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Another loss of face

Another loss of face
Highlights

That Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has ended up as the cricketing world’s laughing stock yet again should not come as a surprise to anyone in particular. Somehow, one gets this strange feeling that Islamabad also does not think too highly of its Board, if one goes by the manner it is used more as a political football that can be kicked around by all and sundry. 

That Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has ended up as the cricketing world’s laughing stock yet again should not come as a surprise to anyone in particular. Somehow, one gets this strange feeling that Islamabad also does not think too highly of its Board, if one goes by the manner it is used more as a political football that can be kicked around by all and sundry.

There appears to be a fascination to make use of PCB to test the waters before announcing its decision, which, in any case, is nothing but toeing the majority line. Pakistan has earned global notoriety because it exemplifies the ‘barking dogs seldom…’ syndrome to perfect levels. The latest show of protest and the grandiose announcement that it will participate in the T20 World Cup is an extension of government’s penchant to merely make noises to stay in the news.

One wonders how in a day of dramatic twists and turns their security concerns suddenly seem to have been clarified. The fact of the matter, which Islamabad is aware of, is that India, whether it is Dharamsala or Eden Garden, has always sworn by fool-proof security, especially for cricket matches. Barring Bangladesh in recent times, no country is willing to step on Pakistan soil.

Pakistan government did not need any categorical assurances from Rajnath Singh because no participating country had any doubts as regards security cover in India, which will be home to several top grade cricketers who will be playing in the ninth edition of IPL that is round the corner. Technically speaking, there was no need for West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) chief Sourav Ganguly to assure Pak about the security cover at Eden for the March 19 super clash between the two nations.

In a way, one should find fault with Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who played spoilsport simply because he wished to take a stance that was symmetrically opposite to that of BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur, his political opponent who represents the State in the Lower House. The stand-off between the two over the preparedness of Dharamsala may have bolstered the PCB to stay adamant and rub salt into the wounds.

The battle for political one-upmanship has gone in Singh’s favour. Justice Lodha must be chuckling away as his suggestion to bar politicos stands vindicated. Why should the PCB have fears when other associations and federations had no hesitation in fielding entries in the SAF Games that India successfully hosted a month back? Is it because they don’t want to lose on Indian soil, which is a bigger embarrassment than getting isolated from the fraternity, a warning that was effectively sounded by ICC in the nick of time.

It is rather cynical on the part of the Pakistan government to demand a written assurance from India on providing foolproof security to its players. It is time New Delhi and BCCI did some tough talking so that amateurish utterances do not emanate from across the border.

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