Saturday, March 7, 2009

The PCB needs to take Responsibility

Abu Dhabi - Finally!

That was my immediate reaction when my flight from Islamabad landed here this evening.

I was in Pakistan - in Islamabad and Lahore - for the last 12 days for my brother's wedding ceremony.

Amidst all the chaos - the disqualification of the Punjab Government, the riots, the strikes, and the attack on Sri Lanka - we managed to hold a wedding and several functions, dinners, and lunches, without incident.

The entire experience in Pakistan (besides the wedding) left me shocked, appalled, disappointed, and greatly saddened.

My reaction is relatively late in coming for two reasons mainly - firstly, the wedding kept me very busy, and secondly, I needed time to think considering that I had so vehemently defended Pakistan as a cricket host on this blog, as well as on every other blog, that I did not want to sound like Dominic Cork.

My recent discussion with RGB on Well Pitched was the last of my countless arguements in defence of Pakistan as a cricket host.

I first thought about that discussion when I received an early morning phone call from a friend in Dubai, who woke me up to inform me about the attack on the Sri Lanka team bus.

How could cricketers be attacked in Pakistan?

Who could do such a thing?

Why would anyone attack Sri Lankan cricketers?

A thousand questions went through my head, and I felt like such a fool having stated on numerous occassions that cricketers have never been and will never be terrorist targets in Pakistan.

How wrong was I.

More than that, how wrong was the PCB.

How wrong was the Pakistan Government.

Today we are thanking God that India refused to tour Pakistan. Had it been them instead of Sri Lanka, we would have been going through a 4th war with them.

However, I believe that had it been India, then the Presidential level security, that was promised by the PCB and the Pakistan Government, would have been provided; and the attackers would not have even come close to where they were on that Tuesday morning.

The popular opinion at present is that no one was expecting the Sri Lankans to be attacked, which is why the security that was promised was not provided.

That leaves the PCB and the Pakistan Government with no credibility at all. Not that they had much to begin with but such blatant failure to keep their word is criminal.

I am surprised that no action has been taken against the PCB till now.

Its clear to everyone that 2 pick up trucks, with a dozen policemen serving the Punjab police, carrying 40 year old rifles, is not Presidential Level Security.

I feel for the policemen who lost their lives in the line of duty. Moreso because they were not supposed to be there to begin with.

Presidential level security constitutes of commandos, elite forces, members of the armed forces; all armed with the latest ammunition and guarded with bullet proof vests.

The policemen had nothing.

So then why isn't anyone taking the PCB to task for not keeping their word?

An investigation is being conducted, some attackers have even been identified, but what about someone telling the PCB that they failed.

They failed big time!

On top of that Ijaz Butt and Javed Miandad have the audacity to call Broad a liar and demand for a ban on him.

This is beyond appalling.

Its high time these people stand up and take responsibility for their failures and apologize to not only Sri Lanka, but also to the ICC and the rest of the cricketing world, including the fans, who have been deprived of cricket in Pakistan for many many years to come.

Obaid talked of hope, while Sledge demanded PCB do the right thing.

Lets hope they do!

Hope that Pakistan returns to normalcy, for its too beautiful a country to be destroyed by some bearded fanatics. Hope that cricket comes back to Pakistan, for its too talented a cricket nation to be deprived of competition at home.

Hope that the PCB, for the first time, accepts the responsibility for its actions, or rather the lack of.

Make your pitch on this post...

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13 Pitched:

  1. Sam said...

    with the likes of Butt and Miandad at helm its useless to hope that pCb wud do somethin. they r just sissy babies who r tryin to get broad banned :_

    how cynical it cud get!!

  2. Sam said...

    and what purpose wud it serve to get Broad banned ? will that give away the blot pCB got, though what happened was beyond its control!!

  3. Leela said...

    Belated Happy Birthday Q!

    I agree with you that if India would've toured the security would have been much tighter.
    It still baffles me that something like this happened to the SL players in broad daylight....

  4. 12th Man said...

    We share the grief of the families of the policemen that died in the attack.

    These are horrifying times that our nations are going through. Hope peace prevails.

  5. SledgeHammer said...

    My 1 cent...(adjusted for economy)

    I'm quite familiar with Lahore, and used to spend a lot of time in Garden Town, not far at all from Gadaffi Stadium. In fact, for the 1987 World Cup semi-final, we walked from my grandma's place to the stadium.

    And I'm very familiar with the Liberty roundabout. It's where the dholak parties hang out in wedding season, waiting to be picked up.

    The roundabout is absolutely in the open. If 12 gunmen (or even a few of them) are waiting for their target to arrive, there's no way they can't be noticed! And to think that they all escaped - it's pathetic. They're just calmly making their way around, figuring out their escape.

    OK, now the route. The normally would take Ferozepur Road, and enter the stadium area from the other side. But for some reason, they changed the route to take Gulberg Main Blvd. Apparently this was because of one phone call warning them that the Ferozepur Road entrance was dangerous, in effect setting up a trap by forcing them to go Blvd to Liberty Square (or Circle, more appropriately).

    Security was definitely lax. It was not head-of-state security at all. Q - you are right, had it been India or Eng/SA/Aus/NZ, a higher level of security would have been provided. WI, Bang, and Zim would have received the same security as Sri Lanka.

    Now, getting to Broad. I totally agree that Butt and Miandad need to keep their tongues under control. But Broad also spoke a bit too soon. He even admits that a policeman entered their van, but brushed it off as "not very brave." Six policemen died (and more were injured) protecting the cricketers. Yes, they are brown and poor, so probably not worth much in Broad's mind. But they are humans. I'm not arguing that security wasn't lax - it was, it definitely was, it was pathetic (especially since the attack continued for quite some time, and no reinforcements arrived, and everyone got away). But to dismiss the policemen the way he did is a pretty bad thing to do as well.

    And the PCB, Miandad, etc. just need to accept that cricket is not viable in Pakistan right now. Period. Stop pretending that it's not that bad. We were very, very lucky that this didn't end up worse than it was. There's no conspiracy to prevent cricket in Pak. It's called reality, and it's time you accepted it.

    To Sri Lanka - your players represent your country so well. You should be so proud of them. I've always admired the team and the country, but it has been multiplied 100-fold. They were the target, they suffered, they have been rattled. Yet, not a negative word about Pakistan or the security. Very honorable of the players, people, and govt. They have been nothing but sympathetic to Pakistan and the challenges it is facing.

    Finally - to you fundo bearded sons of bitches who are hell-bent on destroying Pakistan, take a look at
    this picture. Take a look at it you mofos and see what you have done! Look at these parents - what do you think they had in life to look forward to each day? And now their son is gone forever, thanks to your pathetic effed up views! If you are ever caught, I hope you are thrown alive into a crowd of people who can take their justice out personally. May you suffer a slow and painful death!

  6. Q said...

    Sam, I dont think it was beyond their contol.. had they done what they promised it would not have happened...

  7. Q said...

    Thanks for the wish Leela :-)

    It sure is baffling.. but atleast now we know that no one is safe in Pakistan.. if this doesn't change the country, i dont know wat will..

  8. Q said...

    We hope too 12th man..

  9. Q said...

    I agree with u Sledge the Broad might have been a bit too harsh a bit too soon, but we shud also realise that it was coming from a guy who had just survived a near-death experience.. Simon Taufel and Murali said the same thing..

  10. achettup said...

    I agree Q, whoever arranged the security detail has blood on his hands. Irrespective of how big the risk to the Sri Lankan cricketers looked, the fact is that if you promise presidential security, you MUST provide it. I also agree about your last comment on Broad... he deserves some leniency considering what he went through, though it only raises my estimation of the Sri Lankans who as has quite rightly been pointed out by Sledgehammer, have been careful in their selection of words.

  11. Anonymous said...

    As an Indian friend of Pakistan cricket I am really overtaken with grief at the turn on events. It's sinking in finally.

    Sincere condolences to those who have been killed and hurt. Hope the killers (whoever they are) are recognized, dihonoured and brought to justice. No cause can justify this event.

    My heart goes out to the Srilankan team while also thanking almighty that no one coped a bullet injury.

    Yes, thank God it was not the Indian team..otherwise by now we would have been hurling bombs at each other.

    While we are at's easy to blame Imran Khan. But I don't think no one seriously belived terrorits would attack a cricket team. If the Mumbai attack did not happen I think Indian team would be have visited Pakistan. Anyway, I guess we are all now realizing there are some very very very senseless people amongst us who can easily cut their nose to spite their face.

    And ya...someone should ask Miandad and Butt to shut up. Butt really makes Pakistan look silly in front of the international media and Miandad needs to stop hob nobbing with terrorits/dons himself before giving santimonious advice to the world...

    Anyways...thought i'll drop a few lines to express my sense of outrage with the events and hoping cricket returns asap to Pakistan.


  12. Q said...

    Acchettup / Sledge - Most of the Lankans have hailed the policemen as heroes and haven't uttered a word abt the security they were not given like Broad and Taufel.. however Murali has stated otherwise.. I wonder why the conflicting views?

  13. Q said...

    Thanks for the comment Raj.. we hope that too, however it will be a long time coming I feel...

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