I am not a conspiracy theorist. I don’t connect all the dots and somberly predict the third world war. I don’t even produce evidence from the past or a Nostradamus prophecy to back up my doomsday premonition. I am not into all that. However, I am a normal person who can safely say that somebody is trying to kill you if you get attacked five times. Elementary my dear Watson. Now I am beginning to think that there is something shady going on in relation to Pakistan cricket.
The way New Zealand ditched Pakistan at the altar was something very shady. New Zealand went through a complete security rigmarole before agreeing to tour Pakistan. They came in and stayed normally for almost a week, practiced in the ground, enjoyed superlative VIP security protocol, praised Pakistan as a host, and seemed focused on cricket. Just a couple of hours before the start of the match they suddenly developed cold feet. Initially refusing to play the match and later abandoned the tour. I think Shakespeare will say “something is rotten in the state of Denmark”. It seemed somewhat deliberate & with a carefully calculated time-related move.
Pakistan is placed in an embarrassing situation
The timing of the move was such that Pakistan was left holding the bag. Pakistan should go to an arbitration court in ICC for very heavy compensation as New Zealand has damaged Pakistan cricket immensely. Plus to dispel the impression that Pakistan is not safe for cricket they have to do a Zimbabwe that is to get some team any team to play in Pakistan. These steps must be taken immediately to minimize the damage.
While a postmortem of who what why where and when is going to take place ad infinitum but the scenario absolutely reeks of a 5thgeneration warfare strategic move. Activating sleeper cells, doing economic terrorism, creating unrest, turning people against the army, infiltrating the cultural entity of the country, distorting the purity of national language, sabotaging the unifying factors besides hitting military and nonmilitary targets without physically confronting it.
The non-state actors play an important role, in fact, the pivotal role in conducting fifth-generation warfare. It’s reasonable to assume that Pakistan is facing a form of fifth-generation warfare. The long years after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Pakistan has always been a front-line state. The development & evolution of terror warfare & extremism in Pakistan has evolved into a form of 5th generation warfare touching & confronting all aspects of society. One of the major unifying factors for Pakistan is cricket. Cricket eliminates all divides in the society be it ethnic or financial, regional or religious, whatever it is evaporates into thin air & everybody just becomes Pakistani.
Hibernation for Pakistani cricket
The nation becomes one voice, one desire, one identity one passion one goal one aspiration, one target one struggle one wish and the mood of the nation rises and falls with cricket. Maybe, maybe that’s the reason that this unifying factor is being sabotaged?
In 2009 Sri Lankan cricket team was attacked in Pakistan. International cricket went into a coma that day in Pakistan. It resulted in a long time of hibernation for Pakistani cricket. Many efforts were made but nothing seemed to bear fruit. Some spastic movements were witnessed when Zimbabwe came to Pakistan, then further movements were witnessed with one here and one there 20/20 matches, PSL matches in Pakistan were held initially partially and then finally full tournament. A design to deprive Pakistan of its most powerful unique unifying factor.
Does the whole cricket scenario show a pattern?
The Indian IPL franchise suddenly stopped picking Pakistani players. No such policy was announced but abruptly nobody bid for Pakistani cricketers. Pretty soon Pakistani players realized that they would not be picked and stopped appearing in the auction. So much so that IPL teams did not pick Imran Tahir when he was the No 1 bowler in the world just because he is of Pakistani origin. Australia was touring England when the underground tube explosions took place but of course, Australia did not cancel the tour.
Sri Lanka went through years of Tamil tiger’s terrorism & players reported explosions & sounds of gunfire that they can hear but no international isolation took place. Actually, Pakistan took the lead in sending their team to Sri Lanka after a spate of explosions & terrorist attacks. Terrorism has taken place in England, New Zealand, Australia, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh but of course the country that has been isolated internationally is only Pakistan. India has played an openly shameful role in their hardly disguised effort to sabotage cricket in Pakistan.
Few times when Bangladesh & Sri Lanka showed a willingness to play in Pakistan, India quickly approached them with lucrative offers which killed any chance of them touring Pakistan. What can this be if not 5th generation warfare? A concerted effort to deny Pakistan the unifying factor that makes them a nation. Bangladesh, South Africa, Zimbabwe and West Indies have toured Pakistan but this year in a major breakthrough New Zealand and England were supposed to tour Pakistan. Now as the situation stands there is a question mark on the England team coming to Pakistan.
Is the world trying to isolate Pakistan?
Indian Board’s reaction to Kashmir Premier League was churlish, to say the least. Their efforts to twist the arms of international cricketers not to attend KPL highlights their clandestine efforts to offer incentives for boards and players not to tour Pakistan. In fact, it’s on record that they went on to offer Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi cricketers alternate tours of India when in that isolation period of Pakistan, they showed an inclination to tour Pakistan. The leading cricket website chose to more or less ignore Kashmir Premier League proving themselves subservient to Indian Boards policies. The success of the KPL must have galed the Indians, to say the least.
It is a great tribute to Pakistani people’s resilience, courage, flexibility, and talent that cricket has not died out in Pakistan. We are middle of the table in Test cricket & ODI cricket and were No 1 recently in 20/20 cricket (now number 4). We hold the Champions Trophy title and we beat both the finalist of the last world cup. I have no doubt in my mind that it’s part of the 5th generation warfare strategy that enemies of Pakistan hindering cricket activities in Pakistan.
They are using their economic clout to try to deny the revival of international cricket in Pakistan, but I know my nation. I remember when there was a bomb explosion at Wagah border’s change of guard’s ceremony killing 100s of people the next day a huge crowd turned up daring the enemy to explode another bomb and kill them again. This nation does not even fear death and we will overcome all adversity to compete in international cricket & win against all odds.
Inshallah. The betrayal by New Zealand was designed even to make sure that IPL is the only show left in town. In fact, even the cancellation or postponement of the England India test also suspiciously catering to the IPL isolation requirements. Cricket has become subservient to a travesty of cricket which adapted to the commercializing needs at all cost. Alas, this is not cricket.
We have a Prime Minister who can lay claim to being one of the three best all-rounders ever produced by cricket. Cricket in Pakistan is more than a game and the spirit of the nation rises and falls with success and failure in a cricket field. Imran Khan must use his Superstar influence to take Pakistan cricket out of this crisis. Bold leadership and decision-making are needed now.
The author has worked for Unilever for 25 years. He is a professional translator/interpreter of five languages and is also a certified computer trainer. He is currently living in Virginia, USA. The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.