Cheat, Pray, Love

Published: September 3, 2010
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The writer is a barrister and a public policy graduate from Harvard University 
mahreen.khan@tribune.com.pk

The writer is a barrister and a public policy graduate from Harvard University mahreen.khan@tribune.com.pk

The first memory I have of praying, for anything, was as a young child on a summer’s day in London. After playing in the garden, I had come across my father, poised anxiously in front of the television, edgy and excited. “Pakistan khel raha hai”! Two men stood in the middle of a green lawn surrounded by other men, all dressed in white. It meant nothing to me until the indelible words that would precipitate a lifetime ritual: “Dua karo kay Pakistan jeet jaye! Buchon ki dua puri hoti hai.” I rushed off to my room, stood near the window, face tilted towards the sky, eyes shut in the earnest concentration that only the very young can display, infant hands raised: “Allah mian! Pakistan jeet jaye!”— 10 times. I ran back, confident the job was done: “Abboo – Pakistan jeet gaya?” The look on my father’s face was one I would become very familiar with over the years, such a confluence of emotions, flickering between sadness, resignation, annoyance, frustration and deep disappointment.

Such is the passion for cricket, particularly in Britain, where colonialism and cricket collide in the psyche of British Pakistanis. Following Pakistan’s fortunes, especially when they play on English soil, is almost a cathartic exercise. The Pakistan team represents much more to British Pakistanis, than just a sports team. In the early 1980s, in a Britain scarred by race riots and bitter racial divides, for young British Pakistanis, especially boys, a Pakistan versus England match was the only outlet for the anger, frustration and deprivation wrought by the racism they faced. Every big hit by our batsmen was a retort against racial slurs on the high-street, each English wicket demolished, a proclamation of physical prowess otherwise trampled by thugs, each Pakistan victory, an affirmation of pride in an identity that was otherwise denigrated.

The summer of 1987 was the turning point. Imran Khan led the Pakistan team to their first Test series victory in England. For the first time, British Pakistanis experienced pride in their identity — a pride that was endorsed as legitimate, by the usually caustic British press. Imran was a bona fide hero, an icon, on the cover of magazines, his talent and charisma lauded by the cream of English society. Smashed was the media stereotype of shopkeepers, taxi drivers and doctors with weird accents. Finally, there was something to be admired for: cricket.

For Pakistanis, cricket is their first love. We oscillate between giddiness and joy in good times, fervent prayers at each twist and turn and inconsolable grief in bad times. We argue, analyse and pour over each detail, staying up all night to yell encouragement at the television. The 1992 World Cup win is our national “JFK moment”. We know where we were when it happened. VCR machines stave off obsolescence just to replay the video “Imran’s Tigers”, highlights of the journey to cup-winning glory. We are hurt and angry, swearing never to care again, when our team loses. Yet at the very next win, all is forgiven, all is forgotten. We fall in love afresh, rejoicing in the streets, showering rose petals and adoringly kissing posters.

So the allegations of spot-fixing, made by a sleazy British tabloid, have been like a stab in the heart for Pakistanis, especially for British Pakistanis. Apart from the distress, they will also have to face the litany of snide remarks at the office, be the butt of jokes in school, seethe silently at brutal headlines and feel conflicted and confused, embarrassed and uncomfortable. In Pakistan, even more is at stake, as cricket is one of the few elements that unite Pakistanis from all provinces, social classes, sects and generations. Given the depressed state of the nation, there is little capacity to bear more loss, should these awful allegations ring true. As we wait anxiously for the outcome of the investigation, the child in me is still praying for Pakistan to win – not on the field this time – but in the courts of law and officialdom, for its very future in world cricket and because, no matter what, you never forget your first love.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 2010.

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Reader Comments (81)

  • Naqsh Khan
    Sep 3, 2010 - 2:20AM

    excellent writeup.

    thanks for publishing Recommend

  • GetALife
    Sep 3, 2010 - 2:22AM

    Looks like the adrenaline rush for bashing the realists is out of the system.. Feeling a tad depressed. Aye!Recommend

  • Bhatti
    Sep 3, 2010 - 3:09AM

    “As we wait anxiously for the outcome of the investigation, the child in me is still praying for Pakistan to win – not on the field this time – but in the courts of law and officialdom”…….Amin ! with tears in my eyes ! !Recommend

  • Mustafa
    Sep 3, 2010 - 3:31AM

    Excellent article written. Filld with emotions. Touch the hearts. I knw that cricket is the passion. Bt i never knew it also runs in the blood of british pakistan. Since, whats is going on these. I truly pray that may allah save the dignity of our country. ThanxRecommend

  • rizwan
    Sep 3, 2010 - 4:11AM

    Brilliant – lovely writingRecommend

  • Awais Khan
    Sep 3, 2010 - 4:13AM

    Spot on about the British Pakistani experience. Excellent piece. We are all feeling what you have described. I loved the recollection of the 1992 World Cup – wow.Recommend

  • Get Real
    Sep 3, 2010 - 4:16AM

    @GetA Lifle: not at all mate – where do you get that from? And you admit that the “realists” want people to feel depressed. Thats all they achieve – makes em feel better about their own sorry selves.

    Excellent stuff Mahreen. Keep it up. You are able to honestly portray what we feel.Recommend

  • Babar
    Sep 3, 2010 - 4:17AM

    Amazing – covers the range of emotions we are feeling. Lovely expressions and great analysis of the British Pakistani experience.Recommend

  • Amina
    Sep 3, 2010 - 4:24AM

    Another brilliant piece. You strike such a balance between presenting analysis but also tapping into the emotions of the situation. Great stuff!Recommend

  • Boy George
    Sep 3, 2010 - 4:25AM

    @GetALife : hardly! you need to emulate your nickname!

    Fantastic article.Recommend

  • NoReplyNeeded
    Sep 3, 2010 - 4:45AM

    @GetALife – sounds like you got a case of the sour grapes – disappointed this wasn’t a rebuttal. Aye aye!!!Recommend

  • Saima
    Sep 3, 2010 - 4:46AM

    Nicely written. You didnt express an opinion on whether the case against the cricketers will hold though. As a lawyer don’t you have an opinion on that?Recommend

  • Nazia
    Sep 3, 2010 - 4:54AM

    @GetALife – Irrelevant comment – move on!

    Excellent piece. I loved the bit about 1990’s Britain.Recommend

  • AA
    Sep 3, 2010 - 6:27AM

    Don’t you think, we are keeping God too busy with our prayers for frivolous things or things that are impossible? There are many life-and-death matters that need His urgent attention. No?Recommend

  • Saleem Kirla
    Sep 3, 2010 - 10:52AM

    Excellent piece, Ms Khan. Thank you for pointing out how a sleazy British paper is out to get us, given their alliance with the evil Indian-Israeli-American-Freemasonic nexus and active support from the “liberal” traitors in our midst. Mazhar Majeed was also planted by the anti-Pakistan lobby, which sent a text message out to all the “liberals” in Pakistan to start bashing us. It is indeed a heinous plot to destroy Pakistan, and only those who truly know and see the truth can guide us to victory.Recommend

  • Hasan
    Sep 3, 2010 - 11:39AM

    So the allegations of spot-fixing, made by a sleazy British tabloid, have been like a stab in the heart for Pakistanis, especially for British Pakistanis.

    What is sleazier, cheating or the one who reports on cheating?Recommend

  • Mike
    Sep 3, 2010 - 12:22PM

    What I fail to understand is why are the British tabloid regarded as ‘sleazy’ in this instance. They uncovered this matter against Pakistan…is that why? and more importantly by referring to this the author has failed to make a link to the overall ‘point’ of the article.Recommend

  • Hanya
    Sep 3, 2010 - 1:45PM

    Lovely writing – captured how much we love the game and how we feel in this situationRecommend

  • Annie
    Sep 3, 2010 - 2:29PM

    @Mike – No they were sleazy to begin with? Dont you live in England or you being obtuse? All they peddle is sleaze and they’ve been sued for it numerous times so it is correct to point out their credibility is not 100%.

    Very good piece – from the heart.Recommend

  • Sep 3, 2010 - 2:37PM

    Pakistan will again, Mahreen. Like it has always done after trials and troubles. If a British tabloid is out to get us, it is because some in our ranks are tainted. Let’s remember that. We’ll win because of the good people among us. But the bad ones will get us in trouble and will consort with shady people until we get rid of them. Recommend

  • Sep 3, 2010 - 2:38PM

    Pakistan will win again, Mahreen. Like it has always done after trials and troubles. If a British tabloid is out to get us, it is because some in our ranks are tainted. Let’s remember that. Some within our ranks provide them access and excuse.

    We’ll win because of the good people among us. But the bad ones will get us in trouble again and will consort with shady people until we get rid of them. And we should.Recommend

  • Shahrukh
    Sep 3, 2010 - 2:49PM

    Wonderfully written: enjoyed the retrospective on Imran – you’re right – that was the turning point.Recommend

  • Hala
    Sep 3, 2010 - 3:06PM

    Dear Mahreen Aziz Khan, you really should blame the cricketer’s who were into sleazy activities, NOT the tabloids who unearthed potentially damning evidence. And you should be thankful it was found before the rot spread to the entire team.Recommend

  • SKChadha
    Sep 3, 2010 - 3:15PM

    Latest:

    The cash trail leads to players. Scotland Yard officers are to question Salman Butt today over how marked notes were discovered in police searches of his hotel room and his locker at Lord’s cricket ground. Read the following story in Daily Mail, London

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1308507/Cricket-fixers-cash-trail-leads-Salman-Butt-Pakistan-diplomat-claims-players-set-up.html

    A poor excuse by Pak High Commissioner:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1308519/PAKISTAN-CRICKET-SCAM-A-poor-excuse-descent-corruption.htmlRecommend

  • Lubna
    Sep 3, 2010 - 6:27PM

    I am a British Pakistani, and embarassed as I might be by this episode, I would never support cheats- and please spare me the ‘innocent till proven guilty’ rhetoric- if the Pakistani nation still chooses to link its collective honour to a national sport that has been mired with corruption allegations for years then sadly it doesn’t say very much about us!
    Oh, and calling others sleazy when they expose us for what we are is what our top politicians do (what with the Swiss accounts and ‘Surrey Palaces’). Nothing is ever proven against them either…..Recommend

  • Sep 3, 2010 - 6:40PM

    Hmm. 92 World Cup… I was a kid then but I still remember what I felt when I heard the news that Pakistan won world cup. I also remember memorizing the very song ” the World cup is coming down…” and singing it all day in school with friends for month. The euphoria has no words to explicate. I also remember when there was Pakistan Vs West Indies ( the breakneck Lara… ) whole nation would pray and shiver, when there was Pakistan Vs India, whole nation would go crazy… as with them it’s not a match, it’s war.
    However, now it looks like our team’s shameless defeat after defeat Vs our nation’s hope against hope. I wonder how heartless one could be who would sell himself for some bucks when a nation as a whole is going through such depressing times.
    And no I wont suggest that they deserve to be beaten like the innocent guys in Sialkot… as I do believe that our players worth MORE than that. Recommend

  • uzma paracha
    Sep 3, 2010 - 6:58PM

    very well said !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! mahreen khan .We are all feeling what you have described. I loved the recollection of the 1992 World Cup – wow …Recommend

  • mustapha qaisar
    Sep 3, 2010 - 7:12PM

    Brilliant writeup!Recommend

  • RHM
    Sep 3, 2010 - 9:55PM

    Brilliant!! Recommend

  • Tilsim
    Sep 3, 2010 - 10:21PM

    Hmmm, have you thought of the effect the nightly negative news emanating out of Pakistan and reported on SKY tv is having on the British public? The nightly fare of terrorism, duplicity, kidnapping, honour killings, venal politicians, starving public, cheating cricketers, religious, political and sectarian violence is what the British public are hearing about night after night. Sport was one bright spot in that at least it provided some positive news about Pakistan. Now even that has been destroyed by the scandalous behaviour of certain Pakistan’s cricketers and the PCB. Recommend

  • jazzup
    Sep 3, 2010 - 10:58PM

    Adding fuel to injury.
    It’s a tabloid, nothing more than that.
    Old wine in the new bottle and of course with a new flavor; ” Spot Fixing”.
    With due respect, it has given enough chance to ” Logarts “, ” Powars ” , Speeds etc to damage the cricket of Pakistan.
    Further, at home in Pakistan, it has already provided a good opportunity to ” Cricket Lovers ” , ” Political Leaders ” to ” Manage Cricket “.

    Pakistan Cricket Team lacks ” Media Management ” as well as ” PR “.
    Yes, players can’t speak english, even great Waqar Younis still could n’t speak properly so they are bombarded with questions.

    Why not to ban all the betting sites ? Oops ” Human Rights “.

    Pakistan Cricket is ” Laundering ” the ” English Dirt “.Recommend

  • Meekal Ahmed
    Sep 4, 2010 - 12:13AM

    Madam,

    Rather than go through a myraid of emotions and stresss yourself out, do what I did:

    I gave up watching the game altogether.

    Just tune out. You will live longer and be happier. Recommend

  • Imran Khan
    Sep 4, 2010 - 12:36AM

    Hmmm its ironic that Ms. Mahreen in her last article was (sic)ing george’s claim to be a Pakistani, but then in this one she herself claims to be British?

    she complain about racism in Britain but then is more than happy to dole it out to one of those very few Brits who actually decided to take up our nationality? What gives? Recommend

  • Sep 4, 2010 - 12:56AM

    Interesting article.

    I miss the Cricket Matches during Imran Khan era.

    1992 reference to JFK is excellent.

    I pray that this crises gets over as we Pakistanis need to win to increase our morale.Recommend

  • raheel asghar
    Sep 4, 2010 - 2:45AM

    Brilliant write up – yes the British tabloids are sleazy – Scotland Yard did not find any marked money in Salman’s room as claimed. They are on a Pakistan – bashing orgy as always.Recommend

  • Daniyal
    Sep 4, 2010 - 2:48AM

    Wow – you write so well. Really fantastic. Loved reading it – summed up the whole journey we have had in Britain with cricket and our identity. You’re so right:

    The summer of 1987 was the turning point. Imran Khan led the Pakistan team to their first Test series victory in England. For the first time, British Pakistanis experienced pride in their identity — a pride that was endorsed as legitimate, by the usually caustic British press. Imran was a bona fide hero, an icon, on the cover of magazines, his talent and charisma lauded by the cream of English society. Smashed was the media stereotype of shopkeepers, taxi drivers and doctors with weird accents. Finally, there was something to be admired for: cricket.

    Excellent! Recommend

  • Dave
    Sep 4, 2010 - 2:52AM

    Yeah I agree – racism in Britain did lead to a greater identification with the Pakistan team for young British Pakistanis. The Tebbit test didnt help either. I hadn’t thought of the impact Imran Khan had – but yes you’re right – before him there was no Pakistani in the mainstream media.

    Informative and intelligent – I enjoyed reading this. Cheers!Recommend

  • Ahsan
    Sep 4, 2010 - 2:53AM

    One word – amazing!Recommend

  • Shahed
    Sep 4, 2010 - 2:57AM

    Excellent – from the heart. Thankfully no irresponsible statements about their presumed guilt. What’s wrong with people? Wait for the results of the enquiry – you would want others to if you were accused!Recommend

  • Imran Khan
    Sep 4, 2010 - 2:58AM

    Fabulous writing. From the heart and refreshing. Thank you.Recommend

  • Shaheen Saeed
    Sep 4, 2010 - 3:01AM

    I never realised it was such a big deal for British Pakistanis and that racism was prevalent even in the 80’s and 90’s. Very informative. Loved the 1992 World Cup reference – i have that video too!Recommend

  • Layton
    Sep 4, 2010 - 3:16AM

    I feel sorry for the Pakistanis. There is a culture of bashing Pakistan here but in this case the “sleazy tabloid” is sleazy with even local celebrities – they have been accused of illegal phone hacking and even called a “rogue newspaper” by former Deputy PM. But there is concern over how Scotland Yard treated the case:

    See NY Times Magazine today!!! 3 September:

    AS OF THIS SUMMER, five people have filed lawsuits accusing News Group Newspapers, a division of Rupert Murdoch’s publishing empire that includes News of the World, of breaking into their voice mail. Additional cases are being prepared, including one seeking a judicial review of Scotland Yard’s handling of the investigation. The litigation is beginning to expose just how far the hacking went, something that Scotland Yard did not do. In fact, an examination based on police records, court documents and interviews with investigators and reporters shows that Britain’s revered police agency failed to pursue leads suggesting that one of the country’s most powerful newspapers was routinely listening in on its citizens.

    The police had seized files from Mulcaire’s home in 2006 that contained several thousand mobile phone numbers of potential hacking victims and 91 mobile phone PIN codes. Scotland Yard even had a recording of Mulcaire walking one journalist — who may have worked at yet another tabloid — step by step through the hacking of a soccer official’s voice mail, according to a copy of the tape. But Scotland Yard focused almost exclusively on the royals case, which culminated with the imprisonment of Mulcaire and Goodman. When police officials presented evidence to prosecutors, they didn’t discuss crucial clues that the two men may not have been alone in hacking the voice mail messages of story targets.

    “There was simply no enthusiasm among Scotland Yard to go beyond the cases involving Mulcaire and Goodman,” said John Whittingdale, the chairman of a parliamentary committee that has twice investigated the phone hacking. “To start exposing widespread tawdry practices in that newsroom was a heavy stone that they didn’t want to try to lift.” Several investigators said in interviews that Scotland Yard was reluctant to conduct a wider inquiry in part because of its close relationship with News of the World. Police officials have defended their investigation, noting that their duties did not extend to monitoring the media. In a statement, the police said they followed the lines of inquiry “likely to produce the best evidence” and that the charges that were brought “appropriately represented the criminality uncovered.” The statement added, “This was a complex inquiry and led to one of the first prosecutions of its kind.” Officials also have noted that the department had more pressing priorities at the time, including several terrorism cases. Recommend

  • fahad raza
    Sep 4, 2010 - 3:35AM

    Superb – really enjoyed this.Recommend

  • Adeel
    Sep 4, 2010 - 4:58AM

    @Layton – interesting that even Scotland Yard’s role can be under scrutiny in UK – compared to our unquestioning acceptance of them.Recommend

  • Nina Ahmed
    Sep 4, 2010 - 4:59AM

    Lovely – very clever title too!Recommend

  • Afra
    Sep 4, 2010 - 5:08AM

    How many other teams have been targeted by this “sleazy tabloid”? None i suspect – thats where the bias against Pakistan is. Please write about this aspect too.Recommend

  • Adam Khan
    Sep 4, 2010 - 5:11AM

    I am a British Pakistani and love cricket. I dont remember 1980’s but I do remember the pride I felt when Pakistan won the Cup. Imran was truly a hero for us. But what the boys have been accused of has really embarrassed us – I did not want to go into work the day after. It was rough. But most Brits are fair minded and agree that the media can be vicious and goes to any limits to set people up – esp tabloids.

    Enjoyed reading this. It’s great to see British Pakistani feelings reflected.Recommend

  • Owais
    Sep 4, 2010 - 5:31AM

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/police-quiz-fix-probe-cricketers-14932630.html

    Freed without any charges by police. Now they can go onto deal with this ICC ban which most are saying was hasty. Let’s hope they learn to be ultra clean at all times – esp when in england where the knives are always out for pakistan.Recommend

  • Rania
    Sep 4, 2010 - 5:34AM

    No charges against the players by police – shows that you cant just condemn people off the bat. Need to calm down and let things take their course. Even English cricket experts are writing in to support our players – why cant we?Recommend

  • Dr Habib
    Sep 4, 2010 - 3:32PM

    We are an emotional nation and cricket means a great deal to us. I am shocked that people jumped to the conclusion they HAD to be guilty. Then went on to promise shocking treatment of them a la Silakot atrocity. Its the same reasoning of the mob – accuse, condemn and then kill – without the benefit of legal process or defendants rights.

    Yes on the face evidence may be damning just as it may have looked in Sialkot – but see what was real to the lynchers proved totally false under judicical scrutiny. What seems real on a television via a sleazy tabloid may have very large holes when scrutinised by police.

    Everyone just needs to give people more of the benefit of the doubt! Recommend

  • Mike
    Sep 4, 2010 - 3:36PM

    @Annie I think you fail to understand my question which still remains unanswered. I have lived in the UK and you cannot pass sweeping statements even in relation to the media. Even if the media are considered as sleazy in general, in the present instance this statement is completely baseless and unqualified. Lets face facts that nothing has 100% credibility and at this time there seems to be a great amount of truth to the matter, so I don’t think they can be considered sleazy, at least in the present case. Again this statement has nothing to do with the remainder of the article.Recommend

  • Natasha
    Sep 4, 2010 - 3:38PM

    Fantastic read Mahreen – it’s great that you did not fall prey to an ego trip and write a rebuttal to the rebuttals.

    Hope that cricket is cleaned up once and for all – we should get professional managers and PCB officials so the talent that is so abundant can be nurtured. I feel sorry for Amir.Recommend

  • Saqib
    Sep 4, 2010 - 3:46PM

    Superb analysis and beautifully written – took me on a journey back into the past.
    “JFK moment” – spot on!Recommend

  • Sameera
    Sep 4, 2010 - 3:48PM

    Elegant writing – totally captured the emotions we have without condemning or defending the players. Wow! What a unique talent that is!Recommend

  • Rashid Soomro
    Sep 4, 2010 - 3:50PM

    Ms Khan – lovely piece of writing but surely as a barrister you could have weighed in on the case too? That would have been more valuable wouldnt it?Recommend

  • safia
    Sep 4, 2010 - 10:38PM

    So well written–and so real –thanksRecommend

  • Zaeem
    Sep 5, 2010 - 12:09AM

    beautifully written .. sad though ..Recommend

  • Chris
    Sep 5, 2010 - 1:42AM

    @Mike – really please – everyone KNOWS how sleazy that paper in particular is. So its fair comment in any context – just as the word tabloid is. Why are you being so defensive?

    Mahreen – a good piece of writing – I think you were right not to pass judgment on the accused players. It seems Pakistanis are very quick to condemn without the full facts – comments about hanging the players for treason etc are disturbing. The Pakistani media is being a bit harsh too, in some cases.

    Its sad that cricket has been tainted for Pakistanis – we have had some very understanding positions taken by the likes of Atherton, Nasser and Pringle in the press in England. For the sake of cricket, of which I am an enthusiast, I hope Amir’s career is saved. He is a delight to watch.Recommend

  • Ahmad
    Sep 5, 2010 - 1:44AM

    @Mike – see Layton on comments 1. Answers your question pretty convincingly!!!

    Great column – loved it – thank you!!!Recommend

  • Faiz
    Sep 5, 2010 - 1:56AM

    Read the scomments – Mike (Englishman I presume) is attacking the use of ONE word – sleazy to describe a British newspaper more known for digging up celebrity affairs and sex scandals than quality journalism.

    Pakistanis – learn a lesson!!!! Have some self respect and learn to stand up for Pakistan and its people – then people wont dare mistreat us.Recommend

  • Anwar
    Sep 5, 2010 - 1:56AM

    I liked this piece – very different tone and feel to it. excellent.Recommend

  • Saba Khan
    Sep 5, 2010 - 1:58AM

    Super writing – I am British Pakistani and its so rare to see such a protrayal of what we feel:

    “Apart from the distress, they will also have to face the litany of snide remarks at the office, be the butt of jokes in school, seethe silently at brutal headlines and feel conflicted and confused, embarrassed and uncomfortable.”

    Bravo!Recommend

  • Farooq Ishaq
    Sep 5, 2010 - 2:00AM

    Great article but I would have liked to see a discussion of the evidence against these cricketers. The paper is sleazy for sure and has been accused of illegal hacking too. Big story in the UK press just today about it. But what other explanation is there?Recommend

  • Farhan Ali
    Sep 5, 2010 - 2:04AM

    @Mike – come come now. It’s sleaze central! Illegal hacking – bugging – libel suits – sex scandals etc etc etc. So why would you object?

    The article is about the emotional impact of the case and the fact that a sleazy paper has made the allegations is worse – rather than if it was the ICC for example or a more quality newspaper whose language and tone would have been less brutal and scandalous – the tone and impact has changed esp for British Pakistanis. That’s the point Mike. At least that’s my reading of it.Recommend

  • Raja
    Sep 5, 2010 - 2:09AM

    Good stuff – liked the reminiscences of 1980’s and 90’s – brought back great memories.Recommend

  • Rasheed
    Sep 5, 2010 - 2:10AM

    Thanks for a soulful piece. Am fed up of the constant pronouncements so many of these writers make without even knowing the facts.Recommend

  • Anand
    Sep 5, 2010 - 2:12AM

    Liked the writing – although I do think the cricketers deserve to be punished. I love cricket and even though i support India I dont want to see Pakistan out of play. it would be a real loss – so I too am hopeful Pakistan cricket will live on.Recommend

  • Amir
    Sep 5, 2010 - 2:13AM

    Super! I am praying too – loved the last line.Recommend

  • Rukhsana
    Sep 5, 2010 - 2:14AM

    We are all praying – thats true – Pakistan should come out of this stronger and clean up any mess. PCB is to blame – they are just youngsters. I feel sorry for Amir.Recommend

  • Reema S
    Sep 5, 2010 - 2:16AM

    Nice write up – I am praying too that this is cleared up without further damage to our national honour – it hurts that this has happened but it is a chance to shake up the corrupt people at the top who have doen this. I think the players are not solely to blame for this mess.Recommend

  • Shaista
    Sep 5, 2010 - 2:17AM

    I love the way you write – its just a pleasure to read.Recommend

  • Rani
    Sep 5, 2010 - 2:20AM

    Lovely – very emotive writing.Recommend

  • Farook
    Sep 5, 2010 - 2:27AM

    Very nice – Ms Khan.

    I am so surprised about the comments defending that sleazy paper – innocent till proven guilty is not rhetoric – it’s an inalienable right. Jeez! Recommend

  • F.K
    Sep 5, 2010 - 4:49PM

    amen….we shall rise again.Recommend

  • Lubna
    Sep 5, 2010 - 5:43PM

    @Farook and everyone defending “our boys”:

    Face up!

    The sleazy paper is most likely telling the truth and you know it ! (and the truth hurts)
    Using the race card when cornered is a clever tactic but doesn’t really work – it only irritates and alienates others.
    NO ONE IS OUT TO GET US. Pakistan team weren’t doing that great to begin with and the details of this scandal explain why. The Conspiracy Theorists would have had a leg to stand on if the Team were actually winning and these revelations threw a spanner in the works. The truth is that these players weren’t really playing for Pakistan, and in fact have not been playing for Pakistan for a while (re the series in Australia) they are only out to make money for THEMSELVES and don’t deserve your loyalty!

    As for the ‘Innocent till proven guilty rhetoric’, well sadly that’s what it actually is. The case against these players may be difficult to prove (as the evidence may be circumstantial) but that doesn’t make them innocent. Because by using that argument you would let all our corrupt Politicians off the hook. None of the cases against them can be proven – Do you believe they are innocent too?Recommend

  • mario
    Sep 5, 2010 - 6:17PM

    Seriously, you just cannot come up with your own ideas…..can you? Even the title is taken from a Hollywood movie “Eat, Pray, Love”

    Secondly please pray that those who did wrong should get the justice as we don’t want cheats to come and represent us again.

    Don’t blame British tabloid and cry for the fact that team was setup, there is so much evidence against them that its impossible they can getaway with it….and I hope they won’t.

    Despite all that is going on and all the problems we are facing, we as Pakistanis should stay in calm and united in all aspects of life but that does not mean we try and cover up the cheats just because they are one of us. Obviously, the rule is “you are innocent until proven guilty” but we all know that those boys are involved and in best interest of cricket this should end now for once and for all.Recommend

  • Aliya Zaidi
    Sep 6, 2010 - 12:11AM

    @Mario – umm yeah the title is SUPPOSED to be a take on the Eat Pray Love title!!!
    No one is saying whether they got set up but seeing how many times this paper has been sued and it is a sleazy paper I would want to wait for the ICC invenstigation or some credible body.
    @Lubna – do keep in mind the rhetoric if you ever find yourself accused of something. Celebrities are human too – your point is just inhumane.

    Of course no one should get away wth wrong doing – but equally people have the right to a fair hearing – even celebrities. Recommend

  • feryal
    Sep 6, 2010 - 12:21AM

    Lovely piece of writing – Pakistani cricket has been a source of such entertainment in the world. I hope that they can clean up this mess – but the PCB is most to blame. Get rid of the current political appointees and get professionals in. Mr 10% is the patron in chief – what do you expect?Recommend

  • Salman Arshad
    Sep 6, 2010 - 2:54AM

    Our cricketers are innocent just like Zardari… nothing could be proved against them..

    So we must stand behind them..
    Even Afridi biting the ball was not his fault.. RAW had implanted muscular movement gadgets in his brain and they were controlling him from far..
    So we must stand behind them..

    And on top of this we should have the shameless courage to ask Allah to HELP our crooks !!!Recommend

  • Saif M
    Sep 6, 2010 - 4:18AM

    @Salman Arshad

    Agree with you. We must pray to God in this holy month of Ramadan (or is it Ramzan?) to help all our crooks and cheats out of the web of crookery and deceit they have entangled themselves in. After all, it’s a question of our honor. Recommend

  • Lubna
    Sep 6, 2010 - 4:03PM

    @Aliya Zaidi:
    The accusations against these players are backed by EVIDENCE – evidence strong enough for the ICC to have banned them from playing in the current series! Even our (not so bright) High Commissioner has changed his tune now that a fellow player unwittingly caught on camera implicated them even further. So far we haven’t heard any intelligent or plausible explanation for this affair from the Pakistan side, other than a ‘Innocent till proven guilty’ RHETORIC. The best we seem to come up with are bizarre conspiracy theories, name calling and an unhealthy obsession with our ‘National Honour’! There is no “honour’ in supporting cheats. We do not realize this but we are actually doing our country more harm by calling this whole thing a ‘Conspiracy against Pakistanis’ rather than distancing ourselves from this mess and demanding an investigation so that those found guilty can be punished! Recommend

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