Rise up and keep standing for the ICC CT 2017 Winners

By Chishty Mujahid - July 9, 2017

This piece must begin with my usual disclaimer using half a couplet from Hakeem Momin Khan Momin “KOI BAAT AISEE AGAR HUEE; JO TUMHARAY JEE KO BURI LAGEE…” then please forgive me. I do not intend to offend anyone; and as such this humble writing should be taken in the spirit in which it is written.

I am sorry that I have been away abroad and as such have depended on reports about the well earned well merited celebrations.

The entire squad deserves a standing ovation besides the accolades, prizes, bonuses, and any other offerings. I include the “bench strength and the unfit players as well” because as John Milton so aptly stated “They also serve who only stand and wait….” They have done the nation proud and the cricket enthusiasts are understandably ecstatic overjoyed.

The squad has been felicitated, feted and fed by almost everyone who matters and also who do not matter. The Army and Navy Chiefs gave them most dignified, proper and graceful receptions without squandering away the tax payers’ money. It is the honour which is important; although the money is helpful!

Let the squad have parties and celebrations but then it should be back to business. There is much more cricket left and the PCB, Selectors and the Team cannot rest on their laurels and become complacent with an attitude that” we are the greatest, we are the prettiest, we are the invincibles”. This syndrome should be avoided.

This Trophy is the beginning to a successful and bright future which requires planning, determination, unity and hard work. However, on a lighter – almost facetious – note the players have been rewarded so much money and many other prizes in the shape of motor cars, motor bicycles, refrigerators, air conditioners, LCDs/LEDs, washing machines, food processors and the list goes on, that if they invest wisely and use the prizes judiciously they need not work for even another hour !!! Well done boys.

Just a note of reminding here. It is being erroneously said that this a win of an ICC title after 25 years (The World Cup of 1992). We cannot forget the win under Younis Khan of the ICC World Twenty/20 which was at Lord’s and should not be forgotten, true it was not against India nor was the 1992 victory!

The squad has been felicitated, feted and fed by almost everyone who matters and also who do not matter. The Army and Navy Chiefs gave them most dignified, proper and graceful receptions without squandering away the tax payers’ money. It is the honour which is important; although the money is helpful!

The PCB were found napping. They had made no preparations. They were not hopeful it appears that Sarfraz and his men will bring home the Trophy. The whole squad should have been sent for Umrah from London as was graciously and correctly offered by the Chief of Army Staff. If the arrangements were for the team members to return in segments of 2, or 3 and at various dates and at different ports, they could have gone for Umrah from London as a unit and returned to London to take up the original arrangements.

But efforts should have been made for the team to return as a united squad rather than as a rabble and the ICC would have been only too glad to comply. But the PCB cannot think, plan or arrange these events. They are too busy looking after their own and the bosses’ interests.

The PCB also is yet to arrange a celebratory party for the victors unless this has been done and I have missed the report. The Prime Minister’s Reception and Prize Giving Ceremony was the icing on the cake. According to reports it seemed more like a felicitation to the Ministry of Information and the PTV Sports.

The winning cricket squad were pushed into the back ground. If it was for the PTV Sports was the Radio “off the tube” team and management invited. Were those senior journalists from leading publications of the country who travelled with the team and reported from the venues asked to come?

All that the electronic media did was to hook on to the biased international commentary; and the Radio men described what they saw on the TV screens. In the PTV’s pre and post matches discussions the viewers were fed with comments from inexperienced comperes who were hampered by the fact that they were sitting 8000 kilometers from the action.

In post match we had to listen to the great views of the highly respected former Australian and West Indian icons (who we are told were invited at astronomical fees and perks) speaking their own version of English which went high over the head of the common viewers. These second class viewers were compensated by watching our own home bred (though 2 have dual nationalities) greats.

Full marks to stamina and talking skills including the infective laughter of the anchor who is also the Head of PTV Sports. The grand finale was when the Information Minister and the Secretary/MD TV appeared to put their final stamp on a job well done. The MD when he first arrived had resolved to bring revolutionary changes to both Radio and TV commentary but like his predecessors he seems helpless.

The PM’s reception also had Ministers and Government Officials. Was it for the cricket team or was it to unfold a political manifesto?

It would have been in the fitness of things had the prizes been restricted the winning squad and also Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq and Shahid Afridi should have been honoured as assured by the PCB  Chairmen duo. I cannot understand why Inzamam-ul-Haq was given another Rs 10 million – I say another as, according to reports, he had bargained to get and received Rs 10 million just before his last Test innings.

And what had the PCB officials done to deserve hefty sums as prizes. All are paid salaries and allowances for the jobs done. In my humble opinion and with utmost respect I submit that although the cricketers receive sizeable fess and allowances they may get what is usually termed a win bonus. It is hoped that the huge sum of money which the Prime Minister distributed will be debited from the bloated treasury of the PCB and not from the common taxpayers’ money who have already suffered the day before thanks to the “miscommunication” by those who manage the finances of this country.

I wish the Pakistan cricket team all the best and the PCB Management and the PSL franchisees not to take a blinkered view but to have a broad and intelligent look at the future of Pakistan Cricket. If changes are required at the Test level these must be implemented. Remember we now have 2 more Test Teams in Afghanistan and Ireland.

This seems that the ICC is moving towards a two league system in Tests. Pakistan at No.6 is a borderline case. Talking of leagues there is a possibility that cricket will now be split between Leagues and International Cricket. Boards and ICC may become irrelevant.

We already have IPL, PSL, CPL, BBL, England is planning a league as is Afghanistan and Sri Lankan League is trying to make a comeback. There can be private leagues like the masters or the Veterans League. I think there should also be a few Women’s Leagues.

I wish the PCB revamps itself once the change of guard at the helm of affairs take place.  A more professional managerial approach is required rather than recruitment on the basis of friendships and recommendations.

To the Pakistan squads for all formats all the best. May more glories come your way. Well played.

The squad has been felicitated, feted and fed by almost everyone who matters and also who do not matter. The Army and Navy Chiefs gave them most dignified, proper and graceful receptions without squandering away the tax payers’ money. It is the honour which is important; although the money is helpful!

By Chishty Mujahid

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