So hey, CNN/IBN is ecstatic.
Largely through the channel’s fearless reporting [at least that is the impression the tone and tenor of the coverage conveys], aided by Shah Rukh Khan’s equally fearless ‘speaking out’ in a series of non-sequiturs, India has narrowly avoided a potential catastrophe of cataclysmic proportions.
In other words, Abdul Razzak will likely play in IPL-III. Or, more accurately, the Deccan Chargers Kolkatta Knight Riders have expressed interest; Razzaq is interested in this interest, and all concerned are waiting for ‘clearance’ from the IPL, whatever that means [I thought the IPL had said there is no institutional ban on Pakistan players? So why then does Razzaq/KKR require clearance from on high?] A tangential note for Razzaq: dude, when you do come over, make sure you get your payment up front. Shoaib Akthar can tell you why.
But never mind the IPL’s inability to speak with one voice – larger fish are being fried. Wazir-e-Azam Syed Yousef Raza Gilani tells Barkha Dutt that it is now time for India and Pakistan to move beyond the IPL – a statement that clearly marks a breakthrough in bilateral relations.
Seriously, are we losing all sense of perspective here? In the original instance, the franchises took a practical call that having Pakistani players in their sides could lead to potential problems [no, not law and order problems so much; the problems relate more to guaranteed availability]. That got transformed into some kind of bilateral face-off, fit to rank with Kargil, and the confrontation along the LoC in the wake of the attack on Parliament, in order of importance.
Now KKR, caught up in the hype of its owner [within the space of 24 hours, SRK has said that it is sad Pakistan players are not playing, but has also said a climate needs to be created for Pakistan players to play — the second statement assumes such a climate does not currently exist, so why is he sad, again?] is trying to get one particular player to play in IPL-3 — and that is at best grist for school quiz masters on some future date, but not a ‘breakthrough’ in relations between the two countries. So please could we cease and desist?
In passing, here’s a Dawn think piece on the whole IPL fiasco:
The Pakistani players ignored at the auction were justified in feeling humiliated because they were obviously not judged on merit. A quiet withdrawal should have been a proper option — in the case of Pakistan’s official and non-official meddlers too. Instead they were keen to turn the slight caused to some commercial-minded players into a matter of national disgrace.
The retaliatory measures announced by them — cancellation of the visit to India by parliamentarians and the election commissioner and calls to boycott all sports events scheduled to be held in India — made little sense. All such decisions normally advance a demand till the fulfillment of which the protest is supposed to continue. What do the angry Pakistanis want IPL or India to do to satisfy their bruised ego? They cannot be unaware of the fact that the disruption of sports ties with India, or ties in any other area, cannot be sustained forever. The Indians, too, are learning this all over again.