Joint Cricketism: Pakistan woos India to consider for IPL
-Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal
Even while India and Pakistan keep themselves busy by attacking each other at the LOC in Kashmir and over Kashmir, Pakistan agencies try to appease India by a few CBMs that New Delhi quickly reject if they do not benefit India in some measure. In sports Pakistanis have tried to make India happy too. Especially kabadi and many other sports
However, India knows too well Islamabad would not like to let Indian win the hockey gold medal at Asian Games 2014. India, Unlike Pakistan, India is frantic about “managing“ a few more medals.
Pakistan want India to let its boys to play cricket with Pakistanis, especially in IPL where Indian corperates and billionaires buy “foreign products” known as cricketers at a big cost so that they play for Indian prestige. That is perhaps the reason why Indian parliament has not yet annulled the bogus IPL joint exercises as nation’s big shame. . .
The first question: why did Lahore Lions lose to the Perth team in India at CT20 when they could easily reach the semi? Answer is simple: Pakistani wants to be in IPL money bags.
Once the answer is not surprising, then one can also know the Pakistani mindset and predicament.
Here the issue. Pakistani team Lahore Lions has participated in the CT20 taking place in India and showed inclination to work for India in IPL by allowing the Dhoni IPL team to enter the semi-finals of the CT20. Dhoni Chennai team will meet the Punjab team in the semi most probably to lose.
How did Lahore Lions allow Dhoni team to enter semi? On Sept 20, LL was playing against Perth ( jr Australian team) and if it won the match by certain runs they would go to semi and is so Dhoni team would be OUT.
LL batboys could muster only 125 runs but when they came to bowl they did exceedingly well by picking up wickets one after another by allowing only about few runs and the required run rate shot up to 9 runs per over and they were nearing to win and enter the semi.
But Pakistanis had some other idea. They wanted to lose so that India’s most favored Dhoni team enters the semi in its place.
Once a team wants to lose it is very easy to that. Pakistan lost the match just to be in the good books of IPL lords. Riaz offered only SIXes to Marsh in the last over to make him a 50 score makers. After 7 quick wickets Lions decided no to take more wickets but only to lose.
Not just in cricket, but even in core sports like hockey Pakistan has played for India in the Asian games 2014 at the final of hockey on October 02, Gandhi’s birth day.
Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Shahryar Khan believes the Lahore Lions’ successful participation in the ongoing Champions League Twenty20 will open the Indian Premier League doors for the country’s players. Khan said he was satisfied with the performance of the Lahore Lions team. He joked pointing out that the Lahore team had left a positive image of Pakistan cricket among the Indians. “Until now the absence of our players from the IPL is very disappointing but we are trying our best to improve bilateral cricket ties with India,” he said.
Khan is also scheduled to leave for India on October 3 as a special emissary of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for some back channel diplomacy. After India, he will visit Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in official capacity as PCB Chairman. Khan said Pakistan was keen to restore and have normal relations with the Indian board. The PCB chief said while Pakistan had struggled to launch its own T20 franchised league but it was unfair to compare it with the IPL. India and other cricket countries opposed Pakistani league.
Shaharyar, a career diplomat who was posted as Pakistan’s High Commissioner in New Delhi and also remained foreign secretary, but now wants cricket diplomacy said that he had always enjoyed good relations with the top officials of the BCCI. Shaharyar said he was keen to talk to the BCCI about Pakistan players’ participation in the Indian Premier League and the restoration of bilateral ties. The PCB chief said that no matter what the relations between the two countries at the diplomatic and political level, relations between the two boards had always been good. Shaharyar was chairman in 2004 when he managed to get India to tour Pakistan for a full series after a gap of 14 years. That was before the Mumbai terror attack.
Many Pak cricketers long for IPL as their life ambition. Earlier this week, flamboyant allrounder Shahid Afridi also told reporters in Lahore that it was disappointing that Pakistani players were not being allowed to play in IPL. Afridi stated that by keeping Pakistani players out of the league, Indian cricket’s image had suffered. Pakistan’s former captain, Wasim Akram, who is on the coaching panel of the Kolkata Knight Riders, has also called for restoration of regular matches between Pakistan and India as said there is no bigger spectacle than a Indo-Pak cricket match.
Pakistani players appeared for nearly every franchise in the first edition of the IPL in 2008 but after the Mumbai terror attacks, the event organisers and Indian board stopped inviting them for the mega event.
Pakistan’s top spinner, Saeed Ajmal has said he would definitely like to get an opportunity to play in the Indian Premier League in the future and hoped the BCCI looks into the matter. Talking about the continued absence of Pakistani players in the lucrative T20 league, Ajmal said the organisers and the Indian Cricket Board needed to review their stance on this situation.
Pace legend Wasim Akram feels it is high time that the bilateral cricket ties between India and Pakistan are revived as the fans in sub-continent deserve to enjoy the historic rivalry which has produced some exhilarating action on the field. Akram said inclusion of Pakistan players would add the sheen of IPL. Pakistani players have been barred from taking part in the IPL since the inaugural edition in 2008 due to the Mumbai terror attacks.
Notwithstanding bilateral clashes, Pakistanis like to be in India as often as they can, though they prefer USA and UK for visits. It is fact, that many well-to-do Pakistanis keep visiting India just like that including for entertainments.
It is a fact that cricket or sports, Indo-Pakistani tournaments are generating tension in both countries and negatively impacting the lives of Kashmiris, sandwiched between the two nuclear states as a colonized nation lying in parts, constantly being terrorized by military attacks and fake encounters..
Just for helping a team of Pakistani cricketers to make money in India, already fragile peace situation in India, Pakistan and Kashmir cannot be further complicated, further compromised.
India and Pakistan could play cricket only when credible peace situation ensured in the region by resolving the Kashmir issue once for all.