Articles of the year 2006

Give them a dream

Watching the first test against India, I was painfully disappointed to see the stands empty of spectators. The newspapers reported a crowd of 12,000 for the Saturday game, from a stadium capacity of 50,000. In a city of sports enthusiasts, a city with the highest number of fun loving street urchins in the world, who have taken their fun to the roof tops, till the Hon Supreme Court of Pakistan stepped in to try and ban them. ( Contempt of court will be very difficult for the Judges to enforce let alone try.) The kite fliers would have loved to witness and to have shouted at each six and at each wicket. They would have put to use on a National level their experience of Hai Bbbbooo, translated into a more fitting shout for Cricket. The Lahori is a master at new expressions, and sure enough they must have been coined already and doing the rounds in the Kuchas of Lahore. Their enthusiasm has brought their kite flying to international recognition, and Basant has become a festival that attracts visitors from across the border, and is advertised in Dubai by travel agents as a must see. Certainly a first for any Pakistani event.

The lack of spectators at the Stadium shows unfortunately the sad lack of priorities of the Marketing arm of the PCB. While Sheryar has brought an air of complete cleanliness to Pakistani cricket, and lifted it away from the murky shenanigans of the match fixing bookies of Bombay and Sharjah, he must now concentrate on bringing the B**s to the seats. This is vitally important because with a stand full of 8-12 year olds, they would take back dreams of the Afridi sixes or the Shoaib helmet crunchers. Mr Chairman give them their dream for then you will have spawned a new crop of Imrans Shoaibs Afridis and Miandads. They have their idols, they need to witness the dream.

I would sincerely request that for the last day,win,lose or draw the children of Lahore should be brought in by the school load. The Students of KC should also be given free passes, for the stadium needs colour that has sadly been missing through the years. Please Mr Chairman this is an opportunity to lift the game from just another Cricket match, to that of a festival, a feast of cricket, for we Pakistanis beset as we are, with the aftermath of the earthquake, this would bring about a glimpse of happiness, which the poor, and the youth of Pakistan deserve. As the Chairman of PCB, your success will be gauged by the riot of color, and can set an example for all the matches that will follow, to emulate.