Education will be the solution to all our cricketing woes

Published: May 7, 2012

The spot-fixing scandal exposed how our cricketers have deep-rooted development problems. They’re simply not aware of what is wrong. ILLUSTRATION: JAMAL KHURSHID

Education is not just filling the bucket and ticking the boxes.

It’s how a person is groomed, his personality developed and the learning ability instilled.

It’s easier to teach a well-educated person tricks of the trade because he has developed a habit of picking up things quickly.

The mind has been trained to adapt to different situations accordingly. Such qualities determine the development of a cricketer as well and can foretell whether that individual will be successful or not as a person.

But that’s not all education does. The strength of decent education goes well beyond the development we just spoke of. It helps a person judge between right and wrong.

The spot-fixing scandal exposed how our cricketers have deep-rooted development problems. They’re simply not aware of what is wrong.

Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir’s involvement tells us how vulnerable lesser-educated players are. They were sharp and talented but their minds, perhaps, weren’t developed enough because of lack of proper schooling.

Salman Butt was more aware and educated. But that’s where family values come in too: they teach you what’s wrong and right and that’s also part of character development.

On a broad scale, education is what improves people’s judgement.

In Pakistan, when a first-class cricketer makes his transition and turns out in national colours, his lifestyle changes drastically and very quickly. They get overwhelmed by surroundings, the increased attention and of course, the paycheque that accompanies.

At that point in time, pressure can mess up a person’s character. Development and strength of that individual’s personality is what can take him beyond the difficult period.

This is exactly why Pakistan players need to be groomed and educated, at least to an appropriate and adequate level, before they step onto the field and make their debuts.

In Bangladesh, there’s a national institute of sports, the BKSP, which is an academy combined with a school for grade seven to 12 students.

The students reside in a hostel and follow a schedule that sees them study in the morning and train later in the day.

There’s scientific assessment made on each student as well which helps determines their future.

But the grooming is done at a young age that helps the authorities shortlist players for various teams — football, volleyball or cricket. While the level of talent can vary, surely the institute will start producing quality players in that way.

There no lack of talent in Pakistan. We’ve seen how capable our team is.

But the phase is short-lived and demonstration of inconsistency is frequent. Disciplinary issues have lessened but it’s safe to claim that our cricket hasn’t developed the way it should have. Pakistan should rule the world on the cricket field but it’s there and thereabouts due to lack of development of character and the game.

The system needs to change and needs to be made competitive at all levels.

The Pakistan Cricket Board has always made short-term plans — camp of one month, two weeks’ training – but it’s time to include long-term goals.

Take talent from the under-16 team and gradually form a pool of players at the under-19, under-23 levels. The plans, at all levels, need continuity. This is the only way we’ll be able to fully utilise the exceptional talent we have.

Read more by Jalaluddin here.



A former Test fast-bowler for the Pakistan cricket team.

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

  • Huda

    I don’t agree fully with certain elements in the article. Although I believe education is essential and helps a person develop certain perceptions more clearly, it in no way means that lack of education means that the character or choices of a person aren’t as “wise” or “polished”. SALMAN BUTT was compared to Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir, in which he was EDUCATED and the latter two weren’t which is why they got caught! Education is relevant but not enough to qualify one person into getting caught. Our politicians and many other high profile people are educated , yet they roll in cases of corruption and crimes! Please explain that factor. There are many people out there who aren’t as educated yet they have fully developed characters and decision making abilities. Family values are pretty much universal everywhere, they teach you the good, if one chooses the bad it’s their individual choice. Let’s not blame lack of education on a spot fixing scandal.Recommend

  • Tanzeel

    Out of 182 Pakistan ranks 134 in Transparency Int’l corruption list. Do you think education or any kind of development can effect Pakistani minds ? Its not just cricket, we Pakistanis are over all a corrupt nation and would never ever be able to get rid of this habit. I don’t think your lessons on morality would change culture of this nation, if you really want to bring change – work on Civil Aviation Authority where corruption is still high and that too under your nose. Recommend

  • Usman Shahid

    For the sake of the argument if i take your opinion

    “It’s easier to teach a well-educated person tricks of the trade because he has developed a habit of picking up things quickly.”

    to be correct, than all PhDs should be the best cricketers.

    But tusi “samj” tey gay ho gay. :)Recommend

  • malik

    It is educated people who are more corrupt. Education without traditional values is useless.

    What is required now is more religious teaching and inculcation of values so beautifully mentioned in our Holy Book. History has shown that wherever there are true muslims who follow the Book fully, there has been no crime at all. Recommend

  • Huma

    and i wonder why my “thoughtful” comment never got posted… admins?? anyone??Recommend

  • Riaz H

    Corruption has been an integral part of the Pakistani culture, system and environment.

    Education alone is NOT the only solution and will NOT eliminate existing problems in all walks of life including cricket. We need to upgrade our moral values based on the teachings of the Quran.

    Let integrity be implemented in all walks of life. Parents, teachers and leaders need to play an important part in this campaign. And this is the only solution. It can’t be implemented overnight. It’s a team effort in which a community needs to react and participate in its implementation.Recommend

  • nash30

    I don’t agree with this.. Education is necessary for everyone, but to say that it is the solution to all our cricketing woes is a bit extreme. Like you yourself mention, Salman Butt was far more educated than the other two.. It’s how we are brought up, what sort of social circle we have, who we let influence us, what condition our own morals are in, etc.. IMO anyway. :) But it might be a good initiative to do what Bangladesh has, it might just make a difference. Hopefully, Pakistani cricketers have learnt their lesson though.Recommend