Cricket disappointment

The Bangladesh court’s ruling can hardly be described as unjust.

Editorial April 20, 2012

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.



US CENTCOM | 9 years ago | Reply

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

york | 9 years ago | Reply

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

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