Day before yesterday the aim of this blog entry was to go through each player’s performance in the team and then try to determine if the player justified their selection. However after what has been happening for the past 2 days in regards to spot-fixing allegations against the Pakistani team, that blog article seemed a little pointless. Since there isn’t much to be said till the investigation completes, here is some food for thought.
I would like to put some stakes in the ground, the first one being that up till now these allegations are just that – allegation. Innocent until proven guilty, and by proven guilty I mean an official verdict is passed that these folks are guilty. Moreover what we have here is the word and evidence provided by a tabloid, also referred to as the gutter press. Journalistic integrity and responsibility is opportunistic at best where tabloids are involved. What we also have here is a cricket team which on numerous occasions has been accused of such activities and we the general public will never really know the whole story. Also in the picture are going to be folks who have their own agendas, who want to share the limelight or might have a vendetta to pursue against the people involved.
The reason I mention these things is because when the news about these allegations broke, I found it very difficult to separate the reality of the situation with the influence these factors had in how the situation presented itself. I of course talk about the media coverage that was given (in Pakistan and abroad) to these allegations. The media has all but declared Akmal, Butt, Aamer and Asif guilty without doubt, with everyone coming out of the woodwork and giving their own versions of the story ala Shahid Afridi and Veena Malik. Im not saying that these stories are true or false, but it is the case of one’s word versus another’s and that is not something that one can argue upon so let’s not dwell on these.
Personally I believe that until proven guilty without doubt the Pakistan team (the alleged and otherwise) needs the support of its fans. That does not mean that we don’t have an opinion about whether there was any wrong-doing involved or not, it just means that these are dire circumstances and without the support of its fans, Pakistan cricket will not come out of this hole they have dug for themselves.
I am an out and out fan of the game and of Pakistani cricket, as are most Pakistanis I know, and I will be devastated if these allegations are true; devastated and angry. But I don’t want to let my anger and disappointment do my thinking for me. I don’t want to let the media dictate my opinion, I don’t want to them to paint an 18 year old child guilty because it appears that way. However that is easier said than done. I am trying to write this blog with a level head and without any bias, and I am having to exercise a lot of restraint in doing so. I hope fans of Pakistan cricket can do the same.