To begin with here’s my stand on the issue:
1. I like Cricket and I like Pakistan Cricket on days they are not in their self destructive best (if you read ‘fixed’—I did not mean it!).
2. Probably IPL could have avoided the negative press by excluding the Pakistani Players this year from the auction. ( I’m not sure how ICC would have reacted)
Let’s move on to my story:
I find the reaction of the Cricketers, Politicians, bureaucrats and Indian Media to the IPL auction amusing, to say the least. I would usually not care about such things however, every newspaper I read, every news channel I viewed and website I visited in the last 24 hours was carrying the same story.
I can’t but question what I’m reading and hearing as the story unfolds.
(P.S. I have picked up these statements from the news websites- IBN Live, NDTV, CNN. All credits to them.
The portions I picked from media is in red, My questions in blue)
1. Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik on 2010 January 20:
Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Wednesday said that India “doesn’t seem serious” about resuming dialogue, and that “respect is important for relations to improve.”
“Sportsmen are ambassadors of peace, and India should respect Pakistani sportsmen,” said Malik.
My Question: To quote you Sir from a year earlier
Malik, speaking to reporters, said Pakistani authorities had charged eight people with providing the Mumbai attackers with cell phones and helping them reach the city’s shore by boats from Pakistan. Among them is the mastermind, a man who lived in a rented apartment in the city of Karachi.
“The incident has happened in India and part of the conspiracy has been done in Pakistan and therefore (the charge) will be aiding terrorism,” Malik said.
Mr. Interior Minister Your citizens held Mumbai at Ransom for 3 days and we were almost denied IPL. Finally IPL had to move to South Africa in 2009 to survive. What have you done for our dignity and respect? What have you done to show you are serious?
2. Earlier, a group of Pakistani parliamentarians canceled their forthcoming tour to India, in protest against Tuesday’s IPL auction where none of the teams bid for any Pakistani player.
My Question: Sirs, What was on your agenda? Both countries save some money. Is there opportunity lost here?Am i missing something?
3. Afridi told NDTV that it was a very negative signal. He pointed out that sports, especially cricket, helped get countries closer and that cricket was a religion in India and Pakistan. As a world champion team we expected to be a part of the IPL. Most of the franchises wanted to take us but may be because of the pressure on them by the government that they overlooked us finally. It is a very negative signal and should not have happened this way. We have a huge fan base in India and they love to see Pakistani cricketers, he said.
a. Mr. Afridi, here’s a video from IPL 2008 . Do we see a world champion here?
b. What is the basis of your conviction that franchisees under pressure from Indian Government?
4. Khan called on the government to boycott all sports activities with India. Khan alleged that India was treating Pakistani players and artists in an “insulting manner” while the government remained silent.
He said India was earning crores of rupees from Pakistan through its films, the screening of which should be banned by the government.
My Question: Mr. Khan don’t you think letting you film makers make good films and the population watch movies is a better solution? and may be you could develop a rival PPL ( Pakistan Primer League)
5. Face The Nation, Sagarika Ghose IPL auction: Is civil society ostracising Pakistanis?
My Question: Madam Sagarika, I acknowledged you are a firebrand journalist however, is it necessary to sensationalize everything? Is it for the TRPs or the Stock Price?
Sports Minister Ijaz Jakhrani made the master stroke and is my player of the day. I bet no one can beat this one..
6. Sports Minister Ijaz Jakhrani was also too critical of the treatment meted to the Pakistani players.
“The way India behaved with us is highly condemnable. We will give a befitting reply to them. When there is a question of Pakistan’s pride, we are united,” he added.
My Question: Mr. Sports Minister what do you intend to do next? Do you plan to send the ‘Team’ on ‘Boats’ with ”GPS and ‘Kits’ for IPL?
I rest my case..