Victory has many Fathers

July 5, 2017 | By

What a ceremony it was at the Prime Minister’s house to honour the Pakistan Cricket team, which won the recently concluded Champions Trophy in an emphatic fashion.

The national cricket team, which made one and all proud, richly deserved this acknowledgement.

It was also heartening to see the way young and old were equally praised and rewarded too but some cash awards and acknowledgments did raise eyebrows!

At the launch, the ceremony looked like an advert of the Punjab Government as one host started counting the projects being managed by the provincial government.

Later on, it turned into an event to praise the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif.

Almost every speaker chipped in and praised the premier, who was sitting, watching and smilingly amused by the appreciation.

The chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Shaharyar Khan went a step further to extol the Prime Minister as a brilliant batsman.

Najam Sethi, the chief of the Pakistan Super League, gave excessive credit, in my opinion, to the Prime Minister for the successful final of the league, which was held in Lahore earlier this year.

Well, well after all the sweet-talk, the players were called upon one by one and the promised cash award, of Rs 10m each, was handed over to them.

Later the coaching and support staff hit the stage and got cash awards.

The cash flow did not stop here but other PCB officials, who had no direct contribution to the team’s performance, were showered upon with hefty amounts too.

What for? That was the question on everybody’s lips!

How did the security manager inspire the team or what role did the media managers or the manager international cricket affairs played in team’s turnaround after the heavy loss in the opening game of the mega event?

If these individuals were instrumental then their ‘exceptional services’ should be highlighted.

Similarly, the inconsistency in the treatment meted out to the chief selector, Inzamam-ul-Haq calls for a clarification as well. All the selectors should be rewarded uniformly, if it was necessary in the first place.

Reportedly, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) also spent large amount of money to accommodate about 50 officials for the ceremony but, to their defence, the PCB is a private organisation, but under which provision, the prime minister’s house distributed handsome amount amongst relatively irrelevant PCB employees?

And if we talk about the board employees, then where was the COO? The guy, Subhan Ahmed, has been there for decades but his absence, from the centre-stage during the PM house gala, says a lot.

Last but not the least is another astonishing bit! Why the ex cricketers, appear on PTV programmes only, along with their head were acknowledged by the Prime Minister?

They might have been accredited for the ‘popularity’ of their TV show or for the revenue they fetched? It is ambiguous nonetheless.

All in all, it was an unimpressively managed affair, where the real heroes – the players – were equated with irrelevant officials.

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