Saturday, August 28, 2010

Why Pakistan Why?

Pakistani's don't grow up being the next Bill gates, Roger Federer, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods or Husain Bolt, we grow up wanting to be Cricketers. And our chosen heroes are the Pakistani cricket team.

The living dream of every young buck lacing his gully with an array of pull, cut and various creative cross bat shots reminiscent of the likes of Saeed Anwar, Inzamam Ul Haq to name a few or perhaps bowl as fast as Shoaib Akhtar, ruthlessly as Waqar Younis and majestically as Wasim Akram. and that perhaps one day, if we were good enough, we'd play for Pakistan. Few of us do, we honor those that do above all others. 

These cricketers were not merely our sportsmen, they were our heroes. We feted them, we loved them, we cherished them. We burdened them with providing us with an avenue to escape the mundaneness of our every day lives and garnering pride in Pakistan. 

Our country has failed itself, and to be fair it's not all our own fault (Floods, Hurricanes, Earth Quakes), but more than enough of it is (Corruption, Mismanagement & pure incompetence). Pakistan was never perfect, but our cricket team was always there for us. Win, Lose or Draw, they were our own. Until Now. 

A British tabloid, The News of the World, gleefully revealed the sad truth that has haunted our nation for generations, that our International Sporting Ambassadors accepted bribes in exchange for altering/shaping their performance, whether it was bowling a sequence of No-Balls or Playing out a Maiden over, it's blindingly apparent that they were all guilty. 

And no, we can't blame this on a Zionist conspiracy, they don't even play cricket. 

To those responsible; Our Captain (leading from the front as always), Our Wicket Keeper (poor form or just an obsessive love of money I have to wonder), Our Premier Fast Bowlers (as quick to make a buck as to bowl), I abhor you and if you were in front of me now, I'd spit of your faces and let you rot in jail; and not the Zardari kind.....

 My heard shudders at the thought that if this just the start? I forlornly hope it's not, but I'm fairly certain that there is yet more feces yet to be flung onto our Nation's already desecrated flag. The white was already fading under the weight of intolerance but the rest grows murkier. 

I'm not sure if it'll ever be the same, or that I'll ever be able to watch my team again without feeling utter disgust for the players that pretend to wear that green with anything resembling pride.

Congratulations Team, you have sullied my faith in ALL things Pakistan. What did we do to deserve this? Could we have loved you anymore? Cheered you any louder? Supported you regardless of your pathetic effort on the pitches of our former colonial rulers? Obviously this is our fault. 

Thank you for blighting every child's dream of playing for Pakistan. Apparently it's not worth anything more than a bundle of pounds packed away in a swiss bank. 

We loved you too much and now watch us hate you....with religious zeal. 

Here are some links for anyone who wants to read more on this. The bluster and inexcusability of it all sickens me.


Fiaa's World said...

True that is:). Totally chagrined over this news.

Drake Sigar said...

Wow, I cannot fathom such a betrayal. They deserve every shred of hate mail and every glob of phlegm they get!

Alpha Za said...

@ Fiaa: Thanks for the comment, and to think that this is just the start.

@Drake: Thanks for the first time comment, I'll be sending them alot of it personally.

Alpha Za said...

@ Anum: Thanks for the comment, I'm actually more of a fan of a Prison sentence. As far as I'm concerned, this is as bad as treason.

Yo Mista! said...

They should be banned from playing cricket in the country for life and forced to do community service! Oh wait, that requires a government...

Anonymous said...

Hey, guys, lighten up! First nothing's proved, and this is a British tabloid newspaper - not the place you'd naturally go for the truth. Innocent until proven guilty and all that.
Second this is a game. It's a great game, but it is just a game. Those in political power who have a vested interest in keeping the people amused so that they don't look too closely at what they are doing, incite this rabid, excessive interest in sport for just that purpose. Bread and circuses and all that. Cricket isn't Pakistan anymore than Pakistan is cricket. You have art, philosophy, men of intellect, history, culture, and you think all that is brought to dust because some idiots might, just possibly, have connived at a betting scam. Pleeeease!
Cricket is held up as the exmplar of fair play. This is clearly rubbish. In my country cricket was historically a betting game, and was accompanied by all the deviousness and cheating that comes with betting. The great sainted W.G. wasn't above a flutter, and he was the most atrocious cheat. The Victorians for political reasons created this myth of fair play in cricket - it was supposed to reflect the values of the Empire. Well I think you of all people know what those values really were.
So get your sense of perspective back, don't imagine if this happened it's anything unusual. And if it happened these people didn't demean Pakistan, they couldn't because all tho' you sent them out to play as your national team that's only a fiction invented by the games administrators. Who said they could decide that there is nationhood in sport. It's crap!
These men are merely sportsmen (and that just means people who play sport) honour) and if they were involved in a betting scam they demeaned themselves, not Pakistan.

Alpha Za said...

@ Yo Mista: Haha, I think this latest indiscretion may even force the govt. to act.

@ Alec: News of the World typically does really well in it's sting operations, plus they have video evidence.

Cricket is fantastic game, I doubt any politician is farsighted enough to promote sports, particularly now, when they are fighting newspaper space with the latest Premiership footballers hairdo.

I think you severely estimate our passion for cricket, no kid grows up wanting to be a poet, historian, man of intellect, they all want to be crickers!

We create our own history, and I think the victorians got it right when they brought the fairplay into cricket. All sports evolve.

We get to decide who represents us, and when a team officially play in Pakistani colors to play other nations team, well they represent our country, hence they are our team. It's a good fiction, but so is government, a sense of law and any number of social conventions.

They demeaned themselves and humiliated everyone who put faith in them; which happens to be Pakistanis all over.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could get across to you Murtaza, the wrongheadedness of this view. Wrong on so many levels. Many children grow up wanting to be historians, poets, etc. Many want to grow up being sportsmen fine, but how much is that due to relentless advertising and constant banging on about sport in the mindless media.
Rules are usually present in sport, but the identification of cricket with the paradigm of fair play had a more sinister purpose. Evolution is not necessarily always in the right direction.
How do you get to choose the team that represents you, who is the 'you' referred to? Are you telling me that every person in Pakistan feels that their cricket team represents them? And are the people who have no interest in cricket and don't think the cricket team is in some way identifiable with them or their country not Pakistani? Is this real?
What do you mean by 'officially play in Pakistani colours'? What's official about it? Are cricket administrators suddenly the arbiters of what is Pakistani. Will they be able to legislate on human rights and declare war next? No they are 'boring old farts' to employ a description from another sport) who once played cricket and now think they and the sport are an extension of the nation. It isn't. It is a game, an entertainment. It's regrettable when there is chicanery and cheating, but it doesn't mean Pakistan has cheated. Who in their right mind would think so! It's a measure of the stupidity of what we have done to sport that so many have been deluded into thinking that it has.

Anonymous said...

OH, NO! It's happened again! I been had by the biggest kidder on the planet! AGAIN! Murtaza, I hate you! How come you always fool me. I must repeat over and over to myself, 'It's not real; it's not real; it's not real!' You are so good at it. I will sign myself into a home for the terminally gullible immediately! Love, Alec xx

Alpha Za said...

@ Alec: There is glory in sports, not as much as in being a historian, I'm sure there are alot of kids out there who think history is cool, but I'll bet that 90% of them wished they had the talent of Tiger Woods or Ronaldo.

When you're a kid you don't really care about the media, you just enjoy playing, and seeing others pull of stuff that you wish you could. In this case the Media follows whats popular other than the other way around. Scandals regarding historians aren't that interesting.

I think you're overreaching with sinisterness of fair play. The truth is that we'd all rather play games where it were fair, rather than cheating infected.

Your team is chosen either by birth or choice. Birth is your default setting. Even people who have no interest in Cricket (unless we're winning), are still fair weather fans, almost all of them at some point of their lives were interested in Cricket, because frankly in Pakistan it's the most widely played, most popular sport. It becomes a part of our lives and our National team even more so. So in conclusion; yes it's real.

The Pakistan National Team is chosen by a body of experts; the best players are chosen (debatable) from the ENTIRE Country. Administrators are not arbitrators of what is Pakistani, declaring war, human right etc. all they get to decide is what team to send on whatever tour. Those are the guys that represent us. If a sportsman disgraces himself in the olympics, he disgraces who he represents. Entertainment or not, there is a reason people cheer their team on, they cheer their nation on. not the individuals.

It's not a game. It is life.

PS: nice catch, I was certain it'd take a solid week for you to get it. tally ho.

Naila said...

Its just so disgusting! It almost makes me not want to watch cricket. And thats a big statement because I am a big cricket fan.

Anonymous said...

Sportsmen do not represent me. They are not my country. My country is more important than sport. I would die of shame if I thought the money-grubbing, amoral, unintelligent no-brows, who are majority of professional sportsmen, represented my country. I have higher aspirations for my country than that. I hope Pakistanis do as well. Glad to see you sneaked in a statistic at last. 90% eh? Games aren't that important. Loved it, Alec ;)

Alpha Za said...

@ Mahum: I know. On a brighter note the English Premier League season is on, as is American Football Season.

@ Alec: C'mon, atleast sportsmen are chosen meritocratically. I wonder who you would choose to represent your country? Daniel Radcliffe?

90% is a conservative estimate :)

Anonymous said...

Daniel Radcliffe? Who? Some no-brow sportsman?

Alpha Za said...

@ Alec: Haha, something like that.

Anonymous said...

Meritocracy! If you believe that you'd believe anything. Aside from all that I'd like to quote a letter sent in to my favourite newspaper. 'It would appear that the News of the World has procured rather than exposed a corrupt act. There is no public interest defence for bribery and I trust the NoW and their relevant employees find themselves in the dock on criminal charges soon - and if the one-day series is scrapped as a result, that the ECB sues the NoW for damages consequential on their behaviour.' Another letter - 'Dangle thousands in front of cricketers from a poor country and what can you expect? They're human like the rest of us. Try the same thing on Premier League foot ballers and maybe you have a story. The NoW's sole motivation is to sell newspapers by scandal. Please remember that: keep some proportion.'
Just saying!
Love, Alec

Alpha Za said...

@ Alec: Haha, Meritocracy exists when their is justice, a sense of fair play and lots of Turkey Sandwiches (I love turkey sandwiches and I'm hungry).

News of the World Procures stories all the time, infact all media groups pay for stories. Supports starving journalists. I don't see how one can sue a news outlet for publishing a story.

They can only sell stories by scandal if they exist, and the footage seems to bear them out very well.

Wrong is wrong, footballer, maid, cricketer, mc donalds burger flipper or who ever. Breaking the law is pretty bad too.

Anonymous said...

But there was no bribery until the NoW procured it. Ergo they can be prosecuted for creating an illegal betting scam. These are amoral evil people and shooting is too good for them, or was that cricketers! Can't just be one law for alledgedly erring cricketers, and another for self-confessed criminal journalists. Do you yet see how foolish all this is? A storm in a demented teacup. Come back Jonathan Swift, only your pen could do justice to all this faux moral outrage and perverted patriotism. Love, Alec
p.s. I made passing reference to you in a recent post, in positively glowing terms. Or was that Mohammad Amir?

Alpha Za said...

@ Alec: I think it would be a tad bit naive to say that bribery in cricket would not exist if it weren't for the News of the World.

What they revealed that it was prevalent in the sport; they didn't create it, they revealed it.

I saw your post, thank you, it was lovely.

Anonymous said...

Don't think I said that exactly, just that in this instance they seem to be procuring criminality, but never mind. I've enjoyed this exchange, if enjoyed is the right word for all the sadness that is being engendered. I hope Pakistan will not feel it's being singled out. This sort of thing exists in every country, has done for years. I think I made the point very early on that cricket existed for the purpose of laying wages in the early years. Somebody made the very interesting suggestion that would kill off betting in cricket for all time. Make it entirely legal for players to take bribes without fear of prosecution. Once this was known to be happening then people wouldn't want to bet on something they knew to be fixed and the whole edifice of greed and corruption would collapse. Much the same argument as legalising all drugs. Not saying I agree with it, but how about it Murtaza? I'm sure you will be able to shoot the idea doewn in flames! Love, Alec xx

Alpha Za said...

@ Alec: Sting operation my dear Alec, Sting operations.

We're just the morons that got caught. Still doesn't make me feel any better.

The game would collapse, who'd watch a sport that was predecided for a price. the fans get screwed worse than the bookies. There is only one cricket.

Legalize drugs; tax and spend.