‘If Pakistan state dysfunctional, so is its cricket’

March 6th, 2009 - 2:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, March 6 (IANS) Pakistan’s cricket mirrors the dysfunctional state of the nation, an editorial in a leading English daily said Friday, lamenting that the country had been reduced to “pariah status” in the wake of the terror attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore.
“Pakistan cricket has come to be seen in the light of what Pakistan is perceived as a whole: a dysfunctional state where militants and terrorists who subscribe to a medieval ideology can dictate terms to the state,” Dawn said.

“We can’t hold cricket matches without endangering the lives of the players. Let’s face it, we have been reduced to pariah status,” the editorial headlined “Cricket redefined” added.

Noting that no major foreign team would play in Pakistan for the foreseeable future “and to try and convince the world otherwise will be tantamount to inviting ridicule”, Dawn said even minnows like Bangladesh and Zimbabwe would refuse to play here.

The News, in its editorial, pointed to the first hand accounts of match referee Chris Broad and umpires Simon Taufel and Steve Davis of the Lahore attack, saying the trio had “not minced words”.

“Their vivid description of the terrifying attack… gives us an insight into how people everywhere will see the events of the morning of March 3,” it maintained.

At the same time, Pakistan “must give up complaining” and prioritise the options available to it in the current situation, the editorial contended.

“Alternatives may well have to be overseas but the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) will also need to keep interest alive at home; ways to liven up the game at the domestic level need to be reconsidered with renewed urgency,” it added.

Noting that South Africa was able to keep cricketing vigour alive through 20 years of sporting isolation, the newspaper said: “The changed situation brings fresh challenges and our cricket chiefs must demonstrate they are capable of meeting them.”

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