Cricket disappointment

Published: April 20, 2012

The Bangladesh court’s ruling can hardly be described as unjust. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Just as cricket fans in the country were getting ready to witness international cricket on home turf for the first time since 2009 — when the terrorist attack on the visiting Sri Lankan team brought an international ban on fixtures in Pakistan — the tour has been ‘postponed’ on security grounds. The lights at the Gaddafi stadium for the day-night one-day international will not take place at present after all and the plans being made by families and groups of youngsters to watch the matches have had to be cancelled.

This comes after a court in Dhaka asked the Bangladesh Cricket Board to explain why it had scheduled the trip to Pakistan, putting the lives of national cricketers at risk given the security situation in the country. The court is hearing a petition moved by two citizens. While Pakistan has reacted with predictable dismay, the court’s ruling can hardly be described as unjust. The fact that we have to live with is that Pakistan is perceived as a highly dangerous place by people all over the world. There is good reason why people fear travelling to this part and likewise, the anxiety of the Bangladesh cricket team is justified. The numerous terrorist attacks that we have seen over the last few months are one reason for this. The most daring of these has been the recent raid on Bannu prison by some 200 Taliban militants who were able to free around 350 prisoners including highly-wanted persons such as ex-air force technician Adnan Rashid, accused of being involved in an attempt on the life on General Musharraf. Such reports do little to assure people that Pakistan is a safe place.

The truth is that Pakistan is unlikely to see international cricket being played again on its soil until it can improve the existing turmoil within the country. Bangladesh’s outgoing cricket coach Stuart Law had already expressed concern over the tour even before the court ruling. We need to act against terror and wipe it out if we are to persuade foreign teams to visit our shores. The Bangladesh episode should act as a reminder of this and as an example of how miserably we have failed thus far in the war on terror.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 21st, 2012.

 

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Arindom
    Apr 21, 2012 - 1:11AM

    Good to see you’re not blaming RAW fo rthe whole episode – like many other bloggers!!!

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  • Mirza
    Apr 21, 2012 - 2:40AM

    A pragmatic and timely editorial on the subject. Thanks for being open and honest and not attacking the other party.
    Let us make Pakistan truly a land of the pak and people would love to visit us. It is that simple, it is not rocket science. Why do I love to go to Malaysia, because I always feel safe. In fact I would not mind making a winter home there just because it is peaceful, safe and welcoming. One never feels threatened especially in the smaller cities.
    Let us assume for the sake of argument, if there were a mishap with BD, it would have hurt our future relationships and would have brought the bitter past out once again. It is a game and unless both sides feel free and enjoy it, there is no point to make it an issue.

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  • Apr 21, 2012 - 2:48AM

    Bcci is behind this!!!!

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  • narayana murthy
    Apr 21, 2012 - 6:24AM

    well actually, who would want to visit a country that names its stadium after a mass murderer – Qaddafi?!!

    What next? Osama airport? Hafiz Saeed bus terminus? Assad train station?

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  • abhi
    Apr 21, 2012 - 10:02AM

    I know many will be blaming India for this, but they should also consider without bangladesh being independent country they would not have had the chance of a foreign country visiting pakistan.

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  • Indian Troll Interceptor
    Apr 21, 2012 - 11:57AM

    @narayana murthy: We didnt name the stadium by his name just yesterday. It has been the same for over 30 years. Was he a mass murderer since then? Maybe you would like it if we name it a Dawood Ibrahim stadium or Ajmal Kasab terminal. That burns huh?

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  • Ajamal
    Apr 21, 2012 - 12:20PM

    Let’s forget tours by foreign teams. Pakistan team has played quite well abroad in good conditions without any fears to the players / spectators of both sides.

    Why care about playing in Pakistan as long as those moroons rule the country.

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  • narayana murthy
    Apr 21, 2012 - 1:16PM

    @Indian Troll Interceptor

    “We didnt name the stadium by his name just yesterday. It has been the same for over 30 years. Was he a mass murderer since then? Maybe you would like it if we name it a Dawood Ibrahim stadium or Ajmal Kasab terminal. That burns huh?”

    You would actually do that. Self destructive Pakistanis are capable of doing that also.

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  • Indian Troll
    Apr 21, 2012 - 1:19PM

    @Indian Troll Interceptor:

    nobody will be surprised if pakistan does that

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  • IZ
    Apr 21, 2012 - 6:25PM

    @narayana murthy – generally I don’t like all these anti-India comments and so forth on this site, but don’t you think your hysterical objection to the name of Qaddafi stadium is a bit rich coming from someone whose country has several stadiums, and even the road that Eden Gardens is located on, named after someone who swore allegiance to Adolf Hitler (Subhash Chandra Bose)?

    And by the way, I do believe that the stadium should be renamed.

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  • narayana murthy
    Apr 21, 2012 - 7:05PM

    @IZ who writes “is a bit rich coming from someone whose country has several stadiums, and even the road that Eden Gardens is located on, named after someone who swore allegiance to Adolf Hitler (Subhash Chandra Bose)?”

    Your analogy is stupid.

    Subhash Chandra Bose was not Hitler. Subhash Chandra Bose was not a mass murderer. He was not a racist.

    Only Pakistanis can come up with such stupidest analogy.

    Comparing Hafis saeed to Modi. Comparing Osama to Bal Thackaray.

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  • antanu g
    Apr 21, 2012 - 11:03PM

    @narayana murthy:
    when qaddafi was a mass murderer….? you believe so since the WEST says so…and what about the mass murderer like BUSH..? Recommend

  • york
    Apr 22, 2012 - 10:30AM

    @antanu g:
    we will rename ‘BUSH’ stadium if we hav one. who cares west?

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  • Apr 23, 2012 - 9:57PM

    Our sympathies are with the cricket-loving nation of Pakistan and their frustration over the lack of international cricket in their country. Can we really blame the international teams for refusing to tour Pakistan? Terrorism has claimed thousands of lives from remote villages to mega metropolises around the country. And in recent days attacks like the one on Bunnu jail do not help either. The lack of international competition has not only deprived the cricket-loving nation from watching the games in their city stadiums, but it has also hurts the nation’s economy. The large stadiums in Lahore, Karachi and other cities that can hold thousands of spectators have been vacant for years. Sports tourism has suffered as well. Is it not time to bring mega cricket back to Pakistan? The only way to do so is to make the country free of terrorists whose only recourse is death and destruction. Pakistani Security Forces have been battling the terrorists, but still a few who hide in the remote areas recruit more youngsters on the false pretext of extremism in the name of religion. Pakistan cannot be made hostage to a handful of terrorists. You are a proud nation and love your cricket. It is high time those terrorists are not given any more chances to take away the thing you value and love. It is time we regroup and go after the terrorist organizations together to eliminate them completely so a nation that is deprived of simple things can enjoy them once again.

    Maj David Nevers
    DET-United States Central Command
    http://www.centcom.mil/ur

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