Aamer, Asif, how could you?

Published: August 29, 2010

These cricketers were not merely our sportsmen, they were our heroes.

Pakistan’s cricket players are our heroes. The dream of every young buck lacing his gully is to some day develop an array of pull, cut and various creative cross-bat shots reminiscent of the likes of Saeed Anwar, Inzamamul Haq to name a few – or perhaps bowl as fast as Shoaib Akhtar, as ruthlessly as Waqar Younis and as majestically as Wasim Akram.

These cricketers were not merely our sportsmen, they were our heroes. We feted them, loved them, cherished them. We burdened them with providing us an avenue to escape the mundane rut of our everyday lives and garnering pride in Pakistan. Our country has failed itself, and to be fair it’s not all our own fault (floods, hurricanes, earthquakes), but more than enough of it is (corruption, mismanagement and 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 in your faces and let you rot in jail.

My heart shudders at the thought that they this may be ‘just the start’. I forlornly hope it’s not, but I’m fairly certain that there is yet more feces 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 sullying 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. Now watch us hate you.


Murtaza Ali Jafri

A Karachi based banker who writes cultural satire

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