Archive for the ‘Cricket’ Category

Asif, from peddling drugs to steroids to possible sell-out

Some readers, on my facebook took offence when I wrote earlier [ No match fixing in Denialistan ] about Pakistani cricketers invovlement in spot-fixing fiasco recently, perhaps they didnot understand what I was trying to say. Things have changed considerable since then, with changing stances of Pakistani players and Yasir Hameed’s hidden-cam video admitting things we didnot want to hear.

My blogpost earlier was cross-posted in Gaurdian UK requoting my words:

Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi prints what he says is the article from the Daily Jang linking Afridi’s resignation to the Majeeds on his blog although it appears to be in Urdu.Zaidi writes:From Generals to Judges, from politicians to cricketers – who hasnt been selling out in the land of pure? We need to realize our mistakes, only then can we embark on a journey towards enlightment and progress. There will no progress if ‘sell-outs’ are not punished and made an example of. There will be no betterment, if rotten eggs are not thrown out the window. Closing eyes to reality wont change reality, running away from facts wont change facts. Standing tall and confessing to errs, rethinking, revisiting and vowing never to do it again — might

Just today, Maheen Usmani wrote a wonderful blogpost on Tribune summarizing the the events and changing stance of Pakistani cricketers which again points at the very same:

The statements are getting increasingly ludicrous, the denials more strident, the twists and turns more and more dizzying, as the precarious house of cards, built on the foundation of mismanagement, nepotism and toadying, by the Pakistan Cricket Board, lurches and collapses around it’s ears.


Things are yet to unveil, but the recent tide of official interviews by the PCB and ICC alongwith articles published in International media give troubling news regarding the fate of Pakistani cricketers, leaving aside the disgrace and shame Pakistanis had to bear worldwide because of these ambassadors. I am pasting an email, sent to me by my uncle living in UK:

The news on all UK News Channels since yesterday evening about Pakistani cricket team betting scam is extremely devastating. Just yesterday, when I went to work in the morning (before this news broke), one of my colleagues said what’s happening in your country (target killing, bombing, floods) and to your cricket team.

Many of my colleagues have been giving donation towards flood relief and with these new development with the cricket team, I feel totally let down by our nation, and feel that I must return the money back to each contributor. Even though these are still allegations and nothing has been confirmed but the damage has been done by betting mafia. I feel bad to face up to my colleagues at work. 

Them conspiracy theorists fantasize “foreign” powers wanting to cripple Pakistani cricket, like we are the only team worth-matching on International arena. For the love of God, see our ranking in ODI’s and Test cricket [ as of Sept, 2010 Pakistan is ranked 6th & 7th in Test & ODI’s ], see the players other teams like India, Australia, England, Srilanka and even West Indies have. My dear friend Asim tried convincing me that it was all a conspiracy — saying Yasir Hameed took money to say what he did, and my reply was: Eitherway, a Pakistani was sold.

The very reason to look inside for errors is to progress, to realize, to introspect, to become so strong and determined inside that no “foreign” powers buys you ; living in a state of denial makes ones ability to look inside for errs, impotent, as everything is seen a conspiracy. No one denies foreign powers hatching conspiracies, like we did, many times over — but the core reason to point at those who were sold, within us, is to make examples for the generations to come and as things get clearer in coming few days, I believe, some names would be made an example of.

Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi

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The news of some Pakistani players involved in spot-fixing came as a shock to a nation already in distress. Amidst the biggest natural disaster of the century, as 20 Million people yearn to have their lives back, our cricketers allegedly sold country’s pride. Anyone who puts a price tag on his country’s pride & prestige is bound to be dispised. Anger gripped the streets of Pakistan as International media kept on bombarding various stories relating to Pakistani players invovlement in spot/match fixing.

Of course, we cannot investigate and unveil the facts within our individual capacities, but certain elements have been pointing out to exactly this. Our constant ignorance to a matter very imporant to national pride was ignored for years and no counter-action to ensure fair-play was enacted. Here, Justice Qayyum’s report of his investigation into match fixing fiasco more than a decade ago, is crossposted: Justice Qayyum’s Report. Justice Qayyum pointed at some loop-holes and gave recommendations regarding cleansing Pakistan cricket team of such traitors but the names he wanted to be on probation, were given high-posts in PCB in the coming years. The current coach of Pakistan team, Waqar Younis was also fined.

It is also interesting to read the following article in daily Jang on 27th, July 2010 (a month before english newspaper broke the news) where Majid Bhatti clearly indicates that one of the reasons for Afridi to quit captaincy was his players close association with Azhar and Mazhar brothers (the bookies who now have verifiable proof against them)

I am cross-posting this here because certain Pakistanis in their ‘state of denial’ label everything as a conspiracy without trying to look inside for errors. From Generals to Judges, from politicians to cricketers – who hasnt been selling out in the land of pure? We need to realize our mistakes, only then can we embark on a journey towards enlightment and progress. There will no progress if ‘sell-outs’ are not punished and made an example of. There will be no betterment, if rotten eggs are not thrown out the window. Closing eyes to reality wont change reality, running away from facts wont change facts. Standing tall and confessing to errs, rethinking, revisiting and vowing never to do it again — might 🙂


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I don’t imply to sound too cynical but I am a little worried about the newly crowned star of Pakistan – Naseem Hameed. The fastest woman of South Asia, who won Gold Medal at SAF Games in Dhaka this year.

Every Ali, Akhtar and Allah Rakha in Pakistan knows about her, she spearheads Mobilink’s campaign with 6 minutes documentary-video being played again and again in top Pakistani channels. Watch this if you haven’t:

So, maybe this new bright star athlete, who won SAF GAMES was given stardom and this poor ol’ Sara Nasir got nothing.

Yes, now you’d be wondering who Sara Nasir is, she won a Gold Medal (Karate) in the same event in which Naseem was crowned the princess of Pakistan. But sadly, no telecom giant owns her and Ali, Akhtar and Allah Rakha just don’t care! Why?

I mean they both won Gold Medals, so what if she runs and she kicks, they both deserve to share the crown together, no?

P.S: Not meant to undermine the “fastest woman of South Asia” – but to inform the Ali, Akhtar and Naseebo about a similar achievement which might be going un-noticed as Sara is not the brand ambassador of a telecom giant.

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The history of sports is filled with romantic stories of unlikely triumphs. Pakistan’s T20 World Cup victory against Sri Lanka in June, after defeat in the first T20 WC final was the stuff of folklore. Someday, someone will make a film called, Boom Boom Pakistan!

All eyes on the boys in green once again, as they land in West Indies to defend the worthy title. Pakistan is the top ranked team in T20 version of the game, which has played 14 matches in WC’s and won 10 out of them. But the unpredictable lineup, known to be flamboyant, teeming with raw talent, ready to roar against any team certainly battles two opponents most the times, one is the team they are playing, other themselves.

Dynamic players like Razzak, Butt, Hafeez, Akmal, Asif, “young” Amir, Ajmal, Misbah need a strong captain and Afridi is fit to the task it seems. Intrinsic aggression with polished exuberance can only ensure victory for Pakistan. The shaky and often-trembling batting line-up would be the key, for the bowling department has enough variety and fire-power to oust any batting lineup. From the initial matches of the WC T20, pitches are low and slow, suiting medium paced cutters and spinners. Ajmal, Rehman, Razzak, Alam, Asif and Afridi would find the in-roads, whilst all eyes would be on the batting to live up to the standards of a world champion. Wickets in Pakistan are generally on the slower side, which favors our boys but fingers would be crossed.

Captaincy would be a defining role, for when to use spinners and batsmen who can bat anywhere from no. 1 to no. 6 will mean long lasting effects on the game on that particular day. So, the limelight is on the master of this version of the game, Shahid Khan Afridi.


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Homer would be turning in his grave, wondering even after hundreds of thousands of years, as man has explored the unreachable and discovered the incommunicable, some progress would have been made on the patent matter of “LET THE GIRL DECIDE WHOM SHE WANTS TO MARRY”

Yes, the same Homer who brought to us the legend of Troy as the early history of ancient Greece. Helen of Troy is the object of one of the most dramatic love stories of all time and one of the main reasons for a ten-year war between the Greeks and Trojans, known as the Trojan War. Helen of Troy is known as the face that launched a thousand ships because of the vast number of warships the Greeks sailed to Troy to reclaim Helen.

Is Sania Mirza the new-age Helen? Some of our Indian friends are throwing the most irrational rants from across the border and not in a very friendly tone. One such headline read:

Indian political party furious on Shoaib-Sania wedding

We can ignore the unfounded politicization of the matter by conservative Indian political parties, but to the astonishment of modern-day Homer, vibes riddling down the Pakistani side of the border by Indian bloggers and Indians on social networking sites makes one wonder if the contemporary world is still not developed enough to acknowledge a woman’s right to marry according to her wishes, be it with a man from across the border.

I fail to understand why the news baffles my Indian friends. Guys, you seriously need to grow up and realize your not living in 500 BC. Let me show you some stuff that forces me to write this blogpost:

Sania is a b* she should be thrown out of India let her go and live with that Pakistani ba* -ram – jaipur

Sania,I was probably one of the biggest fan of yours,today I am ashamed of myself to be your fan since you prefered your ““momentary““ likings over your country.I am sorry can`t even wish you…..preeti – london

first of all every indian should kick to sania and her family to get lost our country and build ur business to our enemy country. gov“t of india should cancell her all citizen ship and back to received her all honour what ever has given to from ourcountry. suman siliguri -suman – siliguri

Muslims are muslims afterall….. all they care is religion and yeah..ofcourse jehad. she should first meet the relatives of terror victims and later we should kick her out of India..just like M F Hussain. BTW good to see so many desi youngistan expressing their view. Group up ppl…its time to kick the traitors out. Also remember what SRK said few days ago…… They are all the same. WAKE UP! –raven11 – Chennai

Star like Sachin, Amitab, Gavaskar, Padukone, Saina Nehwal, Sania Mirza, A. Bindra etc are Indian Icon. Looking at tense relation with Pakistan, how can any Indian Citizen ever think of such act. God give her good sense. -S. Chaudhary – Pune

What sania mirza was, is because of India… we made her queen….but she chose to be A Pakistani…. God Bless her, don`t worry Sania, we are not going to miss you… you are not worthy of that…. -Sunita – Navi Mumbai

Random search on facebook proved more revealing:

We HATE Sania Mirza

We want Fatima Bhutto in return of Sania Mirza

1,000,000 people who hate sania mirza

We are lucky we aren’t living in the times of Troy when wars were fought over a woman and even if that were the case, we would have made sure that the last laugh accompanied chants of Pitt-cum-Malik: “Is there no one else?”

Let bygones be bygones, I think my angry friends should now worry about Sushmita Sen, Wasim Akram is single!

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PCB’s latest investigation that has come down heavily on the players is a brazen attempt to save the skins of senior board members

Yes, discipline is a must and discipline has to be ensured. Who ensures discipline? What team in the world doesnt have minor tussles or what players are not “guilty” of leg-pulling in professional jealousy? I remember the brawl between Javed Miandad and Imran, both masters of the game and highly respected cricketers. Maybe Imran Khan was “managing” affairs in the dressing room well, as Pakistan won the 92′ World Cup when these two stars were in the team. Also, tussles between Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Aamir Sohail and others have been known to all. What went wrong today as PCB slammed top Pakistani cricketers in an unprecendeted manner? Kamran Abbasi writes an insightful article:

The PCB committee of inquiry wants to punish Pakistan’s cricketers. The reasons are several, some known others only to be guessed. Unfortunately the whole episode is an exercise in passing the buck. The architects of the disastrous failure of Pakistan cricket have investigated their own performance and decided to blame some other people, the players.

When it comes to sympathy I have none for failed administrators and bureaucrats, who cling on to Pakistan cricket like leeches sucking every drop of lifeblood from a once vibrant national enterprise. These inquirers have a misplaced sense of justice: let he who has sinned cast the first stone. Isn’t the PCB’s latest diversionary investigation a brazen attempt to save the skins of senior board members?

Let’s take the accusations and the punishments. Shahid Afridi has already been punished by the ICC. The Akmal brothers could easily have been fined and disciplined without the hoopla we have had to endure, a self-inflicted public relations disaster. What Rana and Malik have done, nobody is yet sure? If it is match-fixing then how can one year bans suffice? It can’t be that.

If it is subversion of team spirit then there has to be better way of dealing with this. Indeed, the board encouraged this disruptive behaviour. When Younis Khan stepped down because a group of players refused to back him, the cricket board should have supported the captain. Instead, Mr Butt and his fellows undermined the institution of the national captaincy.

Who appointed the captain, coach, and manager for this debacle, and other recent ones? Who is ultimately responsible for discipline and professionalism? Yes, the grand inquisitors who are hoping that if the players take the flak they will escape without censure. Moreover, how can a squeaky clean board have dalliances with cricketers tainted by previous scandals, including the match-fixing scandal of the 1990s?

Ill-discipline from players does require sanction. Match-fixing requires life bans. But what about the members of the cricket board, who will hold them to account? Ultimately, it is the cricket board’s duty to manage issues of discipline and misconduct. It is in the governance and management of these very issues that the Pakistan Cricket Board has failed. Yet only Iqbal Qasim has accepted any responsibility. Power without accountability, this is the tragedy of Pakistan and Pakistan cricket.

J’accuse the cricket board, Mr Butt, and Mr Zardari for bringing dishonour to our national game and our nation. The players are puppets, yes glamorous puppets to be sure, but it is the puppet masters that are the root of the problem. Senior management creates an organisation in its own image. For shame go, but we all know these puppet masters are without shame.

– Kamran Abbasi

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As Pakistani cricket team suffered another humiliating defeat today, to complete a white-wash of the ODI series after murder on the ground by Australian team in the test matches, we saw another great spectacle of carelessness/stupidity by our own, Shahid Khan Afridi.

The man famous for his exuberance and flamboyant attitude on the cricket field became too exuberant and careless once again. Previously our own, Shoaib Akhtar and Muhammad Asif have been known to be “stupid” on and off the field, recently,

Then Afridi had his moment of madness. While talking to his bowler, he decided to take a bite of the ball, trying to hide from the 26 cameras trained on him. Afridi should never try and pass himself off as a master of deception, because it was so obvious what he was trying to do.

There was another incident at the WACA on Sunday. The moron who ran out on the ground and tackled Khalid Latif from behind late in the match. While the Pakistani opener laughed the incident off, the fact remains that no amount of fines can detract these idiots from acting in a completely irresponsible manner and risking the health and safety of others.

Pakistani cricket needs reforms, as the Pakistani nation needs it too. PCB needs a re-think, as the government of Pakistan needs a re-think too. Are only PCB and Pakistani government to blame when the players and common people of Pakistan are so apathetic, careless and selfish?

Shahid Khan Afridi

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To Chairman Indian Premier League,

Mr. Lalit Modi.

Cc: Mr. Shashank V Manohar, Chairman BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) ; Mr. Indu Jain, Chairman the Times of India group

Dear Sir,

We are living in testing times. With nearly 1/5th of humanity living in Indo-Pak subcontinent, with a military might that can end human existence on both sides of the border, with a history that goes back to hundreds of years and with over 3 full fledged wars been fought between the two great nations since 1947, we are surely living in testing times.

There is so much that is common between us and at the same time, so much that differentiates us. This perplexed relation between India and Pakistan implies huge responsibility on the shoulders of those who matter, on both sides of the LoC. However, civil and military leadership on both sides has been playing with the future of 1.5 billion human beings. When leaders fail to bring the two arch rivals together, it is the responsibility of media and sporting personalities to try and do what their leaders hadn’t been able to do for decades, i.e to try and cement the cracked relationship between the two nations.

Such a much needed endeavor was initiated by the Times of India and Jang group under the aegis of “Aman ki Asha”. No media group can ensure peaceful ties between Delhi and Islamabad, but it was step in the right direction and if properly addressed to cater for the mistrust between the people of two countries, such initiatives can bring about a positive change. Similarly, cricket is one thing that is followed like a religion in India and Pakistan; it can serve as catalyst to cement the cracked relationship between us. Despite all differences, controversies and grievances, there exists an inner feeling amongst the cricket lovers to revive cricket relations between the two. I have had many Indian friends over the years and I speak on their behalf as well as on the behalf of Pakistani youth, as I represent a considerable segment of youth in Pakistan.

It was really disappointing and shocking to read media reports of today’s auction of the potential IPL players. Pakistan is the top rated T20 team in the world with a win percentage of 76 %. Many Pakistani players, including those considered for auction at the IPL today are the top rated players across the globe and it was sad to know that none of the IPL franchises chose to even bid for a single one of these match winners. Clearly, if they were there for the auction, it meant they knew what security threats they would be playing under plus not to forget, Ex-Pakistan Captain and veteran all-rounder, Wasim Akram is serving as a coach with Kolkata Knightriders. Chairman PCB, Ijaz Butt has also explicitly reiterated no visa issues and security problems for Pakistani players willing to play the IPL. Many of these players, performed well in the ICL with no security concerns not too long ago.

We feel there is prejudice in the IPL and the people running it are biased or playing in the hands of lobbies not wanting peaceful cricketing relations between the two countries. I would not go into the detail of other allegations against the BCCI for lobbying against Pakistan and dragging politics into sports, vinegar in honey and hate in a passion.

Though, Pakistani cricket would not suffer as much, as we will be ready to take on any team, specially India in the next T20 World cup and the world will witness unprecedented support from fans across the world, as our players would not only play cricket but melt hearts.

Best of luck with your glittery IPL and you surely have lost one ardent follower because of your partiality with Pakistani players and Pakistani cricket.


Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi


P.S: I am copying some text from the Times of India official web-portal, under the title of “ Aman ki Asha “ (Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/amankiasharticleshow/5406022.cms)

Peace with Pak: Pitching for friendship, On And Off The Field

Indian cricketers come back from Pakistan with sweet memories of fun, food and friendship. So do the players from the other side of the border.

Javed Miandad

Is the proverbial barbed wire enough to keep India and Pakistan apart? After the horrific 26/11 events of last year, the two governments have hardened their positions. But, the cricketers think differently. We deal with something that is beyond caste, creed and religioun. It’s our passion for the game that binds cricketers from either side of the border. Whenever I get a chance to meet the likes of Sunil Gavaskar or Dilip Vengsarkar, I seize it. I believe the feeling is reciprocal when I visit India. The old generation of players regards each other for their cricket skills. But the younger players have much stronger bonding. Some of the current cricketers are very close to each other. These days, they don’t get enough opportunity to meet due to political tension. But I am confident that Indo-Pak cricket will resume again. If it doesn’t, world cricket will suffer. Whatever the official stand, cricketers from both countries have forged ties too strong to be weakened by terror or official rhetoric.

Irfan Pathan

My association with Pakistan goes back to my Under-19 days. As a young cricketer, it was fascinating to dream of meeting some of the legends such as Imran Khan and Wasim Akram. Then, in 2004, the famous Indo-Pak tour happened. It was a big break for me and I was really hungry for success on Pakistani soil. During that tour, I realized that on the field, Pakistani players are opponents, but off the field, they are very nice people. In Pakistan, players, fans and administrators are very hospitable. Among current players, I share a very good rapport with Umer Gul. I have known him since my Under-19 days. Even Danish Kaneria, who speaks Gujrati very well, is a good friend. During our tour, I remember, Mohammad Yousuf once brought food for the entire Indian team. Even Wasim bhai would give me bowling advice. It’s because of such friendship between us that the acts of a few haven’t affected the warmth that we share.

Yuvraj Singh

It’s unfortunate that India and Pakistan have not been playing each other for a while on a regular basis. I have had some good memories of playing in Pakistan. Some Pakistani cricketers took part in the inaugural IPL in 2008 and it was really nice to see them perform so well for their sides. Among Pakistani players, I am friends with Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Yusuf. Whenever we meet, we all talk in Punjabi and have a blast. Even Harbhajan and Zaheer are part of this group. I had a memorable tour of Pakistan in 2004, when I went there for the first time. We enjoyed every moment of our trip. In future, I hope to see the two countries playing each other more often. Pakistan is a good team and they need to be complimented for winning the Twenty20 World Cup in 2009.

Krish Srikkanth

In 1989, when I toured Pakistan as the Indian captain, that series was historical in many ways. It was during that series that Sachin Tendulkar emerged as an international star. In 1989, Pakistan had a great team. Their captain Imran Khan wanted to beat us in the series, but we drew all the four matches. Even though we lost the ODI series badly, it was a great experience. It was one of the toughest tours for me. The tour was also a great learning experience for me. I still nurture great friendships with many former Pakistani cricketers. What
I like most about the Pakistanis is that they are very hospitable people. They know how to treat their guests. And at their parties, you can taste the best of cuisines.



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