Learn from the BCCI, Pakistan, don’t hate on it!

Published: June 2, 2014
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It is hard to look back at the debauchery that is Pakistan cricket and the success of the Indian board.

High school is all about hierarchy. You have the cool kids who set the trends and everyone else is a follower. And then you have the drama geeks, the science club and the kid with the braces and the asthma pump who watches as teams are picked and groups are made but he is left watching from the sidelines. 

Welcome to the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Pakistan cricket team and the wonder of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

This year marks the seventh season of the IPL, six of which have excluded Pakistan. The BCCI has tactfully managed to provide security for our coaches, umpires and commentators but it is our players that somehow cannot be protected. Pakistan cricket fans went from boycotting the league to slowly accepting their fate, getting trapped in the glitz and glamour of the world’s most lucrative T20 competition. Like the popular kids who won’t share their lunch, we have grown to hate the league, to envy it, to desperately hope each year for our players’ inclusion. Where their stadiums are packed and their spectators ravenous and undying, ours are collecting dust and are withering away to nothing.

The idea of the IPL was brilliant. The manner in which it was executed was pure mastery. Even amongst a scathing cheating scandal that had the likes of MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina under fire, the BCCI managed to carry on in its usual fashion, the rest of the world joining in their dance with not a hair out of place, not a question to be asked. Such is the power of the IPL and it is becoming increasingly harder to deny it.

The BCCI must be applauded. Amongst their tags of bullying, the Big Three and corruption, they have managed to back themselves and be the dominant force in world cricket. The implementation of the Big Three essentially confirmed that money is power and cricket was not immune to this reality. When spot-fixing accusations were being thrown around, the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were brought into question – you saw the board fighting to safeguard their players, the league and their reputation. They may be a self-serving organisation but at least they look after their own.

The same cannot be said for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

The power struggle between Najam Sethi and Zaka Ashraf has turned the PCB into a laughing stock in the eyes of the world. Here today, gone tomorrow shenanigans have meant that captains, coaches, selectors and the chairmen have all been juggled every hour. Instead of choosing a chairman and appointing positions once and for all, courts are over ruling one another and former cricketers are sitting in with their opinions. Amongst the name calling and the cringe worthy change of policies every hour, it is no wonder that the rest of the world is unable to take us seriously.

We are masters of self-sabotage. In his very first move as the newly (God only knows for how long) reinstated chairman, Najam Sethi miraculously decides to be the messiah of international cricket in Pakistan. Jumping on the words of the Sri Lankan president, Mr Sethi invited the Sri Lankan cricket team to tour Pakistan, marking the return of international cricket to the country. While as a nation we may suffer from short-term memory loss, the rest of the world is less forgetful. Mr Sethi needs a reminder that as citizens of the country, we feel unsafe in our own backyards. What stadium, what city and what country should these Lankans descend upon and if they do who is going to protect them?

I read somewhere recently that Pakistan and India are not twins; they are the same person split into two. Perhaps that explains the level of rivalry and the constant comparison between these two nations. The PCB was the last board to accept the Big Three and instead of using their vote wisely as a bargaining tool, their final acceptance was a mere formality, virtually anti climatic. While the PCB is determined to shoot itself in the foot, the BCCI has marched on ahead leaving us behind. Summer long training camps that cut our player’s county stints short is not in their best interest. Constantly keeping the position of captaincy for the 2015 World Cup up for grabs does more harm than good. Inviting the Lankans to tour your country while you travel with an entourage of security and bulletproof cars is a death wish.

Being on the other side of the border, we miss the feel of packed stadiums, painted faces and different shades of colour. We lack leadership. We fear isolation. As the seventh IPL comes to a close, it is hard to look back at the debauchery that is Pakistan cricket and the success of the Indian board. Despite all the hue and cry, the league went off without a snag and the world turned a blind eye to the injustice of the matches being hosted in the UAE.

We are the kids with no lunch money. The scrawny dorks that are sent to the back of the bus. Perhaps it’s time to idolise the popular kids we love to hate. Injustice may be inevitable but it’s time to protect our own, to choose a leader, to learn from the BCCI and come to accept that this is India’s world now, we can either join the party or forever be the step children of cricket.

Hadeel Obaid

Hadeel Obaid

A cricket lover and textile manufacturer, who is patriotic, loud and opinionated. She tweets as @hadouken51 (twitter.com/hadouken51)

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

  • arsalan

    very nicely written indeedRecommend

  • Kuldeep Sharma

    A masterpiece.
    We are the kids with no lunch money. The scrawny dorks that are sent to
    the back of the bus. Perhaps it’s time to idolise the popular kids we
    love to hate. Injustice may be inevitable but it’s time to protect our
    own, to choose a leader, to learn from the BCCI and come to accept that
    this is India’s world now, we can either join the party or forever be the step children of cricket.
    This explain everythingRecommend

  • Syed Arbab Ahmed

    Unfortunately u r all wrong, Pakistani players like Afridi once they were in bidding but no one buy them, only after then PCB not sending Pakistani players names, what else u want, beg BCCI?Recommend

  • Aakashvaani

    You have written what you thought. Now you wait for the Pakistani onslaught. ***Me smiles and sips cola through straw***Recommend

  • Broken heart

    Pakistanis… U can continye to hate us… We won’t care…..!Recommend

  • water bottle

    All Jinnah’s fault, lady, for creating youknowwhat…

    If you really need to use similes and metaphors, then don’t write “Like the popular kids who won’t share their lunch”.

    Do unpopular kids share their lunch?

    Cool kids? Too much Hollywood has unhinged you from reality.Recommend

  • Feroz

    The BCCI is made up of a bunch of crooks — very professional crooks though.Recommend

  • SHAH (Berlin)

    Dear Author,

    so according to your writing we humans still live in 12th Century. “Might is right”. We humans than should officially accept that the world civilized dont suit us!!!!
    IPL is glamorous no doubt…!! But the policies are racist and in a civilized world ..unacceptable !!!!
    Although I fully agree that BCCI has proven to be a stronger board compared to PCB. But accepting BIG THREE..excuse me…again in which era are we living….!!!Recommend

  • Rohan

    There is no logic in excluding pakistani players and having their commentators and coach . Its indeed hypocrisy .Maybe, we will see them in next edition. Perhaps , BCCI took sohail tanvir’s remarks too seriously. But isnt pakistan super league coming up too..Recommend

  • gIRI

    How about former pak players like Wasim Akram and newly appointed coach Waqar Younis making fun of PCB during their stint in IPL .

    WASIM (on the field): Waqar, there is ping pong of chairmen.

    WAQAR (in the studio): Glad that we are here enjoying the game.Recommend

  • gIRI

    Sohail tanvir says HIndus are not Loyal and pakis are big hearted.Recommend

  • cscraja

    IPL is business, a good one at that. No businessman would buy a product and wait to see if he was going to make money out of it. After PCB/ Pakistan pulled back their players after the first round, which team would spend money with an hanging sword of PCB pulling back their players after an unfortunate event? There is NO ban. It is unfortunate, but that’s thatRecommend

  • SD

    Hey hey…. There is no ban on Pakistani players in IPL. The PCB refused to give NOC. Not BCCI fault.

    Pakis, learn to accept the fact that India is racing miles away from you…………..Recommend

  • Ravi

    RACIST!!! lol do you even know the meaning of this word??Recommend

  • hp kumar

    ” the league went off without a snag and the world turned a blind eye to the injustice of the matches being hosted in the UAE.” what does it mean?Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    Pakistan said in 2009 that India is unsafe for them and citing security reasons, PCB was ordered not to send them to play IPL.

    The teams which were waiting for the players had to hurry and find other alternatives!

    This is business and corporations do not work on the whims of few mercurial cricketing managers across the border.

    Plus, remember Shahid Afridi commenting Indians have a small heart? Why play in such circumstances, then?Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    Which Race is IPL discriminating? Asian? South Asian? White? Black?Recommend

  • Faulitics

    Are you implying that PCB is made up of unprofessional crooks?Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    PCB is not alone to blame. Blame the Government too.

    IPL was expecting Pakistanis in 2009, but PCB refused to send them citing Security Threats. Few months ago Mumbai attack took place and India refused to send its players for a series in Pakistan. But, that was based on genuine threat. While Pakistani action was a knee-jerk reaction.

    After that IPL teams realised that buying Pakistani players after spending millions of dollars and if they don’t show up, its a massive loss! That is why they didn’t buy any of the Pakistanis in the auction..

    Will you hire an Employee knowing he may or may not turn up?Recommend

  • Critical

    Pakistanis should realise that their players are banned for business reasons not due to any enmity…

    After 26/11,India refused to send their team to Pakistan (and saved them from the bullets Srilankans received) and in tit for tat PCB refused to release players for IPL

    IPL has teams owned by business men and their aim is profit.. Nobody wants to bid for players whose cricketing body might refuse at the last moment…RR and DD had a huge dent in their bowling attack missing Sohail Tanvir and Asif in their second season

    This yr,no srilankan players were bid at auction because they had this England series clashing with IPL schedule…

    In case of commentators,coaches and umpires,they are not controlled by PCB so they have no problems in playing here…

    IPL is all about money and a businessman would go for the safest routeRecommend

  • Hamza

    YOU live in Berlin. Are you sour German players aren’t put up for auction? Or sad that Germany doesn’t qualify for much of anything?
    You left Pakistan. Now worry about the country where you live.Recommend

  • bingo

    what are you, a primary school kid? the logic in franchises not buying the players is plain and simple – they don’t want any trouble with right wing parties and some jingoistic crowd. You see India-Pakistan relations are always on the edge – a bomb explosion somewhere in the country or violation of ceasefire at the LOC, and all hell will brake loose. People will be on the roads calling for “Death to (India|Pakistan)”. If any Pakistani player is in a team and if any serious incident happens in India, then rest assured, there will be huge uproar at the ground and right-wingers will make lot of threats to stop the game. There is huge money resting on each and every game for the franchises and BCCI. So, it is their right to be concerned about such things happening and play safe. It is not fair to Pakistani players but hey, c’est la vie .. also it doesn’t help when you have players like Sohail Tanvir bad mouthing an entire community..Recommend

  • jeorge

    the answer is simple , we need to relax have fun !! we dont need players with big beard and always chanting insha allah !! have you seen a hindu saying jai sree ram … ? religion should be pvt .. you guys make it public and make others laugh at you !! still remember you guys in the media spot light offering namaz in England ?? for what joy … now you know why people ignore you ..because you guys are not friendly not at all !!Recommend

  • Desont matter

    Is Pak part of UN controlled by 5 countres of SecurityCouncilRecommend

  • Critical

    Policies are racist????

    So when did Pakistanis become a separate race??? I thought u were South Asians who think they are ArabsRecommend

  • sherrry

    “That was based onn genuine threat. while pakistani action was a knee-jerk reaction”
    Waaah anoop sahab
    ” hamara kutta, kutta ”
    ” apka kutta Tommy”Recommend

  • gIRI

    Author means to say If Indian government feels that Pak players aren’t safe in India then they should have been allowed their players to play in UAE and other cricket broads don’t bother about pak players. Pakis stop being victims all the time and stop begging. Now that BJP government is in power this will continue and pak artists may also face visa problems too.Recommend

  • pin2

    You tommy did bite the Sri Lankan team, didn’t it?Recommend

  • Pin2

    I think by racist you meant to say “reverse racism”. Its South Asian brown Hindus discriminating against Arab heritage, world conquerors, Islam spreaders, almost Caucasian race of Pakistanis.Recommend

  • sherrry

    Look close, there are three fingers pointing at you,
    There are so many tommyz on yourside of border too
    Digging cricket pitches, pouring engine oil etc, any bells ringing?????Recommend

  • ram

    As an Indian I always loved/envied Pakistan cricket growing up watching waqar younis, wasim akram abdul kadir it was pleasure watch fighting spirit of pakistan in cricket field, you guys are responsible for your own demise, please don’t blame others unless you put your house in order, think about contribution to terrorism and gangsters contributed to pakistan that they are using land of pure Recommend

  • Mohsin Ali Syed

    Hi Hadeel,

    You’ve written an interesting article and have used interesting analogies as well.

    Regarding matters of the PCB, we must all realize that Chairman’s will continue to come and go unless someone removes the ad hoc and patron system. We are still following a patron system where the Prime Minister is the Patron-in-Chief of the PCB. Previously it used to be the President. Now when you have the head of Government being the Patron-in-Chief, politics at the Chairman level will always exist at the PCB!!!

    The PCB needs to de politicize itself! Only then can we have stability in the board!Recommend

  • vasan

    Why should India go out of the way to host in Dubai to secure pakistani players. This year it shifted IPL to Dubai for it clashed with Indian elections and govt was not able to spare security even for Indian players. “Big hearted” pakistani players are not really wanted in IPL. Who wants to listen to “Insha allah” 1000 times in a press interview.Recommend

  • vasan

    They will eat their words, if not already. I am sure Shahid Afridi has already eaten his words along with cricket balls.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    Then, its a good thing Pakistani players are not playing in IPL in such a dangerous country, the epicentre of Terror all over the world..

    That has been our whole point isn’t it!Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    Then, its a good thing Pakistani players are not playing in IPL in such a dangerous country, the epicentre of Terror all over the world..

    That has been our whole point isn’t it!Recommend

  • Dec16

    Oh, the mighty fingers , which only pakis could see, lol. Otherwise no other team would have travelled to India to play, isn’t? Go and catch the attackers of Sri Lankan players first buddy, i think your ‘kuttas’ have gone rogue u know….and get that head out of sand asap, coz that isn’t helping anyone including yourself. Recommend

  • Enkay

    Okay Rohan. to make everything Equal=Equal BCCI should also exclude Pakistan Umpires, Commentators and Coaches. Happy?Recommend

  • Enkay

    SHAH : Why is it that you are degrading Pakistanis by implying that Pakistanis are stating “Maan Na Maan, Mein Ter Mehmaan”. It is shocking that PAKISTANIS HAVING BIG HEARTS are begging the BCCI to let them play in India whose People have small Hearts. It is sad that Pakistanis are lowering themselves in the eyes of their well wishers who expect them to stand tall and take it on the chin. If Indian Organizations does not want the Pakistanis them Pakistanis still have the WHOLE WORLD where Pakistanis are wanted. Please have some self respect.Recommend

  • Enkay

    Yes sherry. The Indians are indeed destroying their own INDIAN PITCHES and are not KILLING FOREIGNERS!Recommend

  • Abdul

    I suppose you were educated in the country of ‘the pure’.LOLRecommend

  • Gratgy

    Then why do all Pakistani players want to meet Tommy?Recommend

  • Gratgy

    Then why do all Pakistani players want to meet Tommy?Recommend

  • SD

    It means sour grapes, Sir…..Recommend

  • SD

    No country is ready to welcome Pakis……Recommend

  • http://www.vaishwords.com/ Vaish

    I beg to differ. The IPL is a great idea and event but Srinivasan and the BCCI are a blight on what used to be called a gentleman’s gameRecommend

  • IndianDude

    Pakistanis just don’t get it. After 26/11 mumbai massacre, no one will let any IPL team with pakistani players play in mumbai, same in pune, ahmedabad and prthaps other cities.
    If i were a franchise owner, why take risk. Besides, unless you jail/hang or hand over the murders of 26/11, we dont give a crap about pakistani players.
    Only reason, ramiz raza, wasim and waqar is in IPL as coach/commentator is franchises want pakistanis to watch IPL, so they can general more ad revenue from the global brands that have business inn pakistan also. That is all ther is to it.Recommend

  • Shah (Berlin)

    YES racist..and extremist..!!!
    Never heard in any other sport tht players of one country are not allowed to take part….how can you even defend this point…India is a so called secular state and the BIGGEST DEMOCRACY in the world…!!!Recommend

  • Shah (Berlin)

    Wow…thnx for not understanding the point and discussing the terms used..!!!Recommend

  • Shah (Berlin)

    So tht gives another country the right to discriminate…You might me living in 12th century where Might is right…!!!
    In civilized world we use the word JUSTICE…!!!!Recommend

  • Shah (Berlin)

    I am not begging BCCI….Please mind it….The fact is tht one country is not allowed to play in an ICC recognized league…THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE at any level in any civilized world…SIMPLE….!!!Recommend

  • Shah (Berlin)

    yeah right thtz y i am working in Germany has a Research Engineer with Germans working under me….THINK BIG…!!!!Recommend

  • Shah (Berlin)

    MIND it still with a Pakistani PASSPORT…!!!!Recommend

  • Shah (Berlin)

    .now you discussed about the Term racist and rather than acknowledging that an ICC recognized League is not allowing another ICC accepted nation to take part because of countries political issues….I think you should have a broad mind and let go of the term “Might is right”….Recommend

  • Abdul

    Do what you can. IPL will never have Pakistani players. That is a challenge.Recommend

  • Mannan

    Sir! Blame your country if an ICC recognised league is not letting ICC recognised country to play. After all, it was Pakistan itself which refused to send the players. The world does not run on what Pakistan thinks right at which moment.Recommend

  • Lalit

    as a next step are you going to blame India for no Cricket in Pakistan ? who do you think is responsible for poor security condition in Pak ? if India and bcci were RACIST as you insist,why were so many Pakistani players in IPL 1 ?they became RACIST overnight ?once bitten twice shy is appropriate in this case.Recommend