April 10, 2020
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Beyond My Comprehension

Beyond My Comprehension

I don’t understand what’s happening in cricketing circles. An enquiry by Justice Qayyum was on and before its findings are out, they have announced three players as guilty. What if that enquiry finds them innocent? Wouldn’t everybody be in a bigger jam? It’s just too unsettling. We’re acting just like a banana republic. We are a banana republic. I don’t think this whole suspension of players etc has been politically motivated but those in authority are certainly trying to cash in on public opinion. The public is convinced that the players are guilty. I guess it needs a lot of guts to stand up to public opinion. Actually, Justice Qayyum should have given his findings three to four months before the World Cup. What it got delayed for I don’t know.

Actually speaking, the right time for the enquiry should have been ’94. If I had been there, I would have punished them right then and there. In fact, I was in Sri Lanka recently and from my conversations with players came to know what all had been happening in that Singer Cup.

Apart from Pakistan, other teams had also been involved. It wasn’t only Pakistani players.

I feel sorry for Wasim Akram. Poor guy. If I were he and innocent, I would go to court. I guess if the players don’t accept the findings of the Qayyum report, if and when it does come out, then they have to go to court. And it will be protracted. Only if some players admit to the charges will things  be resolved. It’s a Catch 22 situation right now. If they take action, then the basis could be questioned by the courts and if they don’t, the public at large will think that nothing is happening.

But some of the things passing off as evidence, particularly statements by Aamir Sohail, are ludicrous. But somewhere even the players are to blame. The public have this image of them as big juaris (gamblers). The question is why are only cricketers being targeted when there is so much corruption in other branches as well. Democracy means accountability. Here in Pakistan, you have a prime minister who talks of himself in the third person! "Nawaz Sharif said this and that etc." He thinks of himself as something straight out of Mughal-e-Azam. Like he was Jahangir or Shah Jahan or something. At the height of the Kargil crisis, the worst Pakistan has faced since ’71, he was busy playing cricket. This, when I as a nobody in the establishment am pressed for time.

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