The ruckus around the non selection of Pakistani players for the IPL is quite astounding.
Articles have been written on the romanticism of cricket and its ability to create peace by obviously delusional writers who have clearly not seen a cricket match between India and Pakistan or even India and australia. In the latter case, off field acrimony has threatened to blow up into a diplomatic crisis and sharply punctuates the prevailing tension among the two countries on perceived racial issues.
It does not take a genius to recognise that the gentleman’s game has changed. In the 21st century it’s not about doffing your hat, gently applauding your own dismissal and then discussing straight drives over tea, it is on the contrary, war. Players are out to destroy each other at every given opportunity, teams play tooth and nail to win ,backed by rabid supporters on each side who would not have it any other way. To say in such a scenario that playing cricket will promote peace is at best a ridiculous suggestion!
In light of the 26/11 attacks and the outrage that followed, it’s even more derisory to the psyche of the country to suggest that we should be playing a sport with the team of a country who has supported the murder of hundreds and thousands of indian citizens. I am no xenophobe but I do believe in not engaging Pakistan in any way untill concrete action is seen.
Coming back to the issue of the jobless Pakistani merceneries cricket players. If clarity of thought prevails among the self-righteous jhola walas, they will find many reasons for the absence of Pakistani players, I have complied them in a short list for easy reference.
1. Recent performances : Have you seen them play in the recent test series against Australia? They were not even competitive would you want expensive, out of form players in that franchise that you support?
2. Uncertain resource : The last two reasons boil down to one basic element, pure business sense. No franchise would like to spend crores on a player only to have his visa revoked in he case of further heightened tensions or any other extraneous reason.
3. Unpopular : And lastly, given the current environment, Pakistani players are definitely not in season with the Indian cricket watching public who fund the IPL with their ticket dollars. Consider this a democratic verdict, exercised by those whose cash makes this wheel go round. If no one wants to see the Pakistani players, why would a team owner waste money on them?
The response of the Pakistani cricket board and the Pakistani media was certainly unexpected, I wish they had shown such outrage when the Sri Lankans were being attacked in their country or when terrorists trained by their state were butchering scores in the streets of Mumbai.
The only response that their outrage deserves is the finger.