We don’t need Amir and Asif

Imran Khan is wrong! We do not need cricketers who have allegedly been involved in spot-fixing to win the World Cup.

Aly Somani December 13, 2010
Imran Khan, who was recently in New Delhi to promote the World Cup, proclaimed Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif to be “the best opening bowling pair in the world” and said that these bowlers are particularly significant to Pakistan’s chances of winning championship. He further said that without these bowlers in the team, the Pakistani bowling attack is “not potent.”

With all due respect to the cricket legend, I do not agree with Mr Khan’s comments here.

While I completely agree with him that Amir and Asif may be instrumental to Pakistan’s success at the World Cup, let’s not forget that these players were allegedly involved in match fixing. And this is definitely not the time to demoralise the existing team members by calling them incompetent.

The spot-fixing saga

Amir and Asif have not been convicted yet, but they have not been acquitted either. To be honest, I for one won’t be surprised if Amir and Asif are found guilty. While a young player like Amir’s involvement in the spot-fixing saga is deeply saddening, this is nothing new for Asif who has been prone to controversy off the field.

Let's put all emotions aside and be prepared for one of our worst nightmares - the two players  may be out of the cricket scene for a while. Do not defend these players. If they are found guilty, let them go and move on.

This is not the end of the world!

Pakistan has produced talent that has dazzled fans and cricketers worldwide. I would like to remind our former captain that our team has demonstrated great character, battling against considerable odds to win two ODI’s against South Africa and held them off in the test series as well - and they did this without Amir and Asif. They have it in them to do it again at the World Cup next year, but they need our support.

This is the time to imbue confidence in the existing team players and to back them up as our team goes through what may be one of the toughest periods in Pakistan’s cricket history and the players prepare for the mega event; some for the first time in their lives.

As Wasim Akram recently said,
“Let’s forget what problems we’ve been going through recently and with a positive frame of mind support the Pakistan team to win next year’s World Cup.”

A time to win back fans

More importantly, the Pakistani team doesn’t need to win the World Cup right now; they need to win back the hearts of cricket fans around the world. They need to show the world that they are ready to fight tooth and nail against the toughest opponents - that this sport and representing their country means everything to them.

It doesn’t matter if Amir and Asif play or not, not even who captains the team and it surely doesn’t matter if we win this World Cup. All that matters is that when it is all over, we can hold our heads high and proudly shout to the world, “We gave it our all!”
Aly Somani An undergraduate student at the University of Waterloo, majoring in computational mathematics, combinatorics and optimisation who has a special interest in writing.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

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