Sport

A nation determined to be innocent

6 September 2010

Pakistanis feel angry and betrayed by their cricketers, whose behaviour has become a depressing metaphor for all the ills besetting the country  is what I had to say to Amanda Hodge whose report for The Australian (September 04, 2010) is reproduced below:

ON Monday the brutal treatment meted out to a cluster of hapless donkeys paraded as proxy cricketers through the streets of Lahore seemed an ominous sign of the fate awaiting Pakistan’s tainted players. (more…)

Match fixing: shameful and unacceptable

29 August 2010
The News of the World exposes cricket match-fixing scandal

The match-fixing allegations are not new for Pakistani cricketers. In the past, such allegations have been proved within the country. The recent scandal with circumstantial evidence broke out by a British tabloid is simply mind-boggling and shameful. We hope that a fair inquiry will remove the mist from the narrative presented by the media. But a thorough inquiry must take place and all the recommendations should be implemented.

Even if there is a grain of truth in the allegations against 7 members of the the team including Mohammad Amir whose bowling was ironically praised in the ongoing test match, it is a matter of serious concern and brings shame to all Pakistanis.

That such an incident happens at the world stage when Pakistan is struggling to recover from a major natural disaster and seeking international assistance has ramifications for the country and its people.

What is wrong with us? Is it that bad? The absence of rule of law and flouting of ethical standards in every sphere seems to be our fate?

Perhaps, another conspiracy – as I just heard a few people on the television. No. We must admit that we are sliding down and we need to face our grim realities and do something about it.

(more…)

More on Fahmida Riaz

30 March 2010

Thanks to Isa Daudpota  who sent me the text and the translated poems after he had heard Kamila Shamsie talk about her..

Fahmida Raiz, who graduated from Sindh University and married in 1965, has published several volumes of poetry. During the Martial Law regime she was editor and publisher of the magazine, Awaaz. In all, fourteen court cases of sedition were filed against the magazine, one of which (under section 114A) carried a death penalty. She escaped to India whilst on bail, with her husband and tow children, where she lived for seven years. She worked as Poet-in-Residence at Jamia Millia, an Indian university, during this period.

She has translated Erich Fromme’s Fear of Freedom and Sheikh Ayaz’s poetry, from Sindhi into Urdu. Since the restoration of democracy she has returned to live in Pakistan and served as Director General of Pakistan’s National Book Council in Islamabad when Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party was in power. (more…)

Shoaib Akhtar – a fallen hero

22 May 2008

My piece published in The Friday Times last week

I am not concerned with the technicalities of Shoaib Akhtar’s sentence, which have been the subject of much debate across Pakistan and indeed wherever cricket is played and followed. There have been some avoidable outbursts by both Akhtar and his disciplinarians. Akhtar has a chequered past in the conventional sense; and perhaps his tragic flaw is the cavalier attitude that is now a hallmark of his persona. But he is a star whose talent has done cricket, Pakistan, and Pakistanis proud. The quantum of punishment given to him has therefore been viewed as some sort of betrayal, and many have termed it unfair. But this is now a sub judice matter and so cannot be commented upon any further.

However, what lies underneath the narrative of Shoaib Akhtar’s plight relates to the sociological and attitudinal trends that have now engulfed Pakistan, like a poisonous creeper that consumes even the best kept plants in a garden.

Shoaib Akhtar is self-made, rising from humble origins into the global limelight. Born at Morgah, a small town near Rawalpindi, on August 13 1975, he is the youngest of four sons (he also has a younger sister) of an oil refinery worker. Far from following in his father’s footsteps, however, Akhtar began to show cricketing talent while still at school. It was at Asghar Mall College, during his twenties, that his extraordinary skill at the game was recognised; he played at increasingly high levels (including a spell for the English team Worcestershire), culminating in his selection for the national team in 1997. He then shot to international fame during the 1999 World Cup. Stunning spectators with his bowling ability, he went on to set the world record for bowling speed at 100.2 mph, where it still stands. (more…)

Ode to Bob Woolmer

24 March 2007

Someone sent me these lines that pay a befitting tribute to Bob Woolmer, the dedicated coach of Pakistan’s cricket team who died last week.

Full entry here >>

These strange times

18 March 2007

A great photo from the Lahore city court where the lawyers strike allows the support staff to play some cricket while our team struggles to stay in the World Cup competition.

Full entry here >>

Basant Moods – Lahore and Beyond

24 February 2007

you’re either here or you’re a square – Lahore to host biggest ever Basant celebrations today..”

Tonight, So there will be fun and frolic all day long and shall continue into the early hours of the morning. There have been efforts to ban the event due to the dangers it poses to human life. But the Courts and the government relented.

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