Unfortunate cricketing decisions... By Masood
02 January, 2013
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has refused to go by an earlier commitment to play a Twenty20 and a one-day cricket match on January 12 and 13, 2013 in Lahore. They are still referring to the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team's bus in Lahore wherein religious extremists opened fire, killing eight Pakistanis and wounding six Sri Lankan players. They are of the view that, since 2009, the security situation in Pakistan has not improved; rather it has further deteriorated. Obviously, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is up in arms over the BCB's decision and has considered it as “inappropriate”.
As a counter-measure, the PCB has hinted at considering not sending Pakistani players for the 2013 edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). Though the BCB has referred to an overall dismal security situation across Pakistan, they are more focused on the proposed venue of the matches, Lahore. In my opinion, Punjab's chief minister should make an effort to convince the BCB that all those involved, including those who financed or provided ideological/material support in the 2009 incident, have been promptly caught, tried in the courts and are now behind bars for the foreseeable future. He should also inform his counterpart in Bangladesh that, in view of exemplary punishments meted out by Pakistani courts to the perpetrators of the 2009 attack, no one now can even think of doing such a terrible thing to a visiting sports team again. He can also cite the religious bond between the two countries' cricket teams (though he may face an uphill task to show sectarian solidarity between these two teams).
It is high time for Punjab's chief and home ministers to come up with a convincing plan to let the BCB revisit its earlier decision not to play in Lahore. As we continue to curse the BCB, the (cricket) ball is in our court.
Jubail, Saudi Arabia