The Banana Republic
Over the nineties the news in our neighbouring country Pakistan, has helped us not only accept but grow into accommodating ridiculousness in our daily curriculum. Yes, the news about crickets having stones pelted at them, houses burnt and property destroyed as their cricketers failed to win a game of cricket on a big occasion. Well there is no surprise that our able neighbours are far from reality and fail to appreciate the spirit behind the game. They can’t be blamed really. After all as the old saying goes, the showroom is only as good as the factory. The factory being the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the showroom only had a few good exceptions.
For the first time in years has the PCB began a protest regarding the venue they are to play in during the on going T20 world cup. The venue has already shifted from Dharamsala to Kolkata because of the apparent fear that the PCB had regarding its players. So basically what the PCB looks to state is that the Pakistan cricket team is looking for protection against possible terrorist threats by Pakistani’s in India. That could be the new definition of the word Irony if the Oxford dictionary were to revise their curriculum. Ridiculousness isn’t just an activity that the board practices. It is something that the players have publicly practiced as well. Mohammad Amir’s return after the long ban he had faced on accusations of match fixing wasn’t taken in too well by many of the former players. Though now, after the Asia cup, Amir has definitely explained as to why he is important to the side. However, many of the senior members of the board and former players have gone loggerheads over a discussion regarding Amir’s inclusion in the team. The most famous one being a debate between Mohammad Yusuf who was once known as Yusuf Yohana and commentator Ramiz Raja on national television.
As the former was absolutely against Amir’s return, Raja was more in support of the changed fast bowler. Yusuf wanted nothing to do with it and exclaimed on national television stating, “From a shameless person like you, we can hear only these things. You don’t know anything just like you did not know how to play cricket. You only know how to talk. I want to bring everyone’s attention to how a great player Raja was – he scored only two hundreds.” Like there wasn’t enough shaming amongst themselves that they had to add one more to their tally.
Personal attacks in Pakistan especially amongst the crickets somehow always happens to be the order of the day. If 2015 were to be re called, the Pakistan cricket team were going through a very rough patch. They had started their campaign by losing two games back to back. Now well, we all know that blaming captains in such a situation is what every critic does but Shoaib Akhtar, the man who is ‘controversially yours’ took it one notch higher when he called Misbah, the then captain a coward on national television. His comment went like, “I have not seen a more coward and selfish captain than Misbah. He is not willing to bat up the order to protect the other players at a time when he needs to show inspiration. I don’t understand what kind of a man Misbah is. There is no limit to his selfishness.” By now though, nobody in the world was surprised.
That was mainly the attitude that was up for witnessing, a few amongst a number of iconic moments which could be put together to publish the new ridiculous journal of history. Even Mamata Banerjee would subscribe to a copy of the same. Coming more towards the recent past, one of Virat Kohli’s fans in Pakistan was put behind bars on celebrating his idols hundred with an Indian flag. I wonder what the man was even thinking. That in Pakistan is definitely the biggest sin which took him behind bars. Even Virat Kohli with his team of able lawyers in Delhi couldn’t reach out to aid his aching fan who was in need of a surprise rescue. As the social media, Lol’d the Pakistani court’s intellect Shahid Afridi, who was again named the T20 captain seemed to be testing everyone’s patience all over again. The man who would probably never retire and always remain 35, went ahead and spoke to the media in an exclusive interview stating that he doesn’t understand the hatred that the Pakistani’s have towards Indians. He further added that Pakistan actually celebrates Indian music and cinema greatly and should hence treat the game as a game and not as war.
As commendable as his words were, this came after his loss to India in the Asia cup. He was playing with fire. Though he didn’t face much flak on that, he went on to test his luck some more when he again spoke to the media stating that he enjoys playing more in India than in Pakistan all together. Now that wasn’t going to go down well with the ever so educated courts and lawmakers of the nation. To be more precise, what the Pakistani captain said in the Indian press conference was more like, “We have always enjoyed playing in India and have been loved by Indian crowds more than crowds back home in Pakistan. We are cricketers and not politicians.” One may wonder if Shahid Afridi was saying ‘oops’ in his mind once the conference was over.
There wasn’t only a case registered against Shahid Afridi for his statement in Pakistan by the lawmakers but also the people of the country shamed the man and his statements. Afridi who definitely became a hero in India was the biggest villain on twitter in Pakistan. Old man Javed Miandad, who is also related to Dawood Ibrahim ironically again was the man who reacted the most to this. He stated that Afridi should be ashamed of his statements for apparently ‘committing treason’ and hurting the sentiments of Pakistani’s. However, Afridi being Afridi looked far from affected in the game against Bangladesh yesterday. He let his game do the talking as he smashed a superb 49 of just 19 balls in Pakistan’s effort to set a target of 201 for their otherwise formidable opponents. He also followed it up with 2 wickets when he was bowling which should be enough to momentarily shut the critics up. However, even if Pakistan did win the world cup, peace wouldn’t be an easy pick up.