‘Give the dog a bad name and hang him’

Published: August 31, 2010
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Why has the nation jumped to conclusions before the investigation ends?

For those of you who didn’t see Salman Butt and Yawar Saeed get questioned by British journalists, go on YouTube and have a look. Butt looks absolutely terrified; eyes wide open with a pale face and nervous. Why shouldn’t he have been? His manager didn’t trust him enough to let him speak, in case he let the ‘wrong words’ slip out of his mouth.

Since the news of the scandal hit and created pandemonium in the international community, apart from Mohammad Aamer’s childhood coach Asif Bajwa, not one official from the PCB or the government has publicly defended the players. Instead, they have slammed the cricket stars for bringing “disgrace” and already gone as far as stating that the culprits should be banned for life, or that “ perhaps they (Pakistan cricket team) need a rest” in the words of ex-ICC boss Malcolm Speed, because according to him, corruption within the team is “endemic”.

I am in no position to deny or affirm their alleged corruption because I am not an official at Scotland Yard conducting the investigation. Neither are you. So let’s not insult the heroes who have displayed outstanding cricketing skills and given us many hours of ODIs, T20’s and Test cricket delight. Let’s try and contain our anger and frustration till the investigation concludes.

While the New Zealand and Australia teams are busy lamenting how this allegation will reflect on their performance or future tournaments, many die-hard Pakistan cricket fans are cursing the team, waiting to receive the players at the airport with shoes, and are already planning egg-throwing competitions. Have they never heard the maxim ‘innocent until proven guilty’? I am aware that there are pictures and videos and the evidence does seem to implicate them, but there is no validation of their crime from the British authorities.

In one way, jumping to conclusions about the allegations levied at these players and damning them is as vulgar a reaction as that of the mob that accused the Sialkot brothers of murder and killed them. Look at the similarities: the mob in Sialkot pounced on the boys the minute someone shouted “Thief!” They were beaten to a frightening pulp by a bloodthirsty crowd that did not have so much as a morsel of proof of their alleged crime. How are you and I any different if we are going to join the “bash Pakistan” bandwagon along with the rest of the world?

Atika.rehman

Atika Rehman

Editor of the Life & Style pages of The Express Tribune and an LLB graduate from the University of London.

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

  • Mango man

    The inevitable is gonna happen .
    now or tomorrow or day after,,,, :(Recommend

  • Alina

    Although the youtube video is damning evidence against the Pakistani players, I cannot help but agree with your point. How would we be any different than that Sialkot Mob if we pronounced judgment before the actual trial? Recommend

  • Moheeth-ur-Rehman Alvi

    I think it is absolutely horrible that we as Pakistanis are the most eager to tear down and bad mouth our own country. The writer is correct in saying that we are all “innocent until proven guilty”. Our constant desire to take out all our frustration at any given opportunity is a disease that plagues us all. The Sialkot incident is an appropriate parallel. These incidents are indicative of what has happened to the mentality of the people in this nation. If this month teaches us anything is that we all need to have a little bit of patience. Recommend

  • F. Anees

    If nothing else,this should be a wake up call to all those who have forgotten to have faith and appreciate at least the good things around us. Like its said, hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark.Recommend

  • Shehryar Ghazi

    Nicely done!
    I agree with the author of this post and strongly condemn anyone who joins the ‘bash Pakistan’ bandwagon. As an international student from Pakistan I can relate to the different stereotypes that we must face and fight against. Events such as the one mentioned above adds to the infinite list of reasons why people do not respect Pakistan. As Pakistanis I feel it is our national duty to be patient, discourage others who provide fuel for the ‘bash Pakistan’ bandwagon.Recommend

  • Sam23

    Pakistan’s been accused of the stated crimes for many many years. And in the past instances, we have only had conspiracy theories without any factual evidence. However, this time it’s different. This time, there is stone cold proof. The videos, the stories from the undercover journalists and the FEAR on the players’ faces, it all validates the the argument that has been dormant for so long. In my opinion they are guilty, and they SHOULD be reprimanded.Recommend

  • Mango man

    by the way this story would probably support your views as well:

    http://www.cricinfo.com/england-v-pakistan-2010/content/current/story/475154.htmlRecommend

  • http://www.socialics.com Bilal Tahir

    I absolutely agree with u on this. Neither does the Quran or Law give permission to a citizen to punish another citizen. i really feel sad about the world is blaming them. They are innocent until proven guilty. I m sure they’ll be proven innocent and the whole world will get a shutup call. And there is no difference between the people who are degrading pakistani team right now (although they have not been proven guilty) and the people who put the two innocent boys to Death.Recommend

  • Armeen

    Very well said!! Totally agree with the authors comments….the nation should definitely wait till there is some solid proof against our players and then plan the egg throwing competition accordingly!Recommend

  • Zari Faisal

    Well said. I believe in innocent until proven guilty….However, at the same time, it is also extremely disheartening to think that Aamer specifically, who had given young people so much faith, could also be corrupted by the same system that had bred these practices for years. We’re all hoping that these are just accusations….its happened in the past against alot of South Asian players, but if not…then the entire cricket board, and senior cricket community should be ashamed itself for having that kind of an influnce on a young impressionable boy who was just beginning a grand grand career. I really do hope that these are just conclusions that we are jumping to….this country could use some serious hope, and cricket is one thing that has ALWAYS united us…regardless of ethnicity, religion, class or any such matters!Recommend

  • pulsar

    Blab Blab Blab!!!!!!
    Even if this whole thing turns out to be false (which it wont), the Pakistani team deserves no sympathy. Their performance have been beyond dismal and hopeless. The internal politics and personal interests were always kept before ethics or feelings of this nation. No matter what apologists like you say the truth is quite evident. We got bunch of shameless thieves who would sell their mothers for a dime. Just like our so called elected leaders.
    Shame on them, shame on us and shame on you,Recommend

  • shariz

    Some of players have sort of bad reputation so no one can deny, but on the other side its propaganda as well from english media, yet it is not clear that the video they showed when it was recorded b’coz there no date or time in the video,also they showed majeed showing the money to wahab but actually if you see the video carefully majeed was taking his coat off, now they found money from BUTT’s room so called 50,000 pounds but actually its sum of different currencies includind US dollars,southafrican,riyals etc.
    Trust me if it was australia or newzealand it wouldnt have got that much publicity.Recommend

  • http://0 Abdul

    There should be a proper trail of all 10 players who plays gamble games and their properties (movable and immovable) should be freezed ,Immovable should be deposited to Flood effecties support fund.

    The point is these players need to get on Roads , all the awarded money and other stuff should be taken back, they are not national heroes but the black sheep. Give them a punishment that should be moral for a every sportsmen.Recommend

  • SM

    I cannot begin to agree more with this article. As usual all us Pakistanis enjoy jumping to a conclusion based on other peoples’ opinions. We hear a few people talk about a certain situation over a dinner discussion and we pick up points that we may think to be true and base our opinion on only the knowledge of others without using our own brain or research. The truth is, as mentioned in this article, these “heroes have displayed outstanding cricketing skills and given us many hours of ODIs, T20’s and Test cricket delight.” For us to just turn on them without giving a fair chance makes us ignorant as well as mindless. Till proven guilty, we ought to give our men a fair benefit of the doubt. During times like such, we Pakistanis must come together as one and not turn our backs which is much easier than standing united. These men are our heroes, our pride, our sportsmen. They represent Pakistan as a country as well as a team. Again, it is easier to turn your back in situations like such rather than stick together. We must let them be till this scandal has been proven otherwise. Sadly we have become the bane of our existence.Recommend

  • Mehdi

    I agree with this article. Also, I thought that Butt was confident when replying to the questions. Either he (not including the others) is innocent or he is a Tassalli Baksh Beghayrat.
    We don’t even know if the tape was fake and made after the incidents took place. Another thing that baffled me was that in the undercover tapes that were made, Mazhar said he had 7 players in total in his control. They have named just 4 which begs the question what the need for showing such haste was ? Couldn’t they have waited a couple more matches and got the remaining matches ? The videos weren’t going anywhere nor the match tapes. The Umar Amin and Wahab Riaz video was disturbing but even they seemed so cool while doing it that it seems unbelievable that either they didn’t know WHAT they were doing or they weren’t doing it at all !
    So please lets not cast stones at our players until anything is proven. If proven, they deserve everything that comes their way (life bans and jail time).Recommend

  • Anwar

    What looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck is a duck. I don’t know what more do you need. Next time you will have to be invited in person to see the transaction your self. This is a black and white case of match fixing.Recommend

  • Sidra Ashraf

    a dilemma indeed on our part that we get hyper devoid of substantial proofs. why can’t we give it a benefit of doubt till investigation completes? and the other day i was flabbergasted to read the tickle popping up on tv where someone from public had shared an opinion that Pakistani cricket team shall be welcomed and taken care by Sialkot people. what a pathetic statement even if someone had cracked a joke even then it was third grade and showed weak sense of humor. aren’t we intolerant putting a ban on our heroes without looking at the entire picture of the story. Foreign media has got an invaluable chance to defame our cricket and our own media is also insanely reacting to the situation. If this case would ever have had happened to Australian, Indian or English team their cricket boards and local media would have relatively guard their teams. I don’t say our team is honest yet we (the public)can’t announce their penalty even on this sham act (receiving them on the airport with eggs and shoes) . Its state’s and PCB’s discretion so let them decide what these cricketers be worthy of we shall hold patience till the picture get reasonably logical. we also will be expecting PCB not to show any flexibility with the perpetrator upon confirmation of match fixing chargeRecommend

  • http://www.clm.com.pk Ahmad Moeenuddin

    There are a certain discrepancies in the media that need to be highlighted and straightened out in Pakistan. We are a nation that is perceived as nothing but a bunch of crazy, fundamentalist, poor, hypocrite bunch of buffoons being ruled by the ever to “egalitarian” social party, who believes in distribution of wealth amongst the corrupt, blood thirsty scoundrels and media is playing a huge role to identify these issues. However, at the same time it is helping to damage the image of the country more. While i agree that a maxim “innocent until proven guilty” exists, but at the same time our media rather than waiting for the inquiry report of the Sotland Yard, who by the way have released the infamous Mr. Majeed without charging him, we have not only put our players (innocent maybe) under the knife.

    What needs to happen in bridging of the two perspectives. We need to as a nation say that Corruption at any level will not be tolerated, and players if found guilty should be tried for Treason, however at the same time giving them the sense that till the end report of this entire matter the Nation will stand with you for you are our National Heroes. We will stand by you, we will not tolerate any insult like that herelded at us at the Oval Test 4 years ago, we will stand as a nation as we did then at the Oval and now at the Lords. However, if you do let us down and are guilty, we shall ask our Justice System to give you the punishment an Enemy of the State deserves, for we have not been ashamed despite all of our past as we have been today by the world because of you. Recommend

  • Irfan Nisar

    I won’t be surprised if ICC bans Pakistan cricket. Its not because our players are found with match fixing but unfortunately the whole lot in PCB’s top officials are involved in this scam. Its justified that Paksitan Cricket should be banned on following unanswered facts ;
    a) How come would that possible that Majeed brother meet Pakistani players so regularly as Team’s friends and our deaf eared Manager Mr. Yawar Saeed did not notice it?
    b)How come would that possible that Mr. Shahid Afridi got retired from Test Cricket on this issue and he claimed the same reason for his retirement and despite of his meetings with Mr. Ejaz Butt no one even listened to him?
    c) How come would that possible that top officials of PCB did not even notice Mr. Waqar Younus and Mr. Ejaz Ahmed on their inability of becoming Pakistan Coach as their past was fed-up with match fixing scandals?
    d) Mr. Ejaz Butt was given authorities as chairmanship of PCB. Can not we find a good educated and dynamic PCB chief amongst this 200 Mn populated country?
    e) How come Akmal brothers (relative of Mr. Yawar Saeed) become so influential that they create a huge lobby of dismissing Mr. Zulqarnain Haider?
    f) How come Mr. Majeed gets bail on this proven allegation. This was because Majeed brothers also have strong links with influential ruling Pakistani politicians the bail is connected with their relationships.
    Conclusions:
    Mr. Ejaz Butt, Mr. Yawar Saeed, Mr. Waqar Younis, Mr. Ejaz Ahmed, Mr. Kamran Akmal, Mr. Muhammad Amir, Mr. Muhammad Asif, Mr. Wahab Riaz, Mr. Salman Butt, Mr. Umer Amin, Mr. Umer Akmal and Mr. Imran Farhat all should be “banned for life time from any profession”.Recommend

  • Murtaza

    i am with the author on this one…. although i feel like entrapement took place. similar was a case of a princess ( English) taking money from people to get favours from her husband who was a MP in the parliament. there is big money in expose and tabloid journalism in england. a sport as prestigiuos as criket to be tarnished is a tale as old as time. the cricketers may have been pakistani but the gambling/betting syndicate is a global affair.Recommend

  • Talha

    i totally agree with the innocent until proven guilty bit, and that we tend to jump to conclusions and form/change opinions on weak evidence. however, ive got to say i fear the worst in this case, much as i want to be hopefulRecommend

  • Khizer

    All i can say is that theres no point in wasting our time on allegations and false accusations till the truth is discovered. Its pointless for people to get all bottled up on hunches. Fixing is something that has been happening for years now. Whether we know about it is up to the media. If the media is looking for a stir, they will create one. The truth can never be known until we are told and even when we are told whose to say its the truth or some conjured up lie to create buzz. Like it currently has with this incident. We dont know the truth yet i see no point for being frustrated over this. Once we get the result we can take it from there. This situation is similar to the psychological phenomenon known as the bystander effect, in which strangers dont offer someone in trouble help because they think that someone else will help if they dont. Just because we are told something doesnt mean we should instantly believe it. Lets let the results tell us how to feel. Until then let it rest.Recommend

  • ALI

    Dekhe hum apni team par blame nahi
    laga sakte baaz dafa jo dikhta hai
    woh real main nahi hota.
    aur dosri baat yeh hai k agar aap
    log itna bol rahe ho to tehkikat kar
    ke bolona jo british media jo bata
    raha hai wohi repeat kar rahe ho.
    Recommend

  • Rahul Patil

    Pakistani’s are dishonest on cricket field, they are dishonest in their fight against terrorism, virtually everything about them is lies and dishonesty.

    But what do you expect from a nation, who birth itself was based on dishonesty and lies.Recommend

  • Anwar

    There is ZERO percent chance of this being false. Sometimes we have to face the truth, however bitter it may be.
    Time to wake up and smell the sh*t.Recommend

  • Daaniyal

    you poor, poor deluded girl…

    you still believe they might be innocent?

    Down the rabbit hole it would seem!Recommend

  • Hidayat

    I just agree with what Anwar said in comments. We had always been showing sympthy to our players even when they were proved to be guilty many times b4. like asif in doping case. I belive no more sympthies this time. pakistan is full of talented guys. these people are selling the fame of pakistan for dollars not putting a damn in it. we dont need these players, neither their heroics at the cost of cutting the nose of all pakistanis in international community. They should be no more allowed to wear the pakistani shirts any more. they had been playing in the ‘Gali Kocha’ , Pakistan gave them the fame and respect but they dont deserve . the only thing they deserve is to send them back and let them play in ‘Gali Kocha’ only , we dont need them. Recommend

  • Khawar

    I do not concur with the views of the writer as whatever has been shown and made available does suggest that there is some smoke. I for one cannot give a clean chit to these guys and would wait for the official word to come out.
    The way the writer has tried to equate the happening with Sialkot incident is sickening as the preliminary evidence in this case has been put forth as opposed to Sialkot, these two different incidences cannot and should not be equated.
    Keep your emotional selves aside and take an objective look as emotional clout judgementsRecommend

  • Colgaze

    finally…finally…some one retained the emotions until the truth is out…. :-) Recommend

  • muhammad munir

    aaj k media se yeh tawaqoh mat raho k yeh such bol raha hai baghair tehkiqat k apne players ko bura bala mat kahain.
    yeh b angraiz ki chaal ho sakti hai.in angraizon ki challon ko agar hum samajtay toh aaj hamare mulk ka aur afghanistan aur iraq ka yeh haal nai hota.Recommend

  • Umar

    Completely agree with the content of the article.Recommend

  • rehan saeed

    oh come on..wake up!
    they have been proven guilty
    no paper in the world would make those accusations without proof…defamation lawsuits remember??!!
    and scotland yard is not the punjab police..they wouldnt open an investigation unless there was something to investigate, unless there was some evidence….and we’ve all seen that evidence, read the transcripts and been mortified
    end the delusion…wake up!Recommend

  • SalmanZ

    10/10 for Article! Your are absolutely right and I totally agreed with you!

    I think you have used right words by saying “Innocent until proven guilty” and not “Innocent unless proven guilty”. yeap, Right now wind is blowing in other direction :( but we have to wait!

    If all allegations are proved, we still have to show tolerance. Don’t became a jahil when you protest! Recommend

  • Anwar

    Thief is the one who gets caught. Every team has some done some game fixing. Only the stupid Pakistani team had to get caught red handed on camera.Recommend

  • Khurram Ijaz

    Great Quote: **

    Perhaps we are ALL acting like the
    Sialkot Mob.

    **Recommend

  • Anoop

    I cant believe so many are sticking up to the cheaters and traitors. No wonder then that they cheated and thought they could get away with it.Recommend

  • Fizzah

    Shame on the Indian comment makers! They just lurk around and wherever they find a controversial story about Pakistan they come running and write their hateful comments, venting their frustrations! Shame on you Rahul Patil.You should be making comments and telling the truth about the ICL & IPL and the Indian betting mafia which is the biggest in the world.

    All those who believe these videos and photos to be true and “Evidence” need their brains checked! Take a closer look at the Salman Butt photo and you’ll know.It’s pasted on top of those 2 guys photo.The light is different and Salman is clearly not standing WITH them, it’s his complete body image pasted on top of their photo so it’s covering them. The videos are a JOKE! Who’s making them and why is that man so comfortably looking in to the camera at a number of instances? It’s all so simplistic that it’s not even offending,it’s absolutely RIDICULOUS! Thanks a lot for writing this Atika! Agree with you 100%.Recommend

  • http://0 Abdul

    Fizzah , i somehow agree on your comments but who can forget the recent sick intentional performance of our heroes. just reming Aussie tour ….. and moreover india n pakistan is highly involve in fixing so any news associated with them , may click on minds that these are real trick of the trade. DON’T TREAT THEM INNOCENT , they are dealers of our country…. Recommend

  • mak

    I totally agree with the author and appreciate his article. Hold your horses fellow citizens. Truth will come out. and yes we absolutely shouldnt act like the sialkot mob which we strongly condemned only a few days ago. Patience – let the investigators conclude their investigation. Recommend

  • Awais Khan

    Absolutely agree with the author – sensible and eloquent! Well done!Recommend

  • Yusaf Khan

    No matter what Mohammad Aamer has done I still support him. He is a genius. I was at the Lord test and had amazing seats. I saw him bowl and I tell you he is absolutely amazing. I have seen Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis bowl and I tell you this boy Aamer is much better then both of them.
    I hope they don’t ban him. The other two I don’t care about. Mohammad Asif is great too but he seems to press that destroy button too frequently.
    We can only get rid of spot betting etc once the bunyas in India stop betting on cricket. Yes you moron Rahul Patil, you bunya, go and take this message to your friends. Even in a thousand years you Indians would never produce a bowler one tenth as good as Aamer. Recommend

  • mehdishahi

    Its not a matter of ifs and buts can not wait for results then leave it for the mob justice as occurred in sailkot. Recommend

  • Ebby

    Very will written !!! Recommend

  • Anwar

    A cheat is a cheat is a cheat.Recommend

  • Anoop

    @Yusaf Khan,

    Too bad the ICC has jurisdiction over this. Ban should be given to any players who cheats for money. It does not depend on how talented he is. Law is a Law. A cheat will always be a cheat. Simple.Recommend

  • Hashaam

    Very well written, and everyone should wait for the decision. As Akmal is free from the investigation and Amin, Wahab are not even included in the investigation(though NOTW depicted Wahab,Amin as cheat and shown exchanging jacket with Majeed), this all look positive. May Amir, Asif and Butt get cleared too.Recommend

  • saee

    im really astonished to c ppl jumping on conclusion. there is no evidence against asif and amir …the video can be fake….the video can be made after match. so it cant be an evidence.. wahab and umer amin were spotted exchanging jackets…but now one talks abt them……why media is after asif amir and salman because they have got telent……so pls be patient n let the decision come…hope they will be cleared like akmal. we should stand with over players rather dan defaming them. as for as nervousness of salmat but is concern…..it is possible he was threatened by bookies….im pretty sure they will be cleared.Recommend

  • Pakistan is my identity!

    Your positive thinking is commendable.

    God bless Pakistan.Recommend