Tabloid drama makes ICC dance to its tunes

LAHORE – Pakistan team’s eventful tour of England will remain chiselled in the memories of national team players for the rest of their lives.

Cheaters if they win, fixers if they lose, they are now wondering what to do?

Amid all the tabloid drama that has made the ICC dance to its tunes, cricket is the ultimate loser. Though the Pakistan cricket is fast moving towards isolation, the game internationally is too dwindling into darkness. The ICC’s anti-corruption unit is only making itself a subject of ridicule by launching inquiries after every tabloid report.

They have suspended the three Pakistan players who are yet to be found guilty. But on the other hand, they have remained unmoved on reports of fixing in the IPL matches and the players alleged for involvement were not even called for questioning. It seems their focus is only the Pakistan team.

Instead of waiting for results of the inquiries already under progress, the ICC started yet another investigation on tabloid report without even taking the PCB and the ECB in to confidence.

The strained meeting of the PCB chief and ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat recently has also strained the relations between the PCB and the ECB with Ijaz Butt calling for investigation of a losing England team.

The British media declared that the South African players did not want to play against Pakistan in UAE, but the South African board clearly denied.

Just with one statement of the PCB chief, the ECB and its players have now reacted severely – one wonders Pakistan players have been facing this for quite sometime now. And even the on field umpires during the fourth ODI between the two sides acted quite differently leaving the Pakistan team high and dry on some confident appeals, which were declared even by expert commentators as umpiring errors.

Maybe those who control the game in the ICC have now decided to isolate Pakistan once for all. When Sri Lankan team was attacked, it seemed they had succeeded somewhat but Pakistan gave them a befitting reply by winning the ICC World T20 title.

But ever since the PCB alienated the powers that be by voting against John Howard’s nominations in the ICC, it was only a matter of time that Pakistan was taught a lesson. The News of the World is part of the group that controls a large part of Australian media which was also supportive of John Howard in his election campaigns.

This group, known for its bias towards Muslims in general and Pakistan in particular, is very influential in the USA and the UK. It is also worth a mention that former Australian Prime Minister John Howard was a close friend of US President George W Bush. Read more of this post

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International Council of Clowns

By Khawaja Ahmad Ali

International Council of Clowns

It’s official. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has lost it. The ICC high officials don’t seem to have a clue as to what is going on in the world game yet they seem determined to damage the game beyond repair. What was the need to announce with great fan fair that they have launched an investigation into the third one-day international (ODI) between hosts England and Pakistan?

If they have any proof they should act and charge. Right now it seems that they are on the defensive and are trying to portray some sense of control that they obviously do not have. If they have to launch an investigation anytime it should be what in the world the ICC Anti Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) is doing? Do they only wake up when a tabloid releases garbage? Maybe the ICC should hire tabloid reporters to work in the ACSU!

It seems the ICC is hostage to some dark power. When the Indian Premier League (IPL) was launched Test players from around the world condemned the rush for money that was afflicting the sport. All manner of wrongdoing has been overlooked by the ICC in the IPL and yet it banned the Indian Cricket League (ICL) exposing its preferences to whoever paid the most. The involvement of Allen Sanford, the disgraced American billionaire, with the game is another sad documentary of the ICC overlooking ethics for monetary considerations.

The ICC was made aware of spot-fixing in 2003. What it has done? When South Africa’s Hansie Cronje died mysteriously the ICC never launched an investigation then. Only when Pakistan score victories the ICC goes to the press. It seems their pious officials think just attack Pakistan and all is well.

All countries have been targeted by bookmakers. Since the latest allegations surfaced nearly every country has reported that their players have been approached in the past. What rock the ICC was hiding behind? Why their officials are so incapable of even the basic responsibilities of a global governing body? How many people at the ICC have actually played cricket?

The ICC acted with blatant haste when it suspended three Pakistan players. Instead of trying to show some authority in the face of criticism the ICC officials just tried to save their own skins. ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat was on board with all the developments taking place. The PCB and the Pakistan High Commission in Britain had kept him updated yet he still jumped the gun and suspended the players despite the fact that no evidence existed.

Lorgat seems desperate to save his own job rather than work for the benefit of the game. Shouldn’t the ICC launch an investigation into why Scotland Yard searched player’s rooms and locked their dressing rooms without informing the individual boards? Was the ICC asleep then too? The world cricket body has failed miserably. They are unable to deal with the issues in modern cricket. It seems fat paychecks have detracted the ICC bosses’ ability to do anything progressive. The ICC needs to be reformed before it does any more damage to the world game.

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