life lads

Posted by Zaheerahmed on (May 11, 2009, 3:32 GMT)

Osman has conveniently fogotten that English team was to stay in Taj Hotel just a couple of weeks later and had the incident happened that time the terrorist would not have spared them on the pretext that they were international cricketers. And also that Sohail Tanvir & Kamran Akaml were just a few hundred meters away. Besides, due to extremely agressive attitude of Indian Govt towards Pakistan, Govt of Pakistan is not permitting sportmen from Pakistan to tour India so what if they had to play matches in India. Would ICC guarantee safety of Pakistani players in India where recently Pakistani TV stars and journalists have been brutally beaten. No one is denying that Pakistan need to do a lot before international cricket is resumed in Pakistan but the manner in which they have been dumped by ICC is unfair and smells of bias and prejudice.

Posted by TMAK on (May 11, 2009, 3:19 GMT)

I agree with you Osman! But this move from PCB is more a desperate attempt rather than a logical one! They cannot and infact should not think of any sporting event in the country in the coming days unless & until the government gets rid of the Militants in the country! This is in their favour to the most ..... Furthermore, there have been news of Pakistan boycotting the WC! This would be a disaster decision of the board if it happens! But to be true, the conditions in the whole subcontinent are not so good to host a huge competition like this. There can be better venues for the Cup to be held!

Posted by Vishal_madison on (May 11, 2009, 2:25 GMT)

Nice article. Pakistan need to understand that there is no way of world taking place in their country. They need to stop their mission to prevent other asian countries from hosting cup. It will only isolate them more. And yes, decision to move the cup out of pakistan was justified, as is keeping other other 3 countries as host. cricketers were not attacked in other countries under president level security.

Posted by Koushik_Biswas on (May 11, 2009, 1:56 GMT)

I have been, by virtue of my good nature and a deep underlying fraternity I have always felt for Pakistan, trying to feel the love in my heart for a genuinely misfortune-struck nation - a country valiantly fighting for her rights from its inception in the murky days of British rule. Right now, as my feelings reach out for the escaping refugees from the Taliban hit areas, the west is more concerned about the nuclear arsenal falling in wring hands than feeling the pain of our homeless brothers. And what is PCB doing? The money they hire their lawyers with can bring life, food and medicine to the families tired of carrying their bed and rice as they flee from their homes. Why are they so doggedly childish? Why are they acting so love starved? We love you Pakistan, we love our brothers in deep trouble. Just grow up. The world will extend their helping hands - doesn't matter who does that or not, India will. But first things first bro - peace, democracy and cricket: in that order please.

Posted by Rafaa_Charismatic on (May 11, 2009, 1:40 GMT)

I truly back this article...the main difference is no team has been attacked in any other country n thts wt matters in da end...i hope pcb understands soon that if they carry on blaming others it will result in complete alienation by other countries...just because you couldn't provide enough & reliable security doesn't mean nobody in your neighbourhood can...moreover indian board at least said it couldn't provide enough security & ipl was shifted...learn something pcb before making baseless comments

Posted by kaiser1 on (May 11, 2009, 0:38 GMT)

well said Mr.Osman, and well co-ordinated article about the truth of the time and situation, but even level headed person sitting outside PCB comprehend the gravity and implications of the Lahore attack and barbarism but what kind of administrators are there making fool of themselves and that of our country. Such has been the leadership of Pakistan also who fail to understand the truth of time and make themselves look like fools. Otherwise such a rich country with resources and talents would have been at the forefront of world economy and politics. Hong Kong produces nothing and is very small on the world map looking like a grain on it but it still is one of Asia's most rich countries because of its leadership's level headed planning and execution but Pakistan is such a large place with plains and mountains, forests and natural reserves but the most poor, that leaves one not wonder about leadership's thinking but smile with ire. How can they run a profit PCB successfully?

Posted by Hache on (May 11, 2009, 0:32 GMT)

In accord with your views Osman. Pragmatism not emotionalism shall write the future script for the Greens...

-Hashim *Hache* Malik

Posted by HashimAli on (May 10, 2009, 23:59 GMT)

Was it not already hyped around right here on Cricinfo and right after the Lahore incident that Pakistan status as co-host for the world cup is under severe threat now? I am amazed with how PCB was responding to it like a pigeon closing his eyes on seeing a cat and thinking "well there is no cat now". Mr. Butt and his chief operating officer would claim that the world cup is very far and nothing will happen to that. However the reality revolves around the statements made by those foreign players, who had their lives on risk. How could PCB go so unprepared in a meeting, where the talk was already about Pakistan's security situation and stripping Pakistan of its world cup status? I am amazed that Mr. Butt and co. did not know anything about it since even Cricinfo had been hyping of it. I guess, blaming and issuing legal notices and even winning cases in courts will help PCB win nothing but lose the rest of respect that they have left too. History will repeat itself very soon with PCB.

Posted by HashimAli on (May 10, 2009, 23:51 GMT)

Well Said Osman. But the problem I guess lies with the blame game inherent in Pakistani politicians and the PCB representatives. Instead of providing proper security or rather the promised "Presidential Level" Security, PCB had effectively done nothing to secure the visiting Sri Lankan team. Now, why should it take the blame for a lapse on their behalf when the writing was on the board right after Indian team pulled out fearing similar attacks? A single MNA passes anywhere in any city of Pakistan and usually the roads are blocked way before time. And here PCB is trying to guarantee to a visiting team, who showed solidarity with your country, the security that even a single local nazim might feel content with. I remember Mushy passing by in Rawalpindi and the Mall Road would be blocked for all kind of traffic about half an hour before and till 5 minutes after his whole convoy of about 15 cars would pass. And I guess except one car and 2-3 fake president cars, all others were security.

Posted by AshiMitha on (May 10, 2009, 23:43 GMT)

Osman you are right on the money; its very unfortunate that PCB is taking this route and showing once again the unpredictability on being able to manage and run their affairs. pointing fingers at others while trying to prove a point doesn't serve any short or long term point especially to those who stood behind them. when no team was willing to visit Sri Lanka came and were greeted with bullets and now that pakistan can't get any world cup matches they are pointing fingers to everyone around including Sri Lanka. no doubt pakistan has produced some real cricket stars but the PCB has never been managed or run in an efficient manner. world cup is already creating some good hype at places like http://www.Twitter.com along with http://www.dragtotop.com/2011_Cricket_world_cup and on http://www.Facebook.com and on all places i have read so far the feeling from Pakistanis are inline with cricket fans everywhere: PCB is once again proving a pointless point.

Posted by dyogesh on (May 10, 2009, 22:30 GMT)

I don't understand why is Pakistan bent on spoiling its relations with other ICC members and lose out on the sympathy too. With this lawsuit Pakistan is never going to find friends within ICC in future. An even few years down the line, ICC might be wary of scheduling an event in Pakistan to avoid such silly lawsuits.

Posted by chakay-pay-chaka on (May 10, 2009, 22:22 GMT)

Unsavoury as it may appear, I agree with the PCB stance. Pakistan (cricket-wise) have been the whipping boys for some time. They have also been friendless before all this saga - the BCCI has only supported them when it suited them, Bangladesh cancelled their tour, Australia & England have never been keen to tour or support Pakistan as far back as can be remembered & W Indies & S Africa have always looked after their own interests which is understandable. Sri Lanka have been their only friends, perhaps to repay them for their support in their own time of need. The PCB aim is clear - allot the world cup in 2015 to the same Asian bloc (including Pakistan) while shifting it to another country now. And what is wrong with that I ask?

Posted by Aura123 on (May 10, 2009, 22:16 GMT)

Osman let me say this that you sound like lawyer hired by people who do are benefiting by not having cricket or world cup in Pakistan. Totally one sided Colum. I can't believe you are from Pakistan.

Listen and read the news before writing this one sided colums. Only today 378 confirm dead in one day , do you think it will be safe playing cricket there becuase no one attacked cricket and what is the gurantee that no one will do after that kind of killing.

BBC news on 5th March 09 Bangladesh have postponed Pakistan's forthcoming tour of the country following government advice about security concerns

Australian refused to send there tennis team , no one was for going for IPL until it moved to SA

So my advice to Osman to sit back relax and don't just get emotional and alwasy write balance colum showing the whole picture not just one sided

Posted by sagam on (May 10, 2009, 21:55 GMT)

The last three paragraphs, summarizes everything!! most sensible & well written mature thinking from writer. Exactly the sentiments millions feels regarding PCB now a days. Well said Osman.

Posted by Vkarthik on (May 10, 2009, 21:19 GMT)

PCB should not forget they are part of ICC. As a member they should respect the democratic process practiced by ICC for all the important decisions. Pakistan lost its right to host the world cup through their approved process where every country rejected the idea of allowing Pakistan to host the matches. One would expect them to abide by that instead of taking it to the court. More PCB tries to work against the interests of ICC, more they will suffer in the future. Best path forward for PCB is to move on. Challenging an organization which you are part of will leave bad taste in one everyone's mouth.

One must say posture that PCB and its supporters took after the shooting incident didn't really go well with lot of people in ICC.

Posted by pvwadekar on (May 10, 2009, 20:44 GMT)

A very well written article Mr Osman. It seems from the comments posted on cricinfo.com @ http://content.cricinfo.com/pakistan/content/current/story/403690.html, that most of the pakistani's seem to think that taking the world cup matches away from them is legally wrong and that might, but the true is, that the situation is pakistan is really detoriationg(Swat Valley/Talibanization/US concerns for nukes). It's wishful thinking, that within the next 12 months, the situation would improve and pakistan would be able to miraculously host the WC matches.Now the foucs ought to be on getting the country safe for the general public & for playing cricket and not burning bridges with the asian bloc. In the long run these are the only two things that would bring back cricket to paksitan. PCB should stop the mentality of pulling others down with them.If they(Ind/SL/Bang) decide not to play,because of spite, then there is no chance for the others to come

Posted by PakCricketdotorg on (May 10, 2009, 20:19 GMT)

I am quite dissapointed in this current article posted of all the people i would be expecting you to support the board in this current situation. We as Pakistanis have all the rights to host the World Cup in UAE instead of Pakistan due to the current situation and being alienated by all the nations at this time when being not honored to be allowed to host them in UAE.

The PCB has indeed shown that UAE is a perfect place to host them where they are indeed secured a lot more than Bangladesh, India or Sri Lanka.

Posted by adeeeel on (May 10, 2009, 20:19 GMT)

I guess you are missing out on the main point here, it really isn't about the fact that Pakistan got stripped of its status of co-hosting the 2011 World Cup, it's the manner in which it got ripped is what has hurt the entire nation. What ICC should've done is to take the PCB and other Co-hosting nations into confidence and then discussed the possibilities of an alternate venue and then shud ve taken a decision. It is quite evident that the only thing matters to ICC is the BCCI. I truly hope that this case is heard at the CAS and the decision is revoked.

Posted by Regata4 on (May 10, 2009, 20:14 GMT)

the emotions may well be understandable but its time to think real. Its time to move one because Pakistan, one may agree or not, is literally on war. about 2000 terrorist attacks in 2008 and we dream to host a 16 nation sporting event. the best solution is to stop shouting, just play cricket wherever it may be, and let the game speak for a while. Just wait for better times and, in the mean while, lets re-organise the PCB.

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Osman SamiuddinClose
Osman Samiuddin Osman spent the first half of his life pretending he discovered reverse swing with a tennis ball half-covered with electrical tape. The second half of his life was spent trying, and failing, to find spiritual fulfillment in the world of Pakistani advertising and marketing. The third half of his life will be devoted to convincing people that he did discover reverse swing. And occasionally writing about cricket. And learning mathematics.

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