I know it has been a while since the news broke. I also realise the dust has well and truly settled since then, but I feel it pertinent to the survival of our very own little blogosphere, to comment on the farce that is Shoaib Akthar and Mohammad Asif's doping trial.
In what can only be described as the a very skillful piece of deceit and skulduggery witnessed in the sport of cricket over the past decade or so, the PCB must be recognised for their strategic thinking skills. The chain of events leading to Akhtar and Asif being found not guilty is as good as, if not better than, any sham that the likes of Fidel Castro or Saddam Hussein could have pulled off in their hey day.
For all my commendation of the manner in which the PCB acted to apprehend and punish the two junkies, I am totally and utterly disgusted by the events that have transpired thereafter. We should have all known this was on the horizon.
This may come across as racist, biased, most stereotypical; however, what more could we expect of cricket Board that has a military dictator as it's Patron-in-Chief? This is a country that has practiced below-the-belt acts, both on and off the cricket field. This is the same country that produces a bowler who unabashedly proclaims to count the President of his nation among his advisers.
I ask you the question, who's shoulders do we lay this charade on? Is it the PCB for pulling the wool over our eyes by what seemed, initially, to be the actions of an honest and responsible administration? Or is it President Musharraf himself, who seems to have more than an a hint of involvement in this affair? Why else would Shoaib Akthar claim to have been told to keep his trap shut by none other than President Mushy himself?
So many questions, and I can guarantee you the answers will never be forthcoming. Just like the country's dictator, the Pakistani Cricket Board has proven that it is not worthy of a single shred of benefit of the doubt on any issue henceforth. It is a pathetic and conniving institution that has continually selected and supported players and umpires (remember Shakoor Rana) who have indulged in acts of foul-play without every being adequately punished for their actions.
This latest episode only proves that nothing has changed since 1947 and that the PCB will run miles to ensure that its own are shielded from processes that are designed to justly judge a one's innocence, or otherwise. Vanished, has any faith I had that Pakistani authorities might ever behave in a reasonable and responsible manner.
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