Brave or Crazy?

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The Cricketer with Mansoor Ahmed

I mentioned in my last column how brave the Sri Lankans were touring Pakistan when so many other teams had refused.

Their bravery nearly cost them their lives. It was a miracle that there were no fatalities given the planning and execution of the attack. The teams coach driver is being treated as a hero, who managed to keep driving despite shots being fired directly at him. He was later rewarded with half a million rupees by the government.

However the footage of a large army helicopter airlifting the Sri Lankan cricket team from the square in Qaddafi stadium has killed off prospects of any international cricket in Pakistan for at least a decade. The Pakistan Cricket Board is now looking for a home away from home with matches planned in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and England. This is bound to have a detrimental affect on Pakistani cricket and the country in general.

Javed Miandad has decided to rejoin the Pakistan Cricket Board after quitting the post in January this year after only 3 months citing it as a ‘limited role’. Now he believes everything is settled. A talented player during his prime, and one of the greats of Pakistan, he has always embroiled himself in controversies and scandals. 

He has had three stints as Pakistan coach and was recently said to be taking over the coaching role of the Afghan Cricket team. His amateurish attitude and childish behaviour has lost him many fans over the years, including myself. Instead of helping the PCB, he has been more of a disruptive influence in the recent past. Frankly, I believe Pakistan is better off without people like him and Shoaib Akhtar.

The IPL is set to flop in only its second year in my opinion. You may recall that I have never been a big fan of this format of cricket. The inaugural tournament was touted as a great success last year with large crowds (during the early stages), and huge TV audiences worldwide. But recent events and the upcoming General Elections have forced the Indian Cricket Board to switch the competition to South Africa. Some of the sponsors have already reduced their advertising budgets by up to 75% due to global financial turmoil. I have not met anyone yet, who is eagerly waiting to renew their subscription of Setanta Sports who will be broadcasting the event in UK.

Well I certainly won’t be – after all, who would want to watch Bangalore play Rajasthan in Durban?

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