Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Two wrongs can make one right?

By Muhammad Asif Khan

The drop scene of the seesaw between Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and its Bangladeshi counterparts finally reached this Wednesday, when the PCB put it foot down and denied permission to its players for the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). Contrasting views emerged on the decision, by the PCB. It is supported by many as well as is criticised by some at the same time.

Everyone has a right of expression but the Pakistan’s participation in the BPL was generally seen through a prism of sentiments. Emotions won and sanity lost in my view.

Like freedom of expressions, the right to earn a living is also protected in Pakistan’s constitution. Remember when Shahid Afridi was barred from the county Cricket circuit, he got the NOC through the legal course. Here how this issue will turn out, this remains to be seen.

Coming back to the earlier point that this very issue was tackled emotionally and with the version of the PCB it is obvious that the BPL was used as a bargaining chip too.

The Pakistan Cricket Board says the administrators of the BPL bypassed them before the auction and directly contracted the players’ agents. The board spokesman termed it a “great embarrassment” for the PCB, however, the question is that what the PCB did to avoid the embarrassment in the first place? Why didn’t they stop the players or issue an official statement then?

Right from the start, this episode was surrounded with conditions from both the parties. Pakistan initially supported BCB’s former President Mustafa Kamal for the ICC’s vice presidency in return for his consent to the Pakistan tour, however when it didn’t happen then the PCB raised the BPL card which didn’t work either.

Bangladesh committed then backed off, yes it’s a very bad move, but is it the fault of those Pakistani players hired by the BPL franchises? Absolutely not, if one has the right of expression than why the players were deprived off their right to earn a living?

If the PCB failed to convince its counterpart, or the other side backed-off then what could the players do?

I am not supporting the recent behaviour of the Bangladesh Cricket Board, but is it the only Board shying away from Pakistan? Australia & Zimbabwe visited Pakistan in 1998, South Africa in 2007, India & West Indies in 2006 and New Zealand last visited Pakistan in 2002, and the reason is very well know to everyone. As far as the miss-commitment by the BCB is concerned then what about the attitude of the BCCI?  As per scheduled, the Indian team had to visit Pakistan in 2009, however they are not at all in a mood to do so in the near future either, yet Pakistan went on to play a series in India. Cricket went on, which is heartening, but where were the principles? Why the same rigid stance missing from the PCB while dealing with Boards other than Bangladesh? Also, the issue of Pakistan’s women team’s participation in the World Cup – to be held in India – is in jeopardy till this writing.

The question is that what would happen if Pakistani players are kept away from the BPL, will Bangladesh bow down to the Pakistan Cricket Board in the future? Whatever the outcome, one thing is for certain that the impression of blackmailing would prevail.

There is also a large public resentment present in Bangladesh over the Pakistan tour which might have forced the ‘political’ BCB President to even sallow the bitter pill of annoying the Pakistan Cricket Board. It has probably made him a villain in Pakistan, but he has become a hero in his own country for sure, but the way Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) tackled the situation is hurting its own player more rather than the BCB. The Bangladesh League will end in a month and life will continue but many of the Pakistan players – chosen for the BPL – will remain high and dry for no apparent fault.

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