August 28, 2010

The Three Balls that have Changed the Face of Pakistan Cricket

The moral clout of Pakistan cricket lost forever.
It seems as if Pakistan’s lucky stars have gone on vacation. Everywhere you look, bad luck appears to be the main culprit, the new disease affecting us. It all started one fine day with the statement of David Cameron about how Pakistan is playing the role of a double agent in Afghanistan. Since then, we’ve gone even further south than we already were (if that’s possible), while the gods have bestowed glad tidings in David Cameron’s house in the form of a daughter.

The first event in this series of unprecedented events was the Airblue flight ED – 202 crash that led to the deaths of 152 passengers. The cockpit recorder shows that a third person was present in the cockpit at the time of the crash. Perhaps our affinity for the complete disregard of rules was the cause of the crash? But I speculate. Let’s move on. A few days after the crash, an even bigger calamity struck the nation, one that we were quite unprepared for. The floods came crashing down upon as if we were mere sticks in the way of the mighty oceans. Man’s helplessness against Mother Nature’s fury was thrown into sharp relief, or rather [sic] Pakistanis’ helplessness against everything, from God to God’s creations, was thrown into sharp relief. We mourned the loss of 1600 people. But even if that was not enough to shake your fragile bones, the Sialkot incident where a mob lynched two brothers publically would have made even the pacifists of the world turn in their graves. Take your pick.

We were just beginning to come to grips with the magnitude of the disaster that hit us, the floods, and the human toll; the suffering of those who were ravaged and displaced, and the fact that we have entered extremely hard economic times here in Pakistan that another bombshell was dropped on us. In fact, it has just been dropped a few hours ago. The Pakistan cricket team’s players are involved in the ugly business of match fixing. And not just match fixing, what a case of match fixing it is. It is detailed down to the last inch by the News of the World. Just click the link and you will know what I mean.

Aesthetics aside, and the moral scrutiny that Pakistan will once again have to undergo, there is little that we Pakistanis back at home can do but hang up our heads in shame. Of course the morally deceased amongst will have a problem with that and will say that this is no unique incident in the history of cricket, and such incidents have happened in the past. You are very right, but the fact is a decade since the idea of match fixing was finally laid to rest in world cricket, it has raised its head once again and Pakistan is associated with the notion.

What scares me most though is that our panacea for such ills is temporary and short lived. We will change a few players, shuffle a few players, remove a few players, and all will be well. That is how it has always been. The one thing that is not how it has always been is the fact that the Pakistanis are staring into their reflection, and realizing how doomed we are.

But it shouldn’t surprise any of us. Without delving into the morbid business of cursing our own selves and justifying the natural calamities that have struck in the last month, I do feel that there is nothing of substance left now to call ourselves proud Pakistanis. We have been badly let down by our own President, and we have been humiliated beyond known boundaries of despair by our cricketers. The repercussions of the Pakistani antics in the cricketing arena will be profound and vast for the world. The only question left is: Will they make an impact in the shameless world of Pakistan?