Ads 468x60px

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Great Dangal

Professional wrestling on television is one of the most popular programmes internationally. It has all the thrills and excitement including rough and tough grappling, no holds barred punching which apparently should cause grievous injuries to contestants. In actual fact nothing of that sort happens and it is all a great drama staged for spectators and viewers. The style of these professional wrestlers is so original and spell binding that spectators stay glued to TV screens. The latest contest between PCB chairman Ijaz Butt, who definitely falls in the category of Pakistani grapplers, and former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi was just developing into one such contest when it finished abruptly with the referee intervening to stop it as a draw without either party being able to floor the opponent. I had vowed to myself not to write about cricket affairs because it doesn’t make any difference. But the latest bout was so spicy that I can’t help indulging in commenting on the tactics used by the two parties. 

It all started when Afridi, after his return from West Indies, openly commented on problems of the Pakistan team during that tour and the differences he had to face with the team coach and manager especially over selection matters. This public outburst was indirect violation of the code of conduct, which Afridi had signed as a player. The PCB promptly issued him a show cause notice and followed it up by revoking Afridi’s NOC to play professional cricket in England and Sri Lanka where he had already signed lucrative contracts. This greatly upset Afridi because he was now in danger of losing millions if the NOC was not granted. He had earlier announced his retirement plans. Afridi immediately flew home from England where he was all set to play for Hampshire county. His return to Pakistan was converted into a big political venture with hundreds of banners supporting Afridi strung all over Karachi. (By the way, who paid for all those expensive colour posters and banners?) He was received by cheering fans and supporters like a political leader on his arrival at Karachi airport, some of his spectators going to the extent of carrying him on their shoulders. He vowed to fight the ‘Punjab-based PCB’ and promptly filed a case in Sindh High Court. His comments about the board being ‘Punjab based’ was downright stupid because it was the same ‘Punjab-based board’ that had elevated him to the status of Pakistan captain over and above many equally deserving candidates. 

He also failed to realise that once the court proceedings started, there was no guarantee of a quick decision in his favour and the longer the court battle continues, the lesser the chances of Afridi meeting the professional commitment he had made with Hampshire and the Sri Lanka Twenty20 League. Some personalities especially from Karachi jumped into this foray to grind their own axe. On the other hand the PCB had a fool proof case because Afridi had signed the code of conduct specified for all members of the Pakistan team and he had to admit publicly that he had violated it. The PCB was so confident of their ground that they were quite happy to contest this case in the court. 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...