Do you get the feeling that cricket has lost its popularity in Pakistan?

People aren’t talking about it that much. There’s very little enthusiasm about any upcoming series. Other than the new Pepsi advert, there’s not a lot of the sport on TV either.

Seriously! Even the Faysal Bank T20 tournament came and went without a buzz… Usually this tournament‘s a popular draw.

Suddenly we hear about children organizing and playing basketball tournaments in schools in Lahore, and the kabaddi team’s lack of funding in order to reach international heights. This kind of news never saw the light of day around a year ago…or am I just ignorant?? (Don’t answer that!)

Well, I get the feeling this lack of cricket spirit may have something to do with the following:

  • Doping scandals – Shoaib Akthar, Mohammad Asif
  • Team infighting – Shoaib Malik, Afridi, Mohammad Yousuf, Younis Khan…actually the WHOLE team
  • Management Politics – PCB, Ijazz Butt, Coach, Ijaz Butt, Captain, Ijaz Butt….
  • Match-fixing scandal – Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Aamir

Each of the above has dented the country’s morale to the extent that we don’t care anymore. Other then the die hard cricketing fans no one really cares about what happens any more.

OK! So you don’t agree. Let’s see how long it takes you to answer the following question then:

Where and when are we playing our next series?

And please have some self respect and don’t log onto Cricinfo for the answer!

Still a non-believer?… Chalo! Tell me what all the fuss is about regarding the ICC report on cricket governance in Pakistan, or better yet, just tell me the NUMBER of recommendations that they have made…..

I was listening to Imran Khan on a news channel the other day and his vision struck a chord. He was very clear on what needs to be done to save cricket in Pakistan.

The only way to save cricket here is to have a non-politicized governing body.  I.e. A body where the chairman is NOT appointed on an ad-hoc basis by the president of the country (what in the world does a country’s president have to do with cricket anyway?? :s ).

According to Imran, the chairman should be democratically appointed via elections from the lowest levels, i.e. city, district, province-wise elections…just like in a political system.

Secondly, he talked about having proper academies with a proper domestic competition structure; which is lacking.

I know he’s a politician now and what he talks about might seem political, but what he said makes sense. A fair election will bring someone who genuinely cares and a proper domestic structure will give everyone a fair chance to play; not just people with a “jugaar

In fact, this is also one of the recommendations of the 38 page report that the ICC submitted to the PCB. It’s actually one of the strongest recommendations in the report that relate to the governance structures of Pakistan cricket.

The executive summary of the report states “It is highly unusual that the president of the country is entitled to appoint both the chairman of the PCB and over half of the governing board. It is also inconsistent with the demands of a modern sports administration that the chairman also holds the powers of the CEO.”

Pondering Point: The ICC had a whole team working on this report and they came up with something that every kid in the street in Pakistan already knows :P ….

*Sigh!* with our country going through all it’s going through this is the last thing we needed, a Cricket Destruction Derby!

I just wish that our Cricket gets back on track (Read: I can’t wait for Aamir to come back!  :) ).