Pakistan, you are not ready to host

Published: May 21, 2012

Concentrate on what we can do – improve domestic cricket, announce contracts and educate players – and stop begging other countries to send their teams over. PHOTO: REUTERS

For years I would argue endlessly trying to defend my country, citing the actions and examples of other places to justify my point. In some cases, diverting the discussion seemed logical and changing topics the best solution.

But over time, the arguments have become much more serious. The country’s inability to progress and, worst of all, no light at the end of the tunnel has made it all the more excruciating to bear.

One of the rare sources of joy was sports and there was nothing better than to throng the stadiums when the national cricket team took the field for an international encounter. A sense of unity crept in among people who forgot their differences and enjoyed the national players. For most, their problems just seemed to have vanished.

But for some demented reason and partly due to the fault of the authorities international cricket was to be taken away. For months, there has been talk, and just that, of its revival.

Fans have waited for too long and want nothing else than to see the national team play on its home ground. Players want to perform in front of their fans who want to respond with the loudest of cheers.

It’s time for a reality check, however. We’re not ready and don’t deserve to host international cricket again.

The first thing you do when you invite guests is clean up your house and put it in order. The law and order situation is still precarious and, given history, it will take very little to scare off the tourists once again since we’ve already shown what we’re capable of doing in March 2009, when the Sri Lankan cricket team was attacked by terrorists.

We haven’t done that and hosting a one-off series is not enough for us to garner back our reputation. It’s time to let go off hopes and instead get our act together. Concentrate on what we can do – improve domestic cricket, announce contracts and educate players – and stop begging other countries to send their teams over.

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Bilal Memon

A senior sub-editor on the sport desk of The Express Tribune

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

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