If Pakistan boycotts the World Twenty20, it is only Pakistan that will suffer

Published: October 20, 2015
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This TV grab shows Shiv Sena activists threatening BCCI President Shashank Manohar to cancel talks with the PCB chief at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

This TV grab shows Shiv Sena activists threatening BCCI President Shashank Manohar to cancel talks with the PCB chief at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Shiv Sena members shout anti-Pakistan slogans just before BCCI President Shashank Manohar and PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan were due to discuss agreed upon bilateral cricketing fixtures.

We live in a time where our very existence is offensive to some people. It is hard to imagine how much cricket has been used as a weapon for political folly. It is absolutely outrageous that our team is in constant limbo, adjusting to whatever catastrophe will hit them next.

Perhaps we are sensitive people, maybe our history has taught us the art of playing victim, but there is a general feeling of resentment underlying Pakistan cricket, a sense that we are treated like second-class citizens, a complete double standard when it comes to anything Pakistan related and the deafening silence from the outside world is only perpetuating it. Perhaps we are wrong, the harm we have inflicted on ourselves has been more lethal than any attack from exterior forces but the pain is all the same.

Earlier when Australia cancelled their tour of Bangladesh, it was because their safety had to be put first. We had scores of self-proclaimed gurus on Twitter claiming there is nothing heroic about putting your life on the line to play a sport and the Australians were justified in their actions.

India, Pakistan and South Africa had all toured in the months before that. The World T20, the Asia Cup and the Bangladesh Premiere League (BPL) have all been held in recent times without a blip, but this non-specific threat was enough to cancel on the eve of the departure and not a single question needed to be raised.

In the same breath, you have the Shiv Sena in India causing absolute mayhemthreatening an International Cricket Council (ICC) official Aleem Dar, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman, Shahryar Khan and Najam Sethi sealed in their hotel for security reasons, Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akthar unable to commentatePakistani artists being forced to cancel events and an immense hatred for the country and anything and everything associated with it.

That is not to say that all of India feels this way, it is impossible to generalise and believe that the actions of a few reflect the sentiments of 1.2 billion souls. If only the rest of the world didn’t think we are all hiding in our bomb shelters and funding lunatics.

The ICC has decided that given the cash cow the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is, they could not take the World T20 away from India, after all, it is only Pakistan who is at stake. Instead, our players who are under serious attack will simply not play in the state of Maharashtra. There you have it, problem brilliantly solved. If the Shiv Sena is attacking Pakistanis, simply remove them from the equation. The deafening silence from both the ICC and the BCCI is enough to make one question the very foundation of the cricketing world.

What is this dictatorship? If a team feels threatened in a country, how can you expect them to play, but if the roles were reversed there would be outrage? Given all the power the BCCI now has, the rest of the playing nations are simply ostriches, afraid to ruffle any feathers in fear of the mighty Indian wrath.

On  June 26, 2014, the headlines roared about how India and Pakistan, under the leadership of then chairman Najam Sethi, had a binding agreement with India; six tours between the years 2015-2023 which had been sketched into the Future Tours Programme for both teams. Pakistan was also apparently said to be given the fourth largest share of revenue after the Big Three, allowing us to believe we had some say in the ruling of the cricket world. As it stands, the situation has reached new levels of low with intolerance rampant on both sides of the border and cricket and its avid followers are the ones to suffer.

You have the ministry and heads of the BCCI claiming that they will not play cricket with Pakistan because the country is harbouring certain terrorists? Is this what cricket has now been reduced to, a bargaining tool for a political agenda?

On the flip side, the chief executive of the PCB is desperate for some cricketing ties with India, realising the importance of their presence in the sport. With the Pakistan Super League (PSL) on the rise, he’s open to the idea of having Indian players on board; perhaps that sentiment might have changed after recent events.

It is pertinent to also point out that earlier this year, during the Indian Premiere League (IPL), Sri Lankan players were not able to play any matches in Chennai so perhaps the threat looms for nations as a whole and not one specific neighbour.

There was little talk, even less ridicule and a simple sense of acceptance, that’s just how it was. As Pakistanis, we’re used to this every single year (again playing victim of course), we are all too familiar with the depression that sinks in when IPL season is on.

These are dark times for Pakistan cricket. It’s a hard time to be a fan no matter where you live in the world. The sport is slowly being wrought with the sort of red tape and governance that takes away from the magic. It’s going to be a wonder how Pakistan will manage to play any games at all at the World T20. If we boycott the World Cup, it is only our team that will suffer. The time is now for the ICC to create a standard policy for the security of all playing nations around the world and yes dare I say, one that includes the nuisance that is Pakistan.

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.

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

    Which list is that?Recommend

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

    I can help you with that.

    https://www.un.org/sc/suborg/en/search/content/dawood%20ibrahim

    All the individual listed above are/were in Pakistan. Hafiz Saeed too!

    I am trying to find the Interpol notice which lists his various addresses in safe houses in Karachi.

    You guys were fans of UN Resolutions, weren’t you? Why don’t you implement the above?

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/912213/un-body-to-monitor-pakistans-compliance-of-sanction-on-dawood-lakhvi/

    Why are you guys sheltering Terrorists and when they turn on Pakistan, blaming them on India?Recommend

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

    Jail is not equal to harbouring, genius..Recommend

  • raj

    then India should come to Pakistan as terrorists are their problem not ours … Isn’t it ??Recommend

  • Kay

    If he was then where is the body which has no proof of existence by the way am not a PakistaniRecommend

  • Gratgy

    Does Pakistan deny that he was in Pakistan?Recommend

  • Sane

    Sikhs in Indian army shall revolt against India when time comes.Recommend

  • Sane

    They look and talk Indian and confessed to be Indians.Recommend

  • Sane

    Terrorism? You have proved that you have a terrorist mindset, which was under sham lately and at the first opportunity bounced. Before refuting read newspapers. Even your elected PM Modi is under prosecution for murder charges in your own courts. You kill Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Dillats and all foreigners including recently the Australian couple. You have the RAPE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD. That is your character. Do you have any face to talk about terrorism. You imposed terrorism on Pakistan, which has been fought out. Our nuclear capability is basically the thorn which pricks you and pinches you,. Our military capabilities are growing at a rapid speed. Be ware…..Recommend

  • Sane

    Ha…ha…ha… burning smell is there. Enjoying.Recommend

  • Sane

    But is very thorny. Mind it. Heeeeeee…..heeeeeeeRecommend

  • hp kumar

    he stated a fact …Most of the pakistanis likes to remain oblivious to itRecommend

  • Sane
  • Sudhanshu Swami

    Why hope and wait for Kashmir, play with Bermuda, pay zimbabwe they will play with you. Be aware if any day there is khalistan, Its capital will be Lahore. Khalistan would mean whole punjab, it cant be without Nankana sahib. Khalistan wont be friendly with Pakistan, if you are dreaming then good.Recommend

  • Rajiv

    Nobody is asking you to go to cinema halls to watch Indian movies.
    Don’t watch Indian movies, they will stop selling automatically.Recommend

  • Raika

    ” I think India should subsidize the sector which is Pakistan’s biggest export”

    What if that sector is beef exports? We should start increasing beef production now that Indians have backed away and clamped down on such a profitable export as well as local industry :)Recommend

  • Rajiv

    We asked, now other tactics are unerway.Recommend

  • Rajiv

    so much dreaming.Recommend

  • Rajiv

    We know who’s behind the “Sikhs Community”
    as for real India there is nothing to expose, we don’t have skeletons in our cupboards like PakistanRecommend

  • Rajiv

    more insane comments.Recommend

  • Rajiv

    and you believed the.
    lolRecommend

  • Rajiv

    well save your own face, before talking about India look at your own country first.
    and stop day dreaming.Recommend

  • Rajiv

    It was Pakistan which started all wars not India.
    atleast read a book.Recommend

  • Singh is Bling

    The same country revolting part occurred in 1971
    Btw no doubt you depend only on that
    No confidence in your own army?Recommend

  • Rajiv

    the entire world know where OBL was hiding while Pakistan was “helping” USA in war on terrorRecommend

  • Mano Ji

    my simple solution, Create your own ICC, as the current one has already lost it credibility.Recommend

  • Rajiv

    looking at your “country” we actually laugh
    ahahaha
    good riddance and Thanks to Mr JinnahRecommend

  • cart

    lol hahahaha
    Where do you get your news info from?
    Lala land?Recommend

  • Rajiv

    yeah that was also a Pakistan job.Recommend

  • PK

    Yeah saw your military capabilities in Abottabad
    Where they could not know that OSAMA Bin LADEN was next to their camp!!Recommend

  • Rajiv

    Because those who died in Samjhota exp were pakis
    none of our business.Recommend

  • FDG

    remove the ‘t’
    that would explain the only list where your country was at no.1Recommend

  • Bana Post

    Tit for tat to last common wealth meetingRecommend

  • Agrippa – The Skeptic

    “Only if Pakistanis knew how to deal with Hindu baniya…”

    Isn’t this the only basic argument you have, religious?
    Otherwise you you would you would have let the Pakistanis deal with Indians.
    And, at the end of the day your PCB leaders are rubbing their noses at the feet of the very “Hindu baniya” .
    Why – because the PCB is bankrupt, as bad as the P-Hockey folks. Khan and Sethi at least know and acknowledge that playing with India would get them some “baniya” $$.Recommend

  • amrik

    Modi is the best thing to happen to India since independence. Everyone knows it and is jealous, he has big corporations all over the world bowing at his feet, Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook CEO for those who don’t know) wants to do business in India. All the big companies want to know about India Recommend

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

    How do you know? Did they send a letter to you?
    So, I guess your support to them means you no longer accuse them of killing Muslims during Partition, eh?Recommend

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

    Most of us here read Pakistanis news everyday. If this were true, Sri Lanka would take it up directly with India. Pakistan would have splashed this news all over the world and including in UN.
    Have you no sense of responsibility?Recommend

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

    And, this is supposed to insult me. All I have to insult you is draw a line on a piece of paper. But, I won’t because I am not here to insult. I just offer the truth, the bare naked kind and nothing hurts more than the truth.
    Did you know more 60,000 people have been killed in Pakistan in the last 10 years due to Terror?
    2 millon homeless IDPs because your Army bombarded the villages they lived in. They lost everything! – basically giving rise to next generation of Extremists. Most of these IDPs are below 20 years old.
    The Demographic bubble is bursting. Pakistan’s birth rate is highest in Indian subcontinent, if not Asia! Pakistan needs to grow at 7% to create enough jobs for new entrants to the market. Pakistan is finding tough to grow at half the amount.
    Trust me, with all this Pakistan is not destined to lead in any industry, except that of war and terror.Recommend

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

    I am waiting for your reply.Recommend

  • Pakistan

    Two persons are responsible for such docile attitude: Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif. Both ignored the ramifications and never went on offensive. Even now Nawaz Sharif apparently has business on his mind. Where was Sethi during all this fiasco? Media is in collosion hence coverup of intriguing disappearance of Sethi in India.He was attending to personal errands of Nawaz Sharif. What a disgrace.Recommend

  • gul khan

    COME ON …SHOW THE SPORT SPIRIT…..NOTHING CAN BE ACHIEVED THROUGH HATE….. DEAR.Recommend

  • Regumrex

    Pakistan has to decide what is more important: cricket or Hafeez Saeed and Dawood Ibrahim.Recommend

  • Regumrex

    Somebody try and explain this to me.
    Pakistan considers India as an enemy. It harbors terrorists like Hafiz Saeed, Dawood Ibrahim who roam freely after creating mayheim in India.
    And you Pakistanis expect that India should play cricket with you!Recommend

  • sridhar

    Anoop,
    Have you seen the pitiable state of cows in India?
    They just roam the streets with nobody to care.
    To say Hindus respect Cow as sacred is a joke!
    If they did, they should take better care of cows.Recommend

  • sridhar

    Yes,
    Sikhs will make Khalistan with Lahore as the capital. After all, Lahore was the capital of Ranjit Singh!
    IMV, sikhs are not that stupid to create a landlocked state perennially dependent on Pakistan (a failing state) and India (who would not be friendly).Recommend

  • Anonymous

    So why complain just boycott and lets see how things work .Recommend

  • Anonymous

    Pakistan will lot to lose as its now a partially bankrupt board.Thats why they are always begging to play a series with India to make some money.Recommend

  • Anonymous

    without Pakistan cricket will live and kicking but without India Cricket is dead.Recommend

  • Anonymous

    Terrorist sena !! Then what you call LET,LEJ whatever name they have ?
    Sivsainik never oppose Bangladesh or any muslim country they oppose Pakistan.
    How can you ever welcome bilateral series when your soldiers are martyred every day by infiltrator for POK side ?Recommend

  • Anonymous

    Then why beg for series .Hypocrisy at its peak.Recommend

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

    The women in India are in a pitiable state too. Should we then not do anything to fix it?

    Cow has a special place in Indian culture. It has to be respected.Recommend

  • Sane

    Pakistan must not play with a novice team, which only performs at home ground, home crowd and with home umpires. Although despite these factors South Africa nailed down Indian Cricket. It is advisable Indians to play with Scotland or maximum with Zimbabwe. They do not have competency to play with world class teams like Pakistan. Come on Indian trolls…….Recommend

  • Sane

    Remember that Sikhs killed your PM Indra Gandhi. Wasn’t that a revolt?Recommend

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

    Your Army killed 2 of your Prime Ministers – ZAB and Benazir. They have jailed/exiled most of the PMs of Pakistan.

    Read the Hamoodar Rehman commission report to see how your Army killed/raped 3 million Bengalis.

    But, you still trust them, don’t you. Sikhs have forgiven Congress for what it did. They elected Congress to power in 2009, where Congress got most of the seats in Punjab. They are joining and leading the Army as ever before. Why on Earth would they vote for Congress and join the Army in droves and give up their lives if they were still miffed with India?
    Their culture is celebrated in our movies and very central part of our culture. You guys on the other hand alienated Bengalis and imposed Urdu on them and they rebelled. See the difference in treatment? No language or foreign culture was imposed on Sikhs.Recommend

  • Billy

    Well first of all let me make you understand that, India is on the way of darkness. Soon many Multinational companies going to stop business with India. We should not merge sports and politics. Both are different dude. Go and get some knowledge first, then talk,
    I am Billy from Varanasi, but i do not hate anybody, all are human, we must me cool and calm with every one and all religions. Always giving priority to humanity. We do not have right to scold any body.Recommend

  • Sridhar Kaushik

    Anoop,

    I am do not eat beef or meet.

    I want to say this upfront so you should not think I have an axe to grind!
    Go to this URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2001/08/14/stories/13140833.htm
    Ancient Indians ate beef, other meat products in gay abandon!
    The above article will tell you that all kind of animals were regularly sacrificed (and later eaten) during “Yagna”.
    Buddha deemed this practice as unacceptable. When Buddhism gained ground, Hindu religion had to change its course and did away with animal sacrifice during Yagna.

    This is all part of history.
    Cow was deemed holy to stop its slaughter so that it can be used for milk, milk products. This happened as nomadic societies became more agrarian and realized the importance of Cow.Recommend

  • Sridhar Kaushik

    Asad,
    Most of Bollywood movies are watched in Pakistan on pirated DVDs. India hardly makes any revenue selling movies shown on cinema theaters.
    Pakistani’s insatiable hunger for Bollywood movies is what drives the piracy market.
    Besides, if Pakistani artists do not want to go to India to work, they do not have to. Nobody is forcing them to come there!
    They come because of better salaries, better prospects.Recommend

  • Sridhar Kaushik

    Again you guys are mistaken in believing that Pakistani artists are much sought after!
    If a Pakistani actor has already made a mark in Pakistan, an Indian producer/ director may deem it a good investment in have him/ her in his movie. This is especially true with somebody who does not have a lot of money to invest and is making a low budget movie.Recommend

  • Sridhar Kaushik

    Anoop,
    Like you, I am asking a fundamental question: why should India play cricket with an enemy nation?
    Any takers there?Recommend

  • Sane

    Boycott all sports tournaments in India.Recommend

  • Agrippa – The Skeptic

    So, let them demand. If it is against your grain, let the Pakistani Artists not go. The Hindi Films industry aka Bollywood existed before the Pakistani Artists were allowed, will be there if they were not allowed.Recommend

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

    We should take the good aspects from the past and throw out the bad ones. Beef being consumed in the past is immaterial. I’m sure lot of things were done in the past good and bad which don’t happen anymore.
    I don’t know why people refer to the past all the time, both Right wing and Left. Can’t we judge a decision based on its own merit?
    Cow was and is central to Indian culture. This is all that matters – the “is” part. For me, Cow represents my own mother. My biological mother nourished me with her milk for the first 6 months, while this wonderful animal has done so for the next 27 years. I am deeply indepted to the Cow and I fully understand why Cow was considered holy. Just like the most dangerous snakes and the disgusting Rats are considered holy too. Were they central to the Economy too? Lets not try to ape the West and reduce it to pure reason.
    I want to promote India’s culture of seeing ourselves a part of nature and its protector. Cow is representative of that ideology and I consider it both unique and beautiful. Had King Cobra not been considered sacred, it would be hunted down to extinction. Rat too is respected and there is even a Temple. It has a negative effect on Agrarian Economy. This is just a recognition of the right of all animals in the Animal Kingdom.
    Our culture is unique and we should respect it.
    Many states in the US ban the consumption of Dog meat or its sale. Are Dogs crucial to its Economy too? Is that why this has been done? For many Americans consumption of a species which they love dearly is abhorrant! They have banned it.
    Cow is India’s Dog.Recommend

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

    Thank you.Recommend

  • Sridhar Kaushik

    I agree with the spirit of your post Anoop and am touched when you say “Cow is like my mother”.
    All I am saying is: Hindus must learn to first noursh that Cow and not let her wander the streets as is happening today.
    Ancient Vedic India was a great place, where people lived in harmony with nature. I am sure Vedic Seers would have sneered at people eating beef but would still not go to the extent of hating anyone for that reason.
    I saw a program in you tube (Link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioiw3Fv9Grk) that gave some amazing figures. 1 billion animals killed in US alone to satisfy the need for meat. Also, the sheer brutality of killing!
    I encourage everyone in this forum to watch the you tube at the link I have provided.
    Research is showing that eating red meat is bad.
    It increases risk of heart attacks, cancer and decreases one’s life span.
    However, such arguments do not deter people.
    It is best to educate the masses and let them decide.
    This should not become a Hindu versus the rest.Recommend

  • amrik

    Are you joking me? Multinational companies like Facebook and Google are all going TOWARDS India, in a bid to stop the Chinese getting too powerful.Recommend

  • Sridhar Kaushik

    Guy,
    These things keep happening and make news because they happen.
    Remember: dog biting a man is not news. The reverse is!
    The fact of matter is: each person has equal rights enshrined in the Constitution. That Constitution is what matters. And that is upheld by the highest court of the land.
    So, a dalit had equal rights to anyone else.
    Of course, nobody is saying things are hunky dory.
    India is a place of contradictions.
    While you may hear the news of a dalit being burnt alive (still happens in barbaric areas of Bihar, UP), you probably were never told that the framer of the Constitution was a Dalit himself!
    Read what Pakistan did to its minorities. Hindus are reduced to 2% or so by forced conversions, killings, emigration etc.
    Muslim, other minority population in India is rising steadily that is a testimony to the fact that stray incidents may happen but minorities still have faith in the system.
    I will urge you to stop watching your stupid TV channels which are clearly controlled by your establishment. Go to independent sources. See what is happening in Balochistan. Read up why people of POK seem unhappy.Recommend

  • Sridhar Kaushik

    The problem with India is: there is too much tolerance to a lot of nonsense.
    Shiv Sena is a nuisance. That is all.
    It is neither a patriotic organization nor does it have a large voter base.
    That is why it likes to punch above its weight: just to be in news!
    Today, it is not just Shiv Sena or right wingers who are asking this question: why have normal relationship with Pakistan when it clearly supports terrorist outfits in its midst.
    Even apolitical people like me are asking the same question.
    Time was when I enjoyed Indo-Pak cricket matches.
    Not any more.
    Not until there is a closure to Mumbai attack victims.Recommend

  • Agrippa – The Skeptic

    If it really hurts you so much, your artists just have to stop going to India. No Indian is ever going to go to Pakistan and ram Indian money down their throats.Recommend

  • Raika

    “this is supposed to insult me”
    No, beef is a multi-million industry. Drawing cartoons merely provides income to a few cartoonists. You have shot yourself in the foot by banning beef. It will only lead to more smuggling and loss of millions of jobs (something not done by banning cartoons). So much for commitment to economic growth…

    “Did you know more”
    Changing the topic eh? Did you know that more than half of India’s population does not have access to basic sanitation and lives in poverty??? I could go on with the Naxalite and Kashmir insurgency (plus how Zarb-e-Azb has actually made Pakistan safer as admitted by the West and IDP’s themselves) but I won’t because I do not believe in diverting the topic.Recommend

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

    LOL. Beef export is still happening. Buffalo meat is considered meat too. Not Cows. Not something which is sacred to Hinduism. Mostly Muslims used to indulge in this meat trade and they didn’t respect local culture. I am not losing sleep over them. If some Hindus did it, they deserve the loss of job. They should have had better sense.

    Are you aware you guys have much greater poverty than us?

    http://data.worldbank.org/country/india
    India:21.9%

    http://data.worldbank.org/country/pakistan
    Pakistan: 22.3%

    This used to be reverse only few years ago. India is actually reducing poverty while it is on the increase in Pakistan.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/181361/economic-survey-2010-11-has-the-real-poverty-rate-hit-43/

    Real poverty rate is 43% says ADB. You guys haven’t had a census since 1998 and publishing false, outdated data to everyone.

    Your sanitation problem is much worse just because you don’t recognize it even exists!

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/690737/two-thirds-get-electricity-less-than-half-of-pakistanis-have-access-to-sanitation-says-wb/

    “Similarly, only 47% of the population has access to sanitation services.”

    Naxalites have been around since 60s. We are not losing sleep over it. With Economic growth and better governance they will go away. I rather have them than beset with the problem of Islamic insurgency. Radical Islam demands blood. And you have 200 million potential radicals in your midst.

    Zarb-E-Azb has led to 2 million IDPs, basically given rise to next generation of Radical Islamists.Recommend

  • raj

    I would call LET LEJ terrorist too. I m not a hypocrite. I m sure you dont know but shiv terrorists are against everyone who is not a Maharshtaran. they are against muslims (e.g., Ayoudhiya incident) and they are against Pakistan. If you are saying your soldiers are getting killed then Pakistan is in the same boat. their people are getting killed. The truth is there is no evidence to prove who is doing what. If you are saying Pakistan is using terrorists then Pakistan is saying you use Balochistan nationalist to go against pakistan (similar to what u did with Bangladesh). No one knows the truth.Recommend

  • Omar K Cheema

    we are the 2nd ranked test team in the world, the only reason *SOME* teams dont play Pakistan is because they are afraid to lose to a team they have tried their best to destroy.
    Recommend

  • Omar K Cheema

    How does India expect to win any war with Pakistan with their entire SU30 fleet grounded. What r u going to fight with? 1950s mig21s?Recommend