Saturday, February 21, 2009

Australians in Pakistan

There's a bigger story out there than the fact that Pakistan is playing its first test in 14 months and hosting its first for 16.

Even bigger than Umar Gul's wicket in the first over of the series.

It is the two umpires standing in this test match.

Its two AUSTRALIANS!!!

Simon Taufel and Steve Davis.

My my how did Cricket Australia and the ICC allow that? Or even that player's association that Tim May runs?

And what exactly is the message that these "authorities" are giving here?

To me it says that the lives of Simon Taufel and Steve Davis are not as valuable as those of the Australian international cricketers.

Why else would neither the Australian Government, nor its cricket board, nor its cricketers association have a problem with two Australian umpires visiting a country with "severe security issues".

What's more is that I don't think Taufel or Davis even had an issue with this.

Maybe the Australian cricketers need to learn a thing or two from these men.

Make your pitch on this post...



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28 Pitched:

  1. nestaquin said...
     

    Umpires are expendable Q!

    Seriously, my thoughts on Pakistan tours are well known and I think it is an important point you make.

    It should also be noted that the elite panel are employed by the ICC not CA and that Australian citizens are not prevented from visiting Pakistan despite the government's paranoid warnings.

  2. straight point said...
     

    great dig Q!!! rubbed it right in their pompous asses...

  3. Q said...
     

    Nesta, I know Aussies are not prevented from visiting Pak, but basically the point is that if these guys don't have a problem touring, why do the players?

  4. Q said...
     

    I hope someone listens SP..

  5. life_in_binary said...
     

    bang on Q!

  6. RGB said...
     

    Do the umpires have any choice?

  7. Q said...
     

    RGB, if they don't, then neither should the players...

  8. Damith S. said...
     

    this has opmh written all over it!

    game on btw Q, looking at the first day id say only we showed up :)

  9. Q said...
     

    opmh Damith?

    Well had Sanga been given out on 43 (he was plumb) and Jayawardene not dropped on 43, it would have been a very different day - we were there, our luck wasn't :-)

  10. Naked Cricket said...
     

    Q, by the look of it Pak should try harder when a player gets to 43, or to 243.

  11. Sam_2 said...
     

    Good premise :)

  12. raj said...
     

    Q, to be fair, a full on Aussie team would be a more enticing target for terrorists than a couple of umpires. Until you highlighted it, not many would have even noticed it. So, the comparsion is not exactly fair - but one does appreciate the bravery of these 2 gentlemen, because fear can be both real and perceived - and the way Aussie media has been feeding images of terror in the sub-continent, or specifically a part of it, you might have excused these 2 gentlemen if they refused to turn up - especialyl after the high profiel, much better protected Cricketers refused to.

  13. Sid said...
     

    Hi Q! you have a great blog going here. It may sound surprising to you, coming from an Indian, but I rejoice in Pakistan's comeback to test cricket as much as you do. Back in lete 80s/early 90s I grew up idolising the pakistan cricketers( with the exception of Gavaskar,Kapil and later a very younf Sachin among Indians who were still playing. back then , the only glamorous and exciting players from the subcontinent were a handful of pakistanis- in terms of cricketing talent as well as on/off field charisma and chutzpah. I wanted to grow up to be like Imran Khan, would you believe that!?! All the girls in school and my young cousins wanted to marry him!I personally liked Waqar Yunus the best- maybe because Imran had lost pace and yunus was the fastest at the time!But if there is one pakistani player that i still regard as my greatest idol ever alongside sachin its Wasim. I have endured great ribbings for wanting to be a pakistani player when we played in our Mohalla and each of us pretended to be our cricketing idol- I always wanted to be WASIM AKRAM ! As i started to learn more about the game i fell in love with the way the team played- exciting, terribly unpredictable and hence even more entertaining and the only team in Asia to match the 'goras' in arrogance and attitude. I have even secretly wished that India would lose to pakistan, with sachin scoring a brilliant hundred but wasim and waqar destroying the rest of our batsmen. With the possible exception of javed Minadad, whom I didnt find to be a very attractive batsman or a person, I loved most of your batsmen too- Saeed Anwar, Amir Sohail, Malik, Inzamam and even lesser mortals like Basit Ali with his swagger and arrogance. Those were times when India played Pakistan very infrequently and I liked it that way -because i would be torn between my cricketing heroes and my national team+Sachin(also because you guys will mostly rout our team).I dont know how I got to love the cricket team from a nation which , we are told , are our bitterst enemies. I think pasrt of it comes from my dad, who was great fan of Zaheer Abbas and had once managed to get is autograph!
    Over the years pakistan cricket has been a big disapointmernt. While there still have been exciting batsmen - Mohd Yusuf, Younis Khan, Misbah etc, but its the fast bowling that has caused me a lot of heartburnt. I feel one the reasons I started to openly root for pakistan, a perilous move for an Indian boy, is beacuse it was only Pakistanis who could dish it out to the hoity-toity 'goras' and There was a time when I celebrated the wigging that the Awesome Ws gave to the poms - and felt infuriated when the English accused them of cheating.west indians in the fast bowling dept. I dont know how I got to love the cricket team from a nation which , we are told , are our bitterst enemies. I think pasrt of it comes from my dad, who was great fan of Zaheer Abbas and had once managed to get is autograph!
    but last few years have been surprisingly barren for pakistan in this respect. For a brief while Asif made me hopeful that Pakis have again produced the bes fast bowler in the world, but alas!Umar Gul is very good, but not THAT good.Sohail Tanveer hasnt done a great deal to be excited about. As much as it pains me to say this, the Indian bowling department looks more fearsome than the pakistani cupboaord-- whats the world coming to!! Why has the great pakistani bowler -manufacturing machine gone on strike? Is there any light at the end of the tunnel?
    Trust me when I say this, I am a lone admirer of pakistani cricket- there are many closet fans of the fabulous paki entertainers. I am only a few of those who dare to come out in open. And we all would love to see pakistan come back from the wilderness and be a force again, with amazing batsmen and some fearsome fastbowlers. With India and South Africa making fast progress and Aussies still clingling on to the top slot, we need pakistan to make the scene as vibrant as it has never been !The famous Indo-pak rivalry has always been a one-sided one- first dominated by pakistan adn later by a superior India. I look forward to a day when India and pakistan , evenly matched, will fight for No.1 position in the rankings- even though I will be very confused about my loyalties...

  14. Sid said...
     

    Hi Q! you have a great blog going here. It may sound surprising to you, coming from an Indian, but I rejoice in Pakistan's comeback to test cricket as much as you do. Back in lete 80s/early 90s I grew up idolising the pakistan cricketers( with the exception of Gavaskar,Kapil and later a very younf Sachin among Indians who were still playing. back then , the only glamorous and exciting players from the subcontinent were a handful of pakistanis- in terms of cricketing talent as well as on/off field charisma and chutzpah. I wanted to grow up to be like Imran Khan, would you believe that!?! All the girls in school and my young cousins wanted to marry him!I personally liked Waqar Yunus the best- maybe because Imran had lost pace and yunus was the fastest at the time!But if there is one pakistani player that i still regard as my greatest idol ever alongside sachin its Wasim. I have endured great ribbings for wanting to be a pakistani player when we played in our Mohalla and each of us pretended to be our cricketing idol- I always wanted to be WASIM AKRAM ! As i started to learn more about the game i fell in love with the way the team played- exciting, terribly unpredictable and hence even more entertaining and the only team in Asia to match the 'goras' in arrogance and attitude. I have even secretly wished that India would lose to pakistan, with sachin scoring a brilliant hundred but wasim and waqar destroying the rest of our batsmen. With the possible exception of javed Minadad, whom I didnt find to be a very attractive batsman or a person, I loved most of your batsmen too- Saeed Anwar, Amir Sohail, Malik, Inzamam and even lesser mortals like Basit Ali with his swagger and arrogance. Those were times when India played Pakistan very infrequently and I liked it that way -because i would be torn between my cricketing heroes and my national team+Sachin(also because you guys will mostly rout our team).There was a time when I celebrated the wigging that the Awesome Ws gave to the poms - and felt infuriated when the English accused them of cheating.I dont know how I got to love the cricket team from a nation which , we are told , are our bitterst enemies. I think pasrt of it comes from my dad, who was great fan of Zaheer Abbas and had once managed to get is autograph!
    Over the years pakistan cricket has been a big disapointmernt. While there still have been exciting batsmen - Mohd Yusuf, Younis Khan, Misbah etc, but its the fast bowling that has caused me a lot of heartburnt. I feel one the reasons I started to openly root for pakistan, a perilous move for an Indian boy, is beacuse it was only Pakistanis who could dish it out to the hoity-toity 'goras' and west indians in the fast bowling dept.
    but last few years have been surprisingly barren for pakistan in this respect. For a brief while Asif made me hopeful that Pakis have again produced the bes fast bowler in the world, but alas!Umar Gul is very good, but not THAT good.Sohail Tanveer hasnt done a great deal to be excited about. As much as it pains me to say this, the Indian bowling department looks more fearsome than the pakistani cupboaord-- whats the world coming to!! Why has the great pakistani bowler -manufacturing machine gone on strike? Is there any light at the end of the tunnel?
    Trust me when I say this, I am a lone admirer of pakistani cricket- there are many closet fans of the fabulous paki entertainers. I am only a few of those who dare to come out in open. And we all would love to see pakistan come back from the wilderness and be a force again, with amazing batsmen and some fearsome fastbowlers. With India and South Africa making fast progress and Aussies still clingling on to the top slot, we need pakistan to make the scene as vibrant as it has never been !The famous Indo-pak rivalry has always been a one-sided one- first dominated by pakistan adn later by a superior India. I look forward to a day when India and pakistan , evenly matched, will fight for No.1 position in the rankings- even though I will be very confused about my loyalties...

  15. scorpicity said...
     

    Jab at the eye... LOL... nice

  16. RGB said...
     

    The security threat to a team is different from that to a umpire.

    The ICC cannot force a team to play.

  17. Q said...
     

    NC - either them or the umpires ;-)

    Sam_2 - Thanks man..

  18. Q said...
     

    Raj & RGB - Firstly, neither the umpires nor the cricketers, no matter how low or high profile are terrorist's targets.. don't u know even the terrorists in Pakistan love their cricket and cricketers :-)

    Secondly, I would think it would be easier for terrorists to target 1 or 2 men as opposed to targeting 15-20..

    Finally, the umpires eat, live, move around, sleep in the same hotel and areas as the teams, hence an attack on the teams means an attack on the umpires.. so if the umpires feel safe, so shud the teams..

    Though I get ur point about perception and media and so on so yes Kudos to Taufel and Davis and Bayliss and Cork :-)

  19. Q said...
     

    Sid - thanks for ur comments. Having lived in the UAE, I have a lot of Indian friends and they openly used to love the Pak cricket team of the 90s.. esp the players u mention..

    Similarly, I have also been a fan of the Indian cricket team, as my fellow bored members know.. I love the current team and have always loved Sachin Tendulkar, who in my books is the greatest batsman to have graced this game..

    Like you, I also support India whenever they play against any team, besides Pakistan ;-) .. i love the fact that the BCCI has been able to take the powers of this game away from the 'gora' hands... I admire Ganguly only because he gave the Aussies a taste of their own medicine.. and a whole lot more..

  20. Q said...
     

    Thanks Scorps..

  21. RGB said...
     

    Q,

    "don't u know even the terrorists in Pakistan love their cricket and cricketers :-)"

    I would not bet on that. Stadiums were attacked last year. Quite a few Indian cricketers have received threats over the years.

    It is easier to protect 2 individuals as opposed to a team.

    Apart from that, umpires ,even though they are foreign nationals, are present in their individual capacity.

    Teams represent a country.The threat to a team is magnified if the team is representing countries like India, Australia or England which the terrorists perceive as their enemy.

  22. Q said...
     

    RGB, what r u talking about?

    Which stadiums were attacked last year? I can assure u that no stadium in Pakistan has ever been attacked. NEVER.

    I can also assure u that no terrorists perceive Australia or England as the enemy. They probably don't even know that Australia exists. Their enemy is the US.

    As for India, well that's another story... but no Indians received threats from terrorists in Pakistan.. they did in Sharjah from the almight D, who himself is from Mumbai.. and that was more to do with betting and match fixing than anything else..

    Pakistan were openly threatened by the Shiv Sena in 1999 but they toured India :-)

  23. RGB said...
     

    1)Peshawar stadium was attacked last year during the inter province games. There was a bomb explosion outside NZ team hotel in 2001-02.


    2) Both England and Australia have troops in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban and the terrorists. Both countries caution against travelling to Pakistan. Australian government has warned about attacks against Australian interests in their advisory.

    3)Indian cricketers have received threats from POK based groups over the years.
    D, originally from Mumbai as you have said, has also issued threats. And I do not think there is any need to elaborate where and under whose aegis he is now.

    4) Shiv Sena has threatened Pakistani team in the past. If they had thought that the threat was dangerous enough, they were within their rights to call off the tour.
    India has also toured Pakistan twice in the last five years when the security situation was better.

  24. Q said...
     

    RGB

    1) The Arbab Niaz stadium was not attacked.. the attack happened close to the stadium and a domestic game was going on. Peshawar has been unstable for some time now and even the Pakistan team does not play there.. Most teams are ensured matches in Lahore and Rawal Pindi, which are largely safe locations..

    The hotel New Zealand were staying in was the same where the Pakistanis were staying in as well. Its common knowledge that it was not a terrorist attack but a mafia gang war..

    In both cases the targets were not cricket nor the cricketers..

    These types of bombs / attacks go off in England, India, and Sri Lanka as well..

    2) At some point the world needs to realise that there is a difference between Pakistan and Afghanistan... In either case there is no history of an Australian or an Englishman being targeted in Pakistan.. it has always been Americans..

    3) Thats the same as the threats Pak cricketers received from Shiv Sena - that didn't stop us from travelling.. and despite that India have toured here every year since 2004 without incident or disruption.. 2 test tours and an Asia Cup..

    4) We both know that the tour that just got cancelled was cos of political reasons and had nothing to do with security...

  25. RGB said...
     

    1)4 killed in suicide attack at Peshawar sports stadium
    Peshawar will not be hosting international games in near future. But the sports stadium was targeted last year.
    It is a very flimsy argument to suggest that while other sports may be targeted ,cricket wont be due to their 'love' for cricket.

    Yes most probably NZ team was not the target of the bomb blast. But they were fortunate to escape unhurt.One of team staff received minor injuries.

    There were bomb blasts in India as well . If the Australian and British security teams had deemed the situation dangerous enough they were within their rights to call the tour off.

    2)"I can also assure u that no terrorists perceive Australia or England as the enemy. "

    They do. Check out the link below.

    Even though there is a difference between Afghanistan and Pakistan, terroist organizations like the Al Qeada, who have declared, UK and Australia as their enemies are active in Pakistan as well.

    British nationals have been targeted in the past.

    English and Australian cricket teams have not been attacked so far but it would be naive to suggest British or Australian interests wont be targeted.

    3)Even assuming that the threats were the same, it is true that Indian cricketers have been issued threats by POK based terrorist groups.

    I had given this example to counter your claim that cricket or cricketers wont be targeted by the terrorists.


    4)Political reasons were the final nail in the coffin. The tour was not going to take place due to security reasons even if relations had not deterioted.

    Indian has toured in the recent past when the situation was deemed better by the government. Cricket is not played in a bubble. Political reasons will affect it.

  26. Q said...
     

    "There were bomb blasts in India as well . If the Australian and British security teams had deemed the situation dangerous enough they were within their rights to call the tour off."

    So tell me RGB, when the ICC security team assessment proved Pakistan to be secure enough, why was that not enough for Australia and England when it was for the Windies, India, Lanka, and others?

    "Al Qeada, who have declared, UK and Australia as their enemies are active in Pakistan as well."

    And they are active in India, England, and the USA as well.

    "The tour was not going to take place due to security reasons even if relations had not deterioted."

    The tour got cancelled cos of the Mumbai blasts, which deteriorated the political situation. There was no difference in the nature of security in Pakistan between July (Asia Cup) and Jan when India were supposed to tour.

    Nevertheless, I believe it is a never ending arguement. I and many other Pakistanis will continue to believe that we are getting a raw deal... so might as well agree to disagree :-)

    I respect ur opinions and agree that Pakistan is in a pretty bad state currently.. but there's more to teams refusing to come here than just security.

  27. RGB said...
     

    "So tell me RGB, when the ICC security team assessment proved Pakistan to be secure enough, why was that not enough for Australia and England when it was for the Windies, India, Lanka, and others?"

    They differed in the assessment and they were not the only ones. SA, NZ , WI also refused to participate in Champions Trophy due to security reasons. WI played ODIs in Abu Dhabi. May be the ICC should hire security consultants trusted by all the boards.

    Regarding India and SL , may be having experienced similar situations the players can understand it better. You cannot expect an Australian , an English or a New Zealander to have similar views.


    "And they are active in India, England, and the USA as well."

    And that would be taken into account while assessing security in those countries.


    "The tour got cancelled cos of the Mumbai blasts, which deteriorated the political situation. There was no difference in the nature of security in Pakistan between July (Asia Cup) and Jan when India were supposed to tour."

    Concerns were raised after the Champions Trophy was postponed. The Indian junior hockey tour was cancelled due to security reasons before 26/11 took place. 26/11 only sealed the issue.



    "Nevertheless, I believe it is a never ending arguement. I and many other Pakistanis will continue to believe that we are getting a raw deal... so might as well agree to disagree :-)

    I respect ur opinions and agree that Pakistan is in a pretty bad state currently.. but there's more to teams refusing to come here than just security."

    I respect your opinions as well. But I feel the players from western countries have valid security concerns about playing in Pakistan at the moment. May be there are other considerations as well. May be there are double standards. But we do not live in a utopian world and international relations are very seldomly carried out in an idealistic manner.

  28. Q said...
     

    RGB the Abu Dhabis series against WI was planned in Dec'07.. it wasnt something that was moved from Pakistan.. Aus, Eng, SA, and NZ refused to play the champs trophy in Pak..

    I agree that we don't live in a utopian world.. and I believe there are double standards and money plays a very important role when deciding on a tour to a certain place..

    I agree with your point about one official security assessment team that all boards agree to.. that way atleast we would know that we have been assessed fairly..

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