Monday, June 18, 2007

Pakistan Cricket: Inzamam Scapegoat ul-Haq

The Pakistan Cricket Board and its players must be thanking the heavens for this prolonged lull in their playing calendar. Thanks to scarcity of sound bites emanating from the Pakistani camp, we could all have been forgiven for thinking they had fallen off the face of the Earth.

We should fear not, however. Those ingenious craftsmen infamous for orchestrating the biggest sham in cricketing history have huffed and puffed back into town.

The PCB has announced that a "policy decision" now makes it unlawful to offer central contracts to any Pakistani cricketer who excuses himself from either Test matches or ODIs. Some hoo-ha about moving towards a 'performance-based' model was cited as the cause for this "policy decision".

We all found out this week just how determined the PCB's brothers across the border in the BCCI were about implementing a performance based model. After much headline hogging, the evidence-based seniority system is still firmly entrenched within the Indian cricket system.

I have absolutely no doubt that a similar conclusion will be reached when the chest thumping ends, the bravado runs out and the dust settles on the Pakistani front. This announcement seems merely to be another cheap shot at former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq who has borne the brunt of all blame for the World Cup debacle.

As it only affects one player, this latest announcement makes it crystal clear that Naseem Ashraf's clan is has done its utmost, and succeeded at absolving itself of all blame for Pakistan's performance at the World Cup.

Question being, why does the media tolerate any utterances related to the implementation of a performance-based culture (read: accountability and transparency), when the sorry-excuses-for-men who speak this foul language are the very epitome of all things murky and unaccountable?

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