Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Why Not Pakistan?

So despite a series of bombings in Delhi, the Aussies have decided that India is a safe place to travel to and they are going ahead with the tour.

Great news for India, great news for cricket, but bad news for Australia.


Because Pakistan is going to sue your behind!

The lack of international cricket involving Pakistan has frustrated me no end.

It frustrates me further that a reason that has stopped Australia from coming to Pakistan for over a decade now holds no significance when it comes to touring India.

Why? Is it the entertainment that India's night life provides that is lacking in Pakistan? Or is it the astronomical sums of money attached with cricket in India?

With Micheal Clarke apparently rooting for a ban on drinking in the team, I believe it is definitely the latter.

Thats double standards right in our face and Australia is the culprit!

Worse part is, I or you or no one else can or will do anything about it.

Don't get me wrong. I am as excited about an Australia vs India test series as any of you and I never wanted the series to be cancelled or postponed because of bombings.

But its frustrating to see the Australians treat Pakistan this way.

A few days back Virender Sehwag said "Delhi is not like Pakistan. For us it is back to normal routine today. There is no place in the world that is completely safe, not even the US. I think the Aussies should tour India”

Well Veeru you know what? 20 million souls in Karachi wake up every morning and go about their daily routine without thinking about the bomb that went of the night before!

How does that make it any different from Delhi?

Offices, colleges, schools, markets, homes, every institution continues to operate the way it did the day before despite a bombing, even the kind that kills a political leader!

So how does this make Delhi any safer than Karachi?

If Veeru's logic of no place in the world being safe is being applied to India, then why not Pakistan?

Tell me Australia, why not Pakistan?

Make your pitch on this post...

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60 Pitched:

  1. straight point said...

    this reminds me of file deewar dialogue...

    the ans is...we have IPL...

  2. Viswanathan said...

    I blame PCB.They are not doing enough to dispel the impression that Pakistan is dangerous.

    Instead they bank on BCCI's support.

  3. Jrod said...

    It breaks down to three things.


    Pakistan being a muslim state.

    And the BCCi.

  4. Anonymous said...

    We dont have bombs going off every day in India or militants blowing themselves in any part as they do in Pakistan. Right.

    Your usage of words on delhi bombings give an idea that this has been welcomed by Pakistan.

    The day Asia cup final was played in Karachi a bomb went off killin many people.

    Many times visiting teams have encountered bombs going off in front of their hotels in Pak.

    and then doesnt ISI fund this bombings in India. Yet we are a safer country than Pakistan. Money or no money. IPL or no IPL.

    BCCI is not pro, but they aint as confused as PCB. we dont have any of our players being involved in drug scandals or match fixing scandals as Pakistan players have been.

    Besides, India - Australia series is most intense series this days way ahead of Ashes and India - Pak series. The intensity, the passion and quality can be found in India - Aus series.

    We run close to them in every Test series we play. And now Pak have lost 10 consecutive Tests to Aus starting 1999 Hobart Test.

    Think on this points and you get the answer. So India.

  5. Q said...

    Haha, I like that SP..

  6. Q said...

    Ott I agree that the PCB administrators have done absolutely nothing in trying to improve the cricket situation in the country but I think th difference in the impression the world has comes from the Media.

    India's media is way too good in promoting India as a flourishing economy, which no doubt it is but what I mean to say is that the Indian media will largely promote the good and market India, while the Pakistani media will only highlight its bads...

    Either way, the Aussies have shown double standards and its frustrating for us.

  7. Q said...

    Spot on u r JRod.

  8. Q said...

    Buzzz it makes me sick that you think that I or people in Pakistan are happy about the bombings in Delhi.

  9. Homer said...

    Pakistan was a muslim state since inception... And it was a dictatorship.. And there were bombs going off in Pakistan... But that did not deter the Australians from touring there in 1979 or 1983.. Nor did it deter them from playing in Karachi in 1989 ( at the height of the Muhajir Quami Movement in Sindh).

    Australia has not toured Pakistan since 1998 - money and the BCCI were not factors then.


  10. SledgeHammer said...

    @buzzz - You try to make some interesting points. Unfortunately your belligerent tone makes it hard for anyone to take them seriously.

    And to suggest that Q was implying that Pakistanis "welcomed" the bombings! That's sick, paranoid, and pathetic! Grow up man! This is decades-old brainwashed thinking.

    Most educated people have migrated from the Shiv Sena mentality of spewing hate, digging up pitches, threatening Pakistani players lives, etc. You should too.

  11. Trideep said...

    Q... Its only money which stops Australia from not coming to India. If BCCI was in Pakistan, Australia surely would have gone there.

  12. Gaurav Sethi said...

    Q – sehwag should stick to lines he knows well like “on my day no one can stop me”.

    If it gets beyond the realms of cricket, the cricketers should just lay off. Though Viru may have been prompted to speak by the big B – it’s not out of nowhere that he’s all over the press and even doing Ads again (smashing Pathan, who else). Why won’t the B use their latest face as their spokesperson? MSD’s too smart to be taken in.

  13. Ankit Poddar said...


    i was thinking on similar lines, and the answer i got was this!

    the international papers! i am pretty sure, even before you wrote in your column, that people in pakistan go back to their work normally, after all every one has to fed for themselves.

    but the fact is that, that is not what we, outside pakistan, read!

    all we read is that there is turmoil out there.

    so i guess, its a question of international perception.

    and of course IPL and money play no small role!

  14. Ankit Poddar said...

    ohh you all ready took that point with Ott, i just read the comments.

  15. Ankit Poddar said...


    yeah, sehwag should stick to that line, and of course the other one
    "the ball was coming on to the bat, and i was playing my natural game"

  16. Anonymous said...

    Yes, unfortunately, Pakistan does have a reputation of being a tough place to tour and this does not refer to the cricket. Nor is it just the Aussies and the English who feel this way. Way back in 1989, the magazine India Today had a brief report on how tough it was for the cricketers and the accompanying reporters to combat the boredom and the methods adopted to combat it. Note that we are talking about the Indian team here.

    One can of course, argue, that feeling bored only shows a lack of imagination, as Pakistan has plenty to offer. Perhaps so, but then not everyone is like S. Venkataraghavan who, apparently on an earlier tour of Pakistan went off to visit Mohenjo-Daro. Most sportsmen -- like most of us [men] in general -- prefer, to quote blogger Dileep Premachandran, lavish parties (as hosted by the likes of Vijay Mallaya) and the company of pretty Bollywood starlets to visiting Mohenjo Daro. We can decry this as much as we like, but there it is.

    There is little doubt that security and most things-wise, there is very little to separate Pakistan from India. Indeed, on one important count, I think Pakistan does better. I may be wrong, but I think Pakistan has much less of the painful gut-wrenching poverty scenes that we see all too frequently in India. But India does have a very rich board, the IPL, and the entertainment industry. Unless Pakistan can come up with something to counter this, I think we are doomed to see more of the same.

    Btw, Q, you say:

    India's media is way too good in promoting India as a flourishing economy...

    The products of India's media - the good, bad and ugly - target mostly other Indians. I don't think these products influence Western perceptions of India much though, I grant you, they may influence Pakistani perceptions of India. If you want to really blame someone for giving a too-optimistic picture of India, go after the BBC, CNN, Tom Friedman ("The Earth is Flat"), the New York Times, the Financial Times and the like...And even here, we have the likes of The Guardian determinedly doing its best to highlight the negative aspects of India. (Check the articles relating to India at http://www.theguardian.co.uk/world/india)

  17. Anonymous said...

    I can't see much difference between Jrod's 1st and 3rd points.

  18. Anonymous said...

    You guys took me wrong. All i tried to say was "Delhi bombings" cannot be used as a parameter to judge if a country is safe to tour or not.

    I have moved on from the thinking you suggest sledgehammer, but unfortunately PCB hasnt moved on to make its act right.

    i am no Pak hater and i m no political person.

    so if that clears the confusion or the air.

  19. SledgeHammer said...

    @anonymous: Interesting points you bring up. I think teams have generally been happy enough to tour. You would be quite surprised at the lavishness of the parties given to the teams (though falling well shy of the level, glitz, and frequency which is seen in India).

    I think the boredom issue is a recent one - nowadays teams have to be locked down under heavy security all the time. So besides the match, there's nothing they are even allowed to do.

    Just 3-4 years back, I remember seeing the Indian team eating out in public in Pakistan, attending a variety of different events, mingling with locals, etc. It was so casual, so relaxed.

    Things have changed since then. There is no doubt that Pakistan has a serious security situation. But SA toured Pakistan recently and was fine. Asia Cup was held and it was fine. Pakistan provides immense security to the teams. (btw, I still don't understand why some countries suggested sending weaker teams to the CT! Are the weaker players' lives not valued enough???)

    And I am not one to equate the Delhi bombings at the same intensity as Pakistan's persistent violence. But I do think Australia has always known they would be safe in Pakistan, especially on a bilateral visit. They just give no importance to Pakistan, thanks in great part due to the ICC's reluctance to take action against teams who have been unwilling to tour Pakistan, to encourage countries to tour Pakistan, to compensate Pakistan in any way, to offer serious alternatives.

    In any case, I'm happy that the Aus-India tour is going ahead. Should be an exciting series, as is always between these two teams.

    Most importantly, let's all hope the bombings stop wherever they occur - Delhi, Karachi, or anywhere else. Let's take a moment to think about those who sadly perish in this insane acts.

  20. SledgeHammer said...

    "Your usage of words on delhi bombings give an idea that this has been welcomed by Pakistan."

    How did we take you wrong? What part of that statement do you think we misunderstood?

    Glad to know you are not a Pak hater and not a political person. So I assume you didn't mean to say things like "and then doesnt ISI fund this bombings in India".

    I'll take your word for it though. So let's keep the discussion at cricket.

  21. Anonymous said...

    In reality terrorism is being used as a pretext and we all know it, in fact we are facing softer sanctions from the western countries, they cannot impose open sanctions because they also need our cooperation, they want to keep or declare the region unsafe to justify their actions and presence so not only that they will keep on stiring the pot to keep the area unstable and will also never admit that pakistan is safe until their objectives are achieved.
    For me cricket is far less Important than National pride if they don't want to come they can fuck off, I dont give a damn, but the MF at PCB should be hold accoutable for not keeping the cricketers busy domestically.

  22. straight point said...

    please blogroll indiblog gang's official den

    for your own good Q ;-))

  23. Anonymous said...

    Why weren't domestic competitions organised when it became apparent international series would be cancelled?

    Apart from a paltry Ramzan Twenty20 tournament in which only Afridi, Butt and one or two more players are participating, nothing is going on. There is this one match in India being played between Sui Gas (Pakistan) and Delhi teams.

    I heard another Twenty20 tournament is being played in Pakistan in a few months' time, but what the players really need is 50 overs and 4/5 day cricket.

  24. Q said...

    So then Homer, what has been different in Pakistan since 1998 which has kept the Aussies away?

  25. Q said...

    I agree with u Tri!

    NC - im intrigued as to how u've connected Viru with Big B - Enlighten me pls.

  26. Q said...

    I agree Ankit - the media plays a huge role in the image they portray.

  27. Q said...

    Anonymous you're right. Even the western media has been promoting India - even moreso than the Indian one and i believe the biggest reason for that is the comfortable lives that the Western expats have come to enjoy in Bangalore and Mumbai. I don't want to get into all that here but there's definitely something India is doing right and Pakistan isn't...

    But the Aussies are still wrong!

  28. Q said...

    I agree with Wasim - The PCB have been pathetic.. they haven't done anything for the cricketers.

  29. Q said...

    SP - I had intended to do that.. will do soon. Thanks for the reminder.

  30. Q said...

    Khansahab, i am as annoyed as u are with the PCB's lack of efficiency over running cricket in Pakistan. Its as if they don't care about it.

    The 20-20 tournament you're talking about is the annual ABN Amro 20-20 Cup that takes place in Pakistan. Only this year its called the Royal Bank of Scotland 20-20 Cup.. we all know why! The banking industry is in a shit hole at the moment just like the PCB!

    Oh and its not Sui Gas against some Delhi team its Pakistan's domestic Champions against India's domestic champions - again an annual event.

    Quaid-e-Azam trophy winners SNGPL are taking on Ranjhi Trophy Winners Delhi.

  31. Q said...

    Its one and the same LB!

  32. Anonymous said...

    A good question Q.. One the Aussies will be in a better position to answer..

    As far as I am concerned, if India can tour Pakistan, no other country has an excuse not to.


  33. Homer said...

    And one other thing - it is Sachin, Saurav and Rahul and not Ricky, Kevin or Graeme who have been publicly named as targets by the jihadis..

    And yet, the Indian team plays Pakistan in Pakistan while Kevin, Graeme and Ricky stay home :)


  34. Gaurav Sethi said...

    Q - the answer to the Viru-Big B connection is at http://boredcricketcrazyindians.blogspot.com/

  35. Q said...

    Homer, I think that is the best arguement I have heard on the situation ever. It definitely throws a lot of perspective on the whole situation.

  36. Anonymous said...

    Their could be many factors in this rod.

    1.) Even PM of Pakistan is not safe.
    2.) No brand image of pakistan created by PCB.
    3.) Asking support from BCCI.
    4.) No good relation with other boards.
    5.) Not able to conclude that safety can be increased to Z+.
    6.) Earlier image of Pakistan for promoting Terror.

    @ JROD. I don't think that your points money, muslim and bcci are related to, not coming of australia to pakistan.

    And by the way

  37. Pontings_baldspot said...

    I cringe everytime Veeru or Bhajji say something that is not connected to cricket.. Take that back about Bhajji.. I cringe everytime he speaks..

  38. Anonymous said...


    Wasn't JFK assassinated? wasn't Rajiv and Indra Gandhi assassinated?
    and does Newzealand cricket, and West Indies cricket established a brand and are they profitable?
    Asking support from BCCI? I don't know what the F''k that means both countries are in Asian block and they support each other on bilateral basis just the way western block boards support each other,which country has Z+ level security? By supporting terrorism earlier I think you mean channeling American/western Money and weapons to Afghan Mujaheddin so that they could win them the cold war.
    Get your facts straight.

  39. Anonymous said...

    Welcome back Q... long break eh... good to see you back.

    Interesting discussion here... and really tough!

    I must say the blame is on the PCB and the political establishments. Huge miscalculations on many fronts.

    On a general note, the PCB has to muscle a lot.

    Ironically, The two teams, India and Pakistan, who actually face the greatest of threats while touring between, are happily playing in each other countries with no qualms.

    Add with that the great relationship between, us, bloggers, perhaps puts things in perspective for the world to ponder on.

  40. Q said...

    Thanks Scorps.. yes it was a long lay-off! Kept extending my vacation.

    Good to be back though.

    Your comments make absolute sense. I believe today's generation of Indians and Pakistanis have grown out of the tensions of the past and have learnt to live together.. however u still find the odd extremists here and there.

  41. Q said...

    Sorry Neno but I dont agree a single bit with ur points. Not true.

    The only one that is somewhat true is the one about the PCB not creating any brand image...

    As for support from BCCI - the suibcontinental boards have always stuck together no matter what and have supported each other through everything..

    Remember when teams refused to tour Sri Lanka during 96 World Cup, India and Pakistan sent a combined team there to show the world that its a safe place to play cricket..

  42. Soulberry said...

    I would be extremely curious to have the reports of security scouts in either case side by side.

    I wonder what they said and why.

    The so-called "powerful" asian block is proven a myth for failing to bring to book errants and preventing repetition.

  43. Soulberry said...

    It breaks down to three things.


    Pakistan being a muslim state.

    And the BCCi.

    UJ, pray explain the BCCI bit here? Kindly expand on the notation you made for you appear to know plenty about BCCI...

  44. XYZ said...

    what ever the factor may be but sehwag's comment seems to be inappropriate when it says India is not like Pakistan, Here everything becomes routine.

  45. Q said...

    SB - I believe what JRod meant was that there aren't many cricket boards in the world who would disagree with the BCCI... they wouldn't dare to.

    Plus the BCCI may also have more convincing power than say someone like a PCB.

    There are some shrewd businessmen sitting there in the BCCI...

  46. Anonymous said...

    I think the blast in Islamabad today will put all questions like "Why not Pakistan" to rest. I don't think we will see another foreign team touring our blighted country during our lifetimes at least.

  47. SledgeHammer said...

    @anon - very true. As I wrote in a previous post, I think canceling the Champions Trophy was the correct decision (although I do have concerns about the ramifications).

    Although Rawalpindi was eventually removed as a venue, this is one of the two hotels that players/media usually stay when they play in Rawalpindi (the other one being the Pearl Continental in Rawalpindi itself).

    As someone from Islamabad, this is horrific. The Marriott (used to be Holiday Inn back in the 80s) is one of the most famous buildings and has been the center of activity in Islamabad.

    Pakistan is in a total mess. There's no way the country should concentrate on home cricket. If we want to play, let's adopt Abu Dhabi and Sharjah as our "home" grounds for now. There is no other solution.

  48. Q said...

    Anon, Sledge - I agree todays events were really sad.. Who knows when Pakistan will be able to get out of this rut..

    But again.. if India tours Pakistan in Jan then no other country should have any excuse..

  49. SledgeHammer said...

    Q - Pakistan/India political relations have really improved over time. Militants are not concerned with India and Indian targets. That was bigger in the 90s. I don't see anyone protesting Indian policy anymore. Even the Kashmir issue has been put on the backburner (excluding very recent events).

    It's mainly western/"white" targets that militants are interested in now. That is why they want to attack places like the Marriott, rather than your average Pakistani shopping center - it gets all the attention.

    However, these bastards will do anything to grab the headlines. An attack on any team, whether it's Australia or India, will make news, and that's what they want.

  50. Anonymous said...

    Sad for Pakistan, sad for cricket

    Look how prominently this is being covered in the Aus, UK, NZ media. And note the emphasis on suicide bomber in the reports.

    As Jrod has said in the past, bombs that go off in a Muslim country scare Westerners more than bombs that go off elsewhere.

    The Delhi bombings were just an Indian thing

  51. Q said...

    I see your point Sledge.. The focus has definitely shifted.

  52. Q said...

    LB it is indeeed quite sad. We're helpless and frustrated!

    With some high profile deaths i really doubt any western team touring Pakistan for a long long time.

  53. Anonymous said...

    i think with the deadliest attack on capital of Pakistan which is in the vicinity of prez and pm residence and parliament and death of chezk envoy in the sorry blasts, the international cricket is dead in pakistan with the blasts.

    And i think this is the biggest loss to Pakistan.

    To save its face, PCB could go and lease up Sharjah and abu Dhabi stadia and host its home series out there.

    Perhaps Indian tour too might be called off given that Pindi is one of the venue for Tests next year and Indians are very favorite for talibani terrorists, the security remains a big ?

    Sad to see Pak cricket in mess. But then what goes is what comes back. Isnt it ?

    PS : This is not a political post. So Q, i hope i wud be allowed to comment here and u wont say tht u cant get me.

  54. Q said...

    Buzzz I never said you can't comment here - ure views are always welcome - wether i agree with them or not is a different thing..

    I agree with u to a certain extent - i highly doubt that any of the white teams will tour Pakistan now.. But as far as the India tour is concerned.. i think thats going to go ahead as scheduled.. I dont think India will back out..

    Ive said it before as well - when Pakistan is playing cricket, even the terrorists r watching ;-)

  55. Anonymous said...


    What goes around comes around is this statement true for the Indian blasts also or is just applicable to Pakistan, Pak cricket is not in a mess although certain evil eyes want that to happen, we are a cricket crazy nation cricket can never die in Pakistan we will always remain a force in the cricket world despite all the recent boycotts.
    Their is no dearth of talent in Pakistan.

  56. Anonymous said...

    Guys, thats what I say. switch to middle east for rekindling Pak home cricket for time being.

  57. Q said...

    Wasim I agree with you. There's been a lack of cricket but whenever we've played we've done alright.

    Even our record against India this year in ODIs is 2-2 so I don't see what the whole fuss about Pakistan being a weak side is about.

    And the reason for PAk not playing their best side has been a variety of things.. mishandling of Razzak and Yousuf, mishandling of Shoaib and Asif, injuries to a number of players etc.

    U know that Shoaib, Asif, and Gul have never played a match together?

    I know the PCB is to blamefor most things, the players for some others. But at the end of the day its frustrating for us.

    But the point is that despite all these external issues, Pakistan has done alright as a cricket team.

    Buzz u point out losing to Australia 10 times in a row. Well we're not alone in that. Every team will agree that beating Australia in Australia has been a near impossible task for over a decade now.

    India is the only team who has been able to do that in a test each on their last few tours.

    England hasn't, South Africa hasn't, no one has.

    Australia haven't toured Pakistan for 10 years and guess what happened when they did 10 years ago? We beat them :-)

    So don't say that that is a reason for Australia not touring.

    As for shifting to the Middle East for home venues.. I dont think Pakistan should go for it as that would give all countries an easy way to say they dont want to tour. Pakistan first needs to work on improving its political situation and then work on kick startin cricket again.

    During this time we can play India and Sri Lanka at home and try and organize tours for the rest of the year so the team doesn't sit idle.

  58. Anil Singh said...

    i think the problem lies with the PCB functioning.

  59. Anonymous said...


    Also Pakistan played Australia last time in 2004when their team was at its peak, any team on its day can give the current Aussie team a run for its money they are not no longer invincible.

  60. Anonymous said...

    I don't think you can compare the security situation in India and Pakistan.India is much safer to tour.

    Security issues are not just an excuse to abstain from touring Pakistan. These are legitimate concerns.

    With respect to travel India touring Pakistan, BCCI has no option but to acquiesce, being in the same block.

    PCB should organize international cricket in the UAE for the moment.

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