Articles of the year 2009

Another Cricket Fiasco
Published on June 06th, 2009

Our cricket leadership has created an unnecessary controversy where none existed. The latest PCB stupidity has been highlighted by the Manchester Guardian, in a piece by Barry Glendenning published on May 30, 2009: "The Pakistan Cricket Board seemed to take great pleasure revealing the excruciating minutiae of Akhtar's embarrassing condition." In this one sentence Glendenning has given his verdict on the disgraceful conduct of the PCB. This article has been seen by many people as the Guardian is a very widely read newspaper, and highly respected, so its comments are valued throughout its extensive readership.

The conduct of the PCB, in publicising Akhtar's ailment will immediately affect the whole team as not many opponents would wish to shake hands with the Chairman of the PCB lest he be carrying the dreaded virus. The medical board of the PCB may itself have to be certified by an international team of medics. The use of common changing rooms would also have to be reviewed.

The PCB has unnecessarily consigned the Pakistan Cricket team to a leper colony, for this disease is highly contagious and socially unacceptable - requiring the admission to any partner of being a carrier. The social life of the entire Pakistan team has just been curtailed, for who would want an autograph from a carrier, parents would certainly not allow their children any proximity to a Pakistani cricketer or his cohort, nor would any dignitary wish to shake the hand of any team member. A Royal visit is of course out of the question.

Thank you Mr Ijaz Butt you have destroyed the image of our entire team, for I can assure you that you or your team will no longer be socially acceptable nor welcome in any decent homes. The chairman PCB does not realise that in this world sportsmen are considered to be the paragons of clean living, and their spectacular results are the product of a healthy virtuous lifestyle. But when the Board itself publicly admits that a member has been found in a contaminated state then the quarantine rules will apply, but who will clear the players? The PCB has not realised the extent of damage they have done to the whole team and themselves. I for one have cancelled the reception I was to attend, I have found something safer and cleaner to attend.

It is therefore not surprising that in our picking and appointing people on a whim can and is dangerous for the institutions as is happening in the country, for when merit is ignored then the Ijaz Butts and Dr Nasim Ashrafs will appear and disappear when their sponsors change, but the damage they wreak will remain to haunt us.

The performance of the team is a foregone conclusion, and unless President Zardari steps in right away to remove Ijaz Butt and brings in someone with a sense of decency, above all a patriotic sense of duty. Without the Shoaib Akhtars of Pakistan, Mr Butt would be running a Pan Shop in Mochi Gate. President Zardari will be blamed for foisting upon us an inept and worse, an incompetent chairman of PCB. In these troubled times, when we are drowning in a sea of troubles, the faint glimmer of hope would have been a decent result in the upcoming cricket cup. Ijaz Butt has already placed us in a handicap, for the British Media will have a field day at our expense. The British have a preponderance of louts, who need any excuse to go Paki-bashing, and our chairman has given them one in spades. Mr President he will not resign please sack him. The country is at an all time low, we need desperately something to cheer us up. A couple of good wins would do miracles for us. Unfortunately miracles will continue to be denied to us unless Mr Butt and his ilk are removed.

The amazing part is that the PCB has not realised that sports, and cricket in particular have a special code of conduct which has been violated by yobs such as Ijaz Butt. His conduct has certainly proved that Pakistan even before the opening whistle is in the wrong hands.

Not the players, but the conduct of the chairman PCB has certainly cast our players in an unenviable position as social outcasts - pariahs certified by our own officials.

The Guardian was kind in saying: "The world was made aware of this news by the Pakistan Cricket Board, who aired the revelation in a completely unnecessary statement detailing the excruciating minutiae of the condition that prevented Shoaib from travelling. The more compassionate approach would surely have been to issue a vague press release reporting that he'd been ruled out with an unspecified niggle, thereby affording the poor sod some privacy during a very difficult time. But given the long standing acrimony that exists between Shoaib and the PCB, it is a sad day when the only crumbs of support are by the words completely unnecessary more compassionate unspecified niggle."

The Guardian has just given our PCB a lesson in good manners.

The sacred 'patient doctor' confidentiality has not yet been considered. A hefty lawsuit could buy Shoaib his own team and a new chairman, while Mr Butt would be counting the many ways to grovel his Butt into the ground.