Rehman Malik, Wah Ustad!

I don’t understand why Pakistan’s interior minister Rehman Malik’s ten commandments to the cricket team should cause a “furore”. All the poor guy did was to lay down some basic rules: thou shalt concentrate on practice, thou shalt go to bed early, thou shalt wake up according to schedule, thou shalt ensure discipline, thou shalt dedicate yourself to the game for Pakistan, thou shalt not indulge in match-fixing…

Now, this is the one that has raised eyebrows among former players. Zaheer Abbas said he is demoralising players. Rubbish. Their ammis, abbas and biwis would be telling them the same things, except probably the last. Imran Khan thinks the minister has problems with the English language, so he must have meant something else. How many of us can understand the language used in scriptures?

The idea that he is spying on the team is ridiculous. Or maybe it is meant to sound like that. 

Rehman Malik needs to be applauded for thinking on his feet. He is acting as cricket’s messiah by declaring that his country has sent “clean players” and can’t take chances after the ICC had banned three for spot-fixing. His target is not the players at all. He is preparing the ground for the outcome of the game. (Yes, I understand his English and more.)

If Pakistan wins the semis against India, then not only will the country rejoice but Pakistan’s image as detergent nation will also get a boost. If it loses, then pin it down to match-fixing. And everyone knows that such fixing is not a one-way street. So, which is the other one? Conspiracy theories galore will float. Rehman Malik and the Pakistan government will have ready scapegoats and their own hands will be clean. If only the cricketing greats understood basic bat and ball stuff.

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