Discrimination against cricketers

Published: January 31, 2013

Disregarding threats and disturbances due to protests, the Pakistan women’s team braved rain and cold weather to prepare for the World Cup. PHOTO: FILE

The Pakistan women’s cricket team’s visit to India for the World Cup has turned into a security and logistical nightmare. First, the team could not go to Mumbai, where its matches were originally scheduled, after the Shiv Sena started issuing its usual threats against visiting Pakistani teams. Now, hotels at the alternative venue of Cuttack and neighbouring city Bhubaneshwar have refused lodging to our players out of fear. Our cricketers now have to play this all-important tournament under virtual house arrest, with their accommodation being provided at the clubhouse of the stadium in which all their matches will be played. Every other team will be staying in five-star hotels. This discrimination is undoubtedly unfair and puts our team at a significant disadvantage. The team has been conciliatory about its treatment but the International Cricket Council (ICC) should take note of this.

International teams have refused to visit Pakistan over justified security fears. It seems, however, that if we simply put international teams at clubhouses in stadiums and refuse to let them go anywhere else, the security problem would apparently be solved. No country, of course, would accept such conditions to play cricket in Pakistan. Yet, our women cricketers are expected to put up with this in India. Additionally, the final of the tournament is supposed to be held in Mumbai. India needs to explain how our cricketers will be able to stay in Mumbai in the current climate if we reach the final.

The ICC also needs to consider if India should be allowed to hold multi-nation tournaments at a time when it can’t guarantee safety of all players. It is now too late to reschedule the World Cup and our pulling out of the tournament in protest will only heighten tensions. We should make clear that we are only playing under duress and that such conditions are unacceptable if any of our sportspersons tour India again. Instead of appeasing the anti-Pakistan extremists, the Indian government must ensure the safety and comfort of our players.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 31st, 2013.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • DarKnight
    Jan 31, 2013 - 11:54AM

    Why don’t you cancel their trip and asked them to come back to Pakistan if there are so much of discrimination or THREATS to their LIVES……..

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  • ashutosh
    Jan 31, 2013 - 12:07PM

    “The ICC also needs to consider if India should be allowed to hold multi-nation tournaments at a time when it can’t guarantee safety of all players”….international matches have been abandoned and an atmosphere of crisis prevails in pakistan. Any guess why….?

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  • Engr.Mohsin
    Jan 31, 2013 - 12:12PM

    If we have even an iota of self respect, we should refuse to play this tournament and sue the ICC and BCCI.

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  • gp65 .
    Jan 31, 2013 - 12:13PM

    “Instead of appeasing the anti-Pakistan extremists, the Indian government must ensure the safety and comfort of our players.”
    Seems to me that is exactly what the government is doing. Thumbing its nose at the extremists by ensuring extra security for the team players. You are undermining your own argument.

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  • Khan
    Jan 31, 2013 - 12:26PM

    Wow, and they fear the security issues in Pakistan. Shame on ICC and BCCI. Pakistan should show some guts and call back its team.

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  • gp65 .
    Jan 31, 2013 - 12:49PM

    Instead of appeasing the anti-Pakistan extremists, the Indian government must ensure the safety and comfort of our players.

    Isn’t that EXACTLY what India do?

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  • SM
    Jan 31, 2013 - 1:07PM

    You are right India is wrong to treat Pakistani cricketers like this by giving more importance to their security. You can follow the example set by Australia and England back in 1996 when they refused to play in Sri Lanka because of security reasons?

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  • Pan Mat
    Jan 31, 2013 - 1:43PM

    Our cricketers now have to play this all-important tournament under virtual house arrest,

    You would think that they probably feel right at home with these conditions! Probably happier since India does not switch off cellphone services at random for security purposes.

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  • Zakir
    Jan 31, 2013 - 2:43PM

    Imagine, if we had done this to the Indian team. Indian media and army would have threatened war over this issue. I dont understand why the team was sent in first place. As far as ICC goes, it is India Cricket Council for all intent and purpose, not the International Cricket Council. Stop expecting a far treatment from such pathetic excuse of a governing body.

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  • Cool Dude
    Jan 31, 2013 - 3:06PM

    Just a matter of shame, that hosting of world event given to a country who have not proper arrangement that they can give decent accomodation to a participating team.

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  • SS
    Jan 31, 2013 - 3:47PM

    I feel the indian trolls must end and all the stupid logic being presented in the comments – It’s an International Event and India doesn’t own it so India must ensure all level of commitments are met.

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  • SS
    Jan 31, 2013 - 3:49PM

    Not that scar of Commonwealth games was enough that Indians to defend this as well now.

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  • antanu g
    Jan 31, 2013 - 6:35PM

    author has raised a valid point. will international teams be ready to visit Pakistan if their security is ensured by putting them in stadium Clinton house?

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  • antanu g
    Jan 31, 2013 - 6:36PM

    author has raised a valid point. will international teams be ready to visit Pakistan if their security is ensured by putting them in stadium Club house?

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  • Imran
    Jan 31, 2013 - 7:09PM

    Indian govt and ICC must apologies from the people of Pakistan for security failure on their part.

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  • Feb 1, 2013 - 1:16AM

    This is ridiculous – first there is supposed breakthrough in relations between India/Pak on trade/visa-liberalization, which is promptly followed by beheading of an Indian soldier.

    Note just a month ago, the mens cricket team faced no such security concerns. So when the national mood in India turns sour towards Pakistan following the beheading, the Indian govt still allows Pakistani women to play. But then we complain about what they had to do to accommodate us.

    The simple fact is that:
    1. No one abroad sees this as a “security problem” since no other country’s players are so unwanted.
    2. No one abroad sees this as “discrimination”, but rather this is the cost of dealing with Pakistan’s rogue behavior.

    We will cry ourselves hoarse over the issue (as we always do), but there’s absolutely no doubt that when Pak speaks, across the world Nobody Hears and Nobody Cares. Which leads us to the conclusion that all this melodrama is for domestic consumption.

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  • Yoghurt lover
    Feb 1, 2013 - 5:57AM

    India should not take up any international events where it cannot host Pakistan properly.

    India has nor right to invite or Bully Pakistanis into coming to India and then mistreating them.

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