Comment: Desperate attempts for revival of cricket

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 9:42:30 by



KARACHI: 

The desire to revive international cricket in the country is forcing Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Shaharyar Khan to adopt desperate measures as he continues his begging and bargaining trip across the Asian cricket elites and minnows Bangladesh.

To give Shaharyar credit, the sojourn to India does make sense, as they are probably the most powerful nation among the International Cricket Council (ICC) members and there are plenty of positives that Pakistan can gain if the arch-rivals come to a mutual understanding.

For starters, convincing India to take Pakistani stars on board for the Indian Premier League (IPL) will be a major achievement in itself, as it will allow interaction on player-to-player basis and may open doors for an eventual resumption of cricketing ties between the two nations that have lain almost dormant since 2008, save a limited tour of India in 2012-2013.

On the other hand, the least that can be scavenged from the situation is hosting India U19 and A teams or Ranjhi Trophy winners on home soil, which, if successful, may lead to an exchange of highly qualified coaches as a gesture of improving relation between the arch-rivals.

However, the next trip to Bangladesh has left Shaharyar on thin ice, as the primary reflection of his meeting with the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is far from convincing.

Pakistani players were not allowed to participate in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) by former PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf in an apparent reaction to Bangladesh’s refusal to visit Pakistan for a short ODI series. Since then, the relations between the two boards have been tolerable at best.

Adding insult to injury, BCB President Nazmul Hasan stated that his board is least bothered if Pakistani players do not play in their leagues.

All things considered, Shaharyar should realise that Bangladesh are no more than minnows and Pakistan should stop inviting their school, U19 or A teams to Pakistan, as no good is expected to come out of it.

Unlike India, the correct method of dealing with Bangladesh will be to host no less than their national team. The PCB chairman needs to understand that the BCB is nowhere near the stature of the Indian board; them offering to become a neutral venue for us is evidence enough about the real state of affairs in Bangladesh cricket.

The PCB head should understand that Bangladesh needs Pakistan more than Pakistan needs Bangladesh to survive in international cricket.

The revival of international cricket in Pakistan can wait; stooping to new lows will only hurt our cricket and will further tarnish our already blighted image.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 9th, 2014.

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