I’m reading a novel these days. It’s about two boys,brothers. I will talk to you about one. Terry.
Terry was an exceptional sportsman in his small town. Through his excellence he won the adoration of the whole community. Everyone loved him. Then something bad happened to him. He got in a scuffle, had a knife to his thigh and it destroyed him. No more cricket, no more football, no more nothing. It took away everything he ever lived for. He was made a cripple. Without actually being one.
To cut a long story short, Terry got into a life of crime and went to prison. A friend helped him get out after some time. When he came out, he blew up something which blinded the friend who helped him get out.
Things were never the same.
Terry is Pakistan in this story. Pakistan is great cricket nation which has produced GREAT cricketers. After getting in a bad way, it has destroyed the only friends they had.
I dont know what’ is going to happen to Terry- mostly cuz I haven’t finished the book.
And we dont know what will happen to Pakistan – because it is too soon.
What we do know is this. Just like in the story, people made sacrifices to help Pakistan. Yesterday it was people, men like you and me. Laying down their lives to save people they probably dint even know that well. If at all.
For so long Cricket has danced an uncomfortable tango with terrorism. We knew it was there but we dint believe it could actually affect us. When Australia and the western world acted like pussies, I laughed at them. Today I am wrong and they have been proven right.
Cricket now owes the people who died for our ignorance. What we owe them is to make sure that Pakistan does not become some distant relative who we gradually lose touch with.
Pakistan must play cricket. As often as they can and wherever possible.
The Sri Lankans were hurt, but they are fine. It is Pakistan that need our attention.
There can be no inter-board politics at this point.
The boards and the officials need to make sure Pakistan get their up coming matches moved to some venue, any venue. Security risks must be addressed. Player demands met.
As for playing cricket again in Pakistan, that is not important. After all we cant have everything. Their people have taken a hit at the very core of their beliefs. Cricket was often ,a much loved, alternative to the hard lives they live. A safe place, a simple place where all that mattered was the contest between bat and ball. Before any team can go there, Pakistan needs to sort it self out. Which might be years or even decades.
I cant do anything to change the outcome of Terrys life. It is already written. Literally.
But there are certainly a lot of things the right people can do to shape Pakistans future as a cricket team and a brother in the cricket fraternity.
Otherwise, the lives that were lost would have been for nothing.