Tuesday, June 10, 2008

PCB to get rid of Domestic Cricket in Pakistan

If this is true, then that is exactly what is going to happen.

Following Mohammad Asif's detention due to drugs possession the PCB is hell bent on carrying out a clean up act.

I am in no way implying that first class cricketers in Pakistan use performance enhancing drugs. That is not the problem.

The problem is recreational drugs, which are way too common in Pakistan. Stuff like hashish and opium is easily available and used by a vast majority.

In colleges, among lawyers, policemen, drivers, sports people, you name it and these recereational drugs are there.

First class cricket is no different.

The news item reports that a number of coaches take drugs. That isn't news. Those familiar with Pakistan's domestic structure and the cricketers and support staff part of it would know that these drugs are very common.

Not only among coaches, but players, umpires, managers, trainers, everyone.

Let me stress again - not performance enhancing drugs but recreational drugs.

The problem though is that opium is a banned substance in WADA's list because it apparently eases the pain in muscles. But in Pakistan opium has been used as a recreational drug for as long as I have been alive.

I do believe a large number of people are also addicted to it.

This could have serious repurcussions on Pakistan's domestic cricket and everyone involved with it.

If the PCB do go ahead with the tests and start banning the offenders, they could end up banning more than half of the first class cricketers.

In my view, this is not a good step.

Before going ahead with these drugs tests, the PCB need to set up awareness campaigns where they can educate the first class cricketers on the harms of these drugs.

Set up clinics, lectures, conferences, whatever you need where doctors along with PCB management can advise these cricketers on why these drugs should not be used.

Give them a proper education before announcing that you are going to conduct tests and ban offenders.

That was the issue during the Shoaib Akhtar / Mohammad Asif case. They claimed no one had told them which substance was not allowed.

That may seem like an excuse but those from Pakistan will understand that. The authorities have never educated the public and then suprised them with punishments based on rules that no one knew existed. This is not only with cricket.

So I pray, for the sake of domestic cricket in Pakistan, for the sake of uneducated first class cricketers who come from remote villages, for the sake of Pakistan cricket's future, that the PCB for once thinks appropriately and starts educating the concerned against the usage of such drugs.

That is what the next season should be about.

Educate the first class cricketers, the U19 cricketers, the U15 cricketers, and continue doing that year after year.

The following season, start with the drugs tests.

Make your pitch on this post...



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8 Pitched:

  1. Anonymous said...
     

    Q - using lack of education is crap ... and if anything Shoaib & Asif's cases have proved it.

    Asif's recent case is criminally reckless - that can only come with arrogance. Even if you aren't a "professional" sportsman - carrying drugs across any border is just not on ... let alone carrying it in UAE. of course, you and I know of an exception ... but this is suicidal. Nobody can be blamed except for him. And I want him to get punished now - that too incarceration with the shurtas. Clearly, the board can't do jack with any of the players ... they are idiots of the highest order ... they are going to ban him, then over-turn it with a stupid excuse. so the best case scenario for pakistani cricket would be for asif to get a jail-term in dubai ... don't think that the govt would allow that though.

    as for education ... yes, in principle i agree. but you cant just put all your eggs with PCB. the point is - the day and age that we live in ... it's just impossible to not be educated about drugs. you have them everywhere. you had a high-profile ban (later overturned) on two of your premier bowlers. you have everybody saying wada wada. i dont buy it that they aren't educated. they clearly know the repercussions. it's just that in pakistan they know that they can get away it. and that's the fundamental problem. i think similar thinking was prevelant in asif's recent actions as well.

    if pcb wants to truly eradicate this shit ... they need to ban people left right and centre. it aint like Pakistani team is challenging any opposition any ways ... might as well teach your players some harsh lessons when the expectations are at the lowest.

  2. Q said...
     

    Anonymous - I completely agree with what you have to say regarding Asif. There is no excuse for what he has done. I wasn't defending Asif her, nor was I talking about educating the country's international cricketers for they are definitely aware of what it allowed and what is not.

    I don't agree with the banning left, right and center of first class cricketers though as they have hardly been made aware of how something like opium can finish their careers.

    Majority of the first class cricketers comprise of those who come from places like Mianwali, Sheikhupura, Burewala, and other remote areas of Pakistan - these people have no idea that opium is harmful to their cricket careers - leave that, they don't even know what WADA is.

    Im talking about educating these guys and it needs to start from the U15 level. Awareness needs to be created from there.

    The PCB has done nothing in creating awareness among cricketers about the negative side of drug use. Even they know how common it is, so instead of going out there and conducting tests and banning left right and center they need to properly educate these cricketers.

    Again, im not talking about the international cricketers. Im talking about the domestic cricketers, which the PCB is planning to test.

    A bigger problem here is that a lot of the hashish available in Pakistan is laced with opium and opium is the banned drug, not hashish. So either WADA needs to be educated over this or the players using the substances for whatever reasons.

  3. Naked Cricket said...
     

    teach your children well, a song by csny, comes to mind.

  4. Q said...
     

    NC, the only singer we have in the cricket set up is Shoaib Akhtar. And you don't want him singing to the children, do you.

  5. BiLo said...
     

    Q, I do agree with your thought about educating our fellow cricketers about the use of illegal drugs. But the question here is the use of 'Recreational Drugs', like Hashish and Opium. Almost every person in Pakistan, either educated or illiterate, either a cricketer or a lawyer, is very well versed on the use; and excessive use of these drugs, and the implications they pose, not only to themselves but their environment.

    National awareness of Nandrolone, or other such drugs, could be done, however i do not believe that it would be of any effect (Shoaib and Asif are live examples). Our cricketers are conniving to such awarenesses and stern actions should not only be taken rather implemented, if it requires axing half of our Domestic Cricketers.

    There was a recent blog on cricinfo on the use of marijuana in Guyana and how they lack players only due to the excessive use of drugs by the young people there.

  6. Q said...
     

    Bilo, thanks for your comments.

    The problem is that Shoaib and Asif were not made aware of nandronolone. I believe those 2 did not even know what nandronolone is or the fact that whatever they were using has that drug in it.

    Ignorance is not an excuse but what it asks for is increasing the awareness among cricketers regarding substances, its harms, etc etc.

    I agree that the cricketers are aware of the the effects drug use has on their body and the environment but they are probably not aware to what extent and what it can do to their cricket careers.

  7. Anonymous said...
     

    Q - at a macro-level I do agree with your opinion that PCB needs to do all that it can to increase the awareneess. But I do not agree to your assessment that domestic crickers are somehow ignorant and can't tell for themselves that charas or coke is not permitted if they have any chance of going national (let alone international).

    even if you are not a professional sportsman (where the duty for own well-being is primarily yours own) - everyone know that drugs are not safe.

    for professional sportsman (especially crickers) - everyone knows about Asif/Shoaib case.

    all the international hopefuls are aware of drug-testing in all sorts of cricket competition (i think they introduced that at domestic permier tournaments after Sho-if-olane).

    you are telling me that these guys are stupid enough to not realise that their career and drugs do not go hand in hand?

    Agree that PCB needs to start more awareness programmes - but I do not buy the idea that the use is rampant at domestic level because of lack of knowledge. I think it's rampant because they know that they can get away with it - and the overturning of bans on Shoaib & Asif only went on to supplement that belief.

    PCB is a fucked up organisation which has done more bad for the game in the last few years since doctor sahab got involved with it than the entire history of the game in the country. but it's time that the players are accountable for their actions as well - be at national level or at international level.

  8. Q said...
     

    Anonymous - Lets forget about Charas and opium which is a common drug in Pakistan.

    Think about something like nandronolone.

    The substance is found in a number of food supplements which are openly available in supermarkets across Pakistan. The fact that that food supplement includes nandronolone, even I wouldn't know unless I read the ingredients. Will someone from Mianwali be able to read the ingredients? Would he care?

    Not unless he is told.

    As for Charas and coke and afeem and all that shit... sure the guys are not ignorant and they may also feel that they can get away by doing it but all of a sudden the PCB has come out announcing that they are going to conduct tests and ban players...

    Isn't this too drastic a step.

    Atleast explain to the players what the issue is.

    As I said before, half those cricketers probably don't even know what WADA is.

    Not the international team but those playing domestic cricket, the U19 cricketers, the U15 cricketers.

    More awareness is definitely required.

    Harms to health and ones body are not the only things one needs to be aware about. It is the impact it could have on one's cricket career. Cricketers coming from remote villages will not know this.

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