Dear all,

I am a citizen of Pakistan and an avid fan of cricket, which runs in the very fabric of our nation. In the words of Peter Oborne “Everywhere I went in Pakistan, I was aware that people feel a huge sense of pride in their country. This pride expresses itself through the cricket team, whose white clothing against a green field nearly matches the colors of the national flag. Cricket is the game of the villages; it is the game of the towns. It is the game of the old; it is the game of the young, the rich and the poor. It is played in the plains of the Sindh and in the mountains of the north. It is played by the army and the Taliban. It is enjoyed by all Pakistan’s sects and religions. It is part of Pakistan’s history and also its future. It is magical and marvelous. Nothing else expresses half so well the singularity, the genius, the occasional madness of the people of Pakistan, and their contribution to the world sporting community.”

Our team has given us amazing memories, from the triumph at the Oval in 1952, to the epic rearguard by the little master, the innovation that is the reverse swing, the doosra, becoming the World Champions in ’92 and ’09 and now exiled and playing all games away from home. The fact that our nation has survived, despite so many problems, is beyond belief. We have had four military coups, and the country broken in half, with the remainder embroiled in a war against terrorists. We are facing other socio-economic problems, too, but we are still standing, and one of the escapes a Pakistani has from all of these problems is cricket; however, the sport itself has had its own problems.  We have seen match fixing, doping, infighting, lobbying and, sadly after the tragic attack on the Sri Lankan national team, our team was sent into exile. Despite all this, we have stood by our team. But now, looking at the state of our team, our heart weeps, it cries and it breaks into pieces.

The game as a whole has moved on but we haven’t. Our fast bowlers, our pride and joy, have become shadows of their past selves, our batsman can’t post a competitive total, our selectors can’t select a proper team, and our coach can’t keep his players in line. Today, I beseech the Patron of the PCB PM Nawaz Sharif, Chairman of PCB, Shehryar Khan , and Coach Mickey Arthur to stem this rot – we, the fans, can’t bear it anymore.  The future of our sport is on the line. The following charges are levied against each and every one of you:-

A. Ensuring that players are selected based on personal favoritism and not talent or skill

B. Making sure that the Captain was a Yes Man and a good guy so you could walk all over him and take away the power of decision making from him.

C. Giving away games for the sake of some benefit to some people.

D. Killing the ability to fight for a win and making sure that aggression was not part of any of our teams, ODI, T20 or Test!

E. You have taken away our only saving grace: a game we love and a game which binds the nation. You have taken it away from us, and now one of you (or all of you) needs to be answerable to us.

F. Do you have the courage to look into our eyes and say you did the best for Pakistan? Do you?

The previous coach of the team, Waqar Younis , used to put the fear of God into every batsman in the world when he was a bowler. But when he became the National Team’s coach, where was the man who bled for his country and wore the national jersey with pride? Where was the “sultan of swing”? All we saw was a pathetic coach who couldn’t even control his players. A man who couldn’t even resign and leave with dignity. All we see is a man who just wanted the benefits that come with being a coach, and nothing more. You should be ashamed of yourself.

As for the PCB Chairman: Where is the Shehryar Khan who was the manager of the team during the volatile tour of India in 1999 and the World Cup of 2003? Where is the man who always had a witty remark ready? Where is the man who organized the historic bilateral series against India? The man who had the guts to sack Javed Miandad and bring in Bob Woolmer? Where is the man who backed Woolmer to stress on the team’s fitness first? The man who couldn’t care less about what the media reported? Where is the man who brought in state of the art sports machinery? Where is the man who tried to eradicate “chucking” from cricket in the country? Where is the man who wrote a book on how to stop this rot that has taken hold of our sport? Now all we see is an old man begging India to play a series with us. A man who could care less about what happens to cricket in this country.

Our hearts weep after every performance, we curse, but such is the hold that the Pakistan national team has over us that supporting it is like being in love with chocolate. You know too much of it will inflict you with diabetes but you don't care. It's that abusive relationship, in which you live for those few moments of love and will endure all the beatings for them. It's that elusive high that will lead to an even bigger low. It's that scant light at the end of the tunnel. It's an unconditional, unfathomable, unrequited one-sided love; that no matter what, you will come back for more. It is ecstasy and despair. It is sheer lunacy and sheer genius.


A very sad and not very proud Pakistani cricket fan!