Pakistan (cricket) – Whither?

It is very sad state of affairs that we all get to see and hear from Pakistan. They have been going through tough times ever since the terrorism struck Sri Lankan cricketers touring Pakistan earlier last year. Before that as well, various touring sides had multiple issues going to Pakistan – be it Taliban attacks, internal political uncertainties, Benazir Bhuto’s assassination and aftermath. The fact remains that the terrorism and political instability has spoiled cricket in this beautiful cricketing nation.

If you carefully analyze the problem faced by Pakistan cricket and Pakistan in general, the entire thing boils down to only two issues – The lack of democracy and education. Even the religious extremism, terrorism, poverty, unemployment – you name it – are byproducts of lack of good governance and focus on education.

For years together Pakistan has been under military rule or been governed by incompetent leaders who never had any vision for the country. The situation is continuing even now. If the country itself is run under uncertainties on a daily basis, what kind of economic growth and development can one expect?

So the need of the hour is:

– A stable government (not run by military leaders and incompetent politicians)
– Educational system revamping
– Focus on law and order within the country then worry about neighbors and the world

Unlike many Indians, I do not believe that terrorism is only bound to happen in a particular nation or a religion. It is really bad to finger point an entire nation due to some bad set of uneducated people. If you think that way, India is one of the terrorist nations as well because the internal problems such as Thelegana issue or Naxalism is as bad as terrorism. However, due to strong leadership and visionaries, there has been a lot of improvements and strong growth in India in the areas of health, eradication of poverty to some extend, education, homegrown technologies and agriculture. Pakistan needs to learn from such efforts and forget focus on religious issues etc.

It is important for strong neighbors like India and China to have greater political stability in Pakistan. That is the only way in which the entire region of South Asia can be a strong economic powerhouse. The current situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan will only lead to the USA deploying more forces in this region thereby threatening the next superpowers India and China. As long as each country manage the situation very well, we do not need any global police here and South Asia as a whole can grow big.

Coming back to cricket and the recent match/spot fixing allegations, I personally believe that it is the result of lack of education and ethics that needs to be built into each citizen by their leaders. Shahariyar Khan, the former PCB chief, made a very strong point recently. The captain of the team has to be an educated individual and has to instill certain culture and ethics to the youngsters who join their team very early in their lives. The Indian team has been lucky enough to be led by individuals with higher ethics and good education most of the time. Cricketers such as Saurav Ganguly, Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni have been excellent ambassadors of the game. On the other hand, the leadership in Pakistan cricket, PCB and the government itself has been shaky and everyone played only selfish roles all this while.

What Pakistan cricket probably needs as an immediate fix is a very strong individual – somebody like Imran Khan – at the PCB and they also need a strong captain. Part of the problem will be eliminated by this and the rest of course is with the government itself.

I sincerely hope that Pakistan cricket will come out all this mess soon. India and Sri Lanka could help Pakistan in that process by resuming their cricket tours to Pakistan.

Let the normality prevail at the earliest!

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