Pakistan Super League (PSL) kicks off with a robust on 9th February 2017 in UAE. The opening ceremony filled with colors of patriotism and unity. The heartthrob ritual bursting off hit high notes of upbeats of Pakistan’s renowned musicians and concluded with the fireworks in Dubai. The overseas Pakistanis in UAE were overwhelmed with feelings of pride and patriotism.
The first match between Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi went great. Islamabad United beat Peshawar Zalmi by seven wickets. The next day, the unfortunate news of the ban on two players (Khalid Latif and Sharjeel Khan) of Islamabad United allegedly on match fixing broke hearts. Then on the following day, another player of Islamabad United (Muhammad Irfan) was suspended allegedly for corruption. The Chairman of PSL Najam Sethi stated:
“We will not tolerate any form of corrupt activity and as this investigation proceeds we will not hesitate to take further decisive action as appropriate.”
It would not be appropriate to comment on the specifics of the case, however, this investigation is a clear demonstration of our determination to drive corruption out of our sport,” he added.
Conversely, the other side of the picture must be examined cautiously. The aforementioned cricketers, like every other celebrity, have a vast fan following all interested in taking pictures with them, and so happened with players of Islamabad United. The suspected players were taking selfies with their fans in the lobby of their hotel, unaware of the enemies’ ploy. Few Indian bookies tagged along pretending to be fans and took selfies with the players and same pictures are cast-off as weapon against them. The same pictures were reported to the Anti-corruption cell of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) upon which the Cricket board took strict action against the players.
Moreover, it’s important to remember that the first season of Pakistan Super League 2016, also held in Dubai, was badly disparaged by India. If we go more back in time, after the attack on Sri Lanka Cricket Team in 2009, International Cricket was banned in Pakistan and the players of other countries weren’t allowed to travel within Pakistan anymore. PSL was organized to encourage cricketers to indulge in Pakistani Cricket and it is an attempt to bring international cricket back home. Therefore, theory is that sabotaging PSL is another gambit of India as it will place further limitations and restrictions upon Pakistan as regards to international cricket.
The Chairman of PSL Najam Sethi has taken stern actions against the players. However, if we analyse the bygone situations when he used to be the Chairperson of PCB; he never took strict action against the players as fast as he did this time. It does sound fishy!
The players are suspects, the final verdict on the alleged max fixation is yet to be announced. However, the suspension of two of three players is a questionable matter. As no substantial evidence against the allegedly corrupt players is discovered or unveiled as yet, how a chairperson of a sports foundation can suspend occupied players without any such evidence is mind blowing. Such decisions raise questions over the credibility of Pakistan Cricket Board.
Moreover, our so-called Liberal Media should let such news go by unnoticed and should let the organisers take required actions and inquiries. The competition among our news channels to break news is pathetic. Media of any country upraise mostly the positive side of the country, especially those countries’ that are alleged to be states of terrorism and corruption, but no one takes strict actions against our media that does quite the contrary and mushrooms the immoral news with extreme gratification.
Undoubtedly, it is a conspiracy of India to again, cease International Cricket in Pakistan. The final match of PSL is going to be held in Lahore on 5th March 2017. Media should also work for the integrity of Pakistan, not to repeatedly highlight the deleterious news. However, the PCB and the players of PSL should keep a bird’s eye view and be cautious, because India wants to sabotage every accomplishment of Pakistan and is willing to destroy the integrity of PSL. Such measures will not only dishonour Pakistani players but will demoralise the nation. These tournaments are to encourage the players of other countries’ to travel to Pakistan and arrange International Cricket tournaments once again in Pakistan.