Stop dissing Pakistan cricket
The Salman, Amir and Asif case is over now. The so-called ‘cricket experts’ should know that whatever the trio did was in their personal capacity and nothing was backed by the government or by the people of Pakistan.
Hansie Cronje, Azharuddin, Ajay Sharma, Ajay Jadeja, Salim Malik, Ata ur Rehman, Maurice Odumbe, Marlon Samuels, Mark Waugh, Shane Warne, Brian Lara, Aravinda De Silva and Arjuna Ranatunga from different nationalities have also been in close contact with bookies. Few of them have also faced life bans and heavy fines as they were either involved in match/spot fixing or in giving information to the bookies.
Each one of them did whatever they did in their personal capacity although they caused similar kind of pain for their countrymen and fans. None of them was sent to jail because the laws for these crimes were not made at the time. Had the Pakistani trio committed this sin in any other country, they would have not have been sent to jail as England is the only cricket playing country which made laws for such cases in 2005.
If Indian, South African, West Indian, Sri Lankan and Kenyan players can do this to their respective countries, then we must know that Pakistanis are no exception, and are, at the end of the day, human. Just like other cricket playing countries, Pakistan has also faced bad patches and this is one of them. Above all, a few scandals does not essentially mean that Pakistani players have stopped performing well or will never perform well at the highest level of the game.
Pakistan has been playing cricket since August 2010 without Salman, Amir and Asif and they managed to play the Semi Final of cricket’s biggest tournament, the World Cup 2011, in a land where they were facing threats. They outplayed the then world champions Australia and runner ups Sri Lanka in pool matches, and topped the group with maximum scores at the points table. They outclassed the West Indies in the Quarter Final and gave a real hard time to India in the Semi Final, so lets not forget what our cricket team has done for us.
Pakistani players have performed exceptionally well at the highest level of the game, in recent days too. Lets take a look at some highlights:
1- Pakistan has won the Super Sixes tournament.
2- Pakistan has secured a safe place in the Test series against Sri Lanka by going one up. Even if they lose the third Test, they will not lose the series.
3-Pakistan has won the Test and one day series against Zimbabwe.
4- Pakistan has levelled the Test series and won the ODI series against West Indies.
Our sportsmen have not only made us proud on the cricket pitch, they have excelled in many other sports as well:
1- The Pakistan hockey team has won yet another tri-nation hockey title by defeating Australia in the Finals.
2- Pakistan has played a close contest (43-39) against USA in Kabaddi World Cup.
Thus, our nation should learn to celebrate our victories, and let go of the mishaps along the way. Pakistani cricket should be thankful to the trio for their contribution to Pakistan cricket with their performance before getting involved in the spot-fixing case. Young cricketers should also be thankful to them too, as they will likely not be involved in any spot/match fixing cases in the near future after witnessing the trio’s outcome.
Pakistan has proven that it is a land of legends. It has produced Imran Khan, Jahangir Khan, Jansher Khan, Shahbaz Ahmad, Hassan Sardar, Muhammad Yousuf, Naseem Hameed, Aisamul Haq, Javaid Miandad, Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram, Abdul Qadir – all legends from different sports. Each of them has earned love and respect for their nation and our youth will also follow their footprints.
Pakistani players should move forward by keeping their greats’ achievements in mind, and not get caught in the downward spiral of the shame the trio has brought us. We should understand that every nation has its fair share of scandals, and Pakistan will soon recover.
Lets not lose hope and focus on the positives.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.