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Friday, September 28, 2007

Islamization of Pakistan Cricket

Cricket and IslamIt began a few years ago when Shaheed Anwar's flowing beard made its debut on a cricket ground. Very soon a Pakistani player wearing an unusually long beard stopped surprising the audience. So far, not bad.

Then we heard about the disappearance of one of the long-bearded Pakistani cricketers to the dismay of the ICC - Mohammad Yousuf, the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year was finally found preaching in the northern terrains of Pakistan. He missed the ICC Awards function in South Africa just before the start of the Twenty20 World Cup. So far, not too bad.

Then we heard Shoaib Malik speak at the post-match presentation ceremony after the final of the just concluded T20 Cup. "I want to thank all the Muslims, all over the world", uttered the Pakistani captain. Was Malik the captain of the Pakistan cricket team or a Islamic XI? Surely Irfan Pathan, the man of the match in the final and the son of an Indian muezzin would not have been too amused. What was Shoaib Malik trying to achieve?

And now, Shahid Afridi, who doesn't have too long a beard has made the shocking decision to skip the Test series against South Africa because he instead wants to fast during the holy month of Ramadan. "I asked the Pakistan board to allow me to skip the two Tests against South Africa because it would be difficult to fast and play in Ramadan," says the player of the tournament of the World Twenty20.

Where is Pakistan cricket headed to? Have they forgotten that a perfectly clean-shaven Imran Khan who didn't care to thank either God or the Muslims all over the world after every match had brought them the World Cup and not the oh so pious Inzamam-ul-Haq?

Cricket players pray so that they perform well for their country and their team succeeds... when their prayers start jeopardizing the fortunes of their own team, I don't think even God would approve very much.


Ottayan said...

I always had the feeling that Pakistani's viewed an Indo-Pak game as a war against the 'infidels'.

Shoaib's comment is an ample illustration of this belief.

Afridi is a clever negotiater. His 'retirement' and now his refusal to play during the month of Ramadan, is a means to an end.

Amit Bajaj said...

Yousuf Youhana became Mohammad Yousuf because he thought his religion was becoming an impediment on the road to captaincy...Shoaib is probably doing so to retain his..Afridi towards a certain end as you say..has being a good cricketer stopped being enough in Pakistan?

Anonymous said...

well i dont know what the BIG DEAL is about as Irfan was dating a white Christian girl in South Africa..... i think this whole issue has been blown out of proportion! Irfan and his family should remember that he dated a non-Muslim girl not too long ago

M. Siddique said...

Hey, first you should concentrate on the ills affecting the Indian Cricket Team; How are you bothered about what Yousuf or Afridi is doing? It is their own decision. However, Point taken about Shoib Malik's comment which is not called for.