Where is Imran Khan's patriotism?

After all his speeches on national pride, India was his pick for the World Cup? Way to boost our team's morale.

Mohd Khanani February 09, 2011
In 1992 Imran Khan became the first Pakistani cricketer to lift the World Cup trophy, upsetting all odds and leaving the world shell-shocked.  Khan remains the only Pakistani captain to have led his team to a world cup win.

With the World Cup just a few days away, our players are looking to their national heroes for motivation but unfortunately, they were let down by Khan. After recently calling M S Dhoni the “best player in the world”, Imran has now tipped India for World Cup glory, dismissing his own country’s chances in favour of their archrivals.

Where did all of the 'jazba' for Pakistan go?

Swinging like a pendulum

Sadly, this is not the first time that Khan has had u-turns in his opinion.

  • 1999 : A good example is how he supported the military coup in 1999 but shortly after became a critic.

  • 2008: Imran joined hands with Nawaz Sharif (who he had previously called a “facist”) to attempt and remove Musharraf.

These incidents are baffling because Khan comes across as consistently passionate about Pakistan. He has moved crowds on numerous occasions by talking about the greatness of Pakistan and by invoking jazba in their hearts. The question is: does Khan have this 'jazba' in his heart?

Many will argue that Khan is a realist but this is debatable. Over the years he has displayed hope for his political party’s victory. Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has held only one seat in the National Assembly. So if he really is a realist, why doesn't he join a party with more realistic hope?

His optimism was also prevalent in his cricketing career when he bet large sums of money on his team winning even when the odds were against them. Does Khan think he is the only one who can lead Pakistan to a victory?

The national team has been rocked by various controversies over the last few months and has shockingly recovered from all these to win two back to back series. But despite the recent success, our team won’t be able to bring back the World Cup alone; it needs the support of the nation and its heroes. This will be most important if Pakistan plays its final matches amidst a hostile crowd in India. Isn't it time Khan takes back his words and backs the country which he hopes to govern some day?

Contrary to previous tournaments, Khan has decided to step up and become an official analyst/critic in this world cup on a TV show on a leading TV channel. If Khan is on this show with this pessimistic attitude, what impact will it have on the morale of our cricket team?

Khan is not only considered a hero and a role-model, but as the only Pakistani captain who knows how to win a World Cup. Could his words lower the victory chances of a nation whose has been dismissed by one its biggest self-proclaimed patriots?
Mohd Khanani The founder and president of Fanats FC and the youngest D-Certificate football coach ever, Mohammad writes on local football issues.
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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