Mar 7, 2009

Plea for help

Captain Younis Khan has made a desperate plea to cricket-playing nations around the world not to isolate Pakistan and to come to its aid. He has warned that a lack of international cricket will irreparably damage the game here, hold up the emergence of new talent and possibly result in top players defecting to the IPL and the ICL, leaving behind a depleted national team. These fears are of course valid. One can only sympathize with Younis Khan – who saw cricket plunged into crisis in his country so soon after taking over as skipper and due to factors totally beyond the control of any sportsman. One fears that Younis who had demonstrated, with his brave triple ton in Karachi, potential as a man capable of rising to the occasion and leading from the front, may never be able to show us his true capabilities. The sad fact is that Pakistan is unlikely to see international cricket for many long months to come and can at best hope for fixtures at neutral venues.The comments made by Younis make it clear that he cares deeply about cricket in the country and all that it means to audiences and players alike. It is time that the PCB sat down with its top players, discussed the options available and offered them incentives to encourage them to stay a part of the sport in Pakistan. The reality is that a cricketing drought stares us in the face. Indeed, even before this new crisis, Pakistan had over the past year faced a dearth of international cricket. Cricketers and sports administrators have no means to alter the political realities that have led to this. All that they can do is find ways to ensure cricket is damaged as little as possible during the difficult times ahead and can continue to act as a force binding people together.

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