Hegel once said, ‘we learn from history that man can never learn anything from history.’ True! Isn’t it? And if that means our premier then the chances are even greater that he would not take any notes from the past lessons. 

It was less than a year ago that we were chanting the slogans of change and evolution. Even the most cynical among us were hopeful that a smooth transition of government meant that there would be stability. We thought democracy had taken its roots though it was not in its very best form. We hoped against the hopes that it would evolve and flourish and along with it our institutions would thrive. Well, we too didn’t learn anything from history, for when our political elite talk about stability they mean stability of Parliamentary institutions so that they keep coming back to the power seats. In their view, all other institutions can be suspended, their chiefs can be sacked and their constitutions can be held in abeyance or even abrogated, for only laws important to them are the ones which give them power.

 

Zaka Ashraf was at a book launch, completely unaware of the befallen tragedy when he was told that this might be the last ceremony he was addressing as PCB Chief. The Chief of cricket board was sacked by the Premier. Old habits die hard. Well, we must admit that Mr. Ashraf was not caught in dark and he was not completely clueless about his departure. The reason being, in a press conference the former PCB Chief claimed that in ICC meeting the foreign representatives had told him to be relaxed and not to worry as they would talk to the next PCB Chief. 

 

All this must seem as unjustified criticism of the PM’s decision. The premier is justified on the technical grounds. He is Patron in Chief and can choose other chiefs as he pleases. However, his pleasure is supposed to coincide with public interests. Isn't it?

The question is that should the PM use all the powers he is entitled to use and that too when we badly need anything but chaos? 

The Big Three Controversy had witnessed the defeat of Pakistani stance. South Africa joined the Big Three group at the last moment. Zaka Ashraf felt cheated but embarrassment is nothing when compared to the situation that a whole cricket board is revamped in the face of crisis. We may once again blame foreign hands including India, England and Australia, and we may say that Pakistan has been making huge contributions to cricket but none of these would work. 

This was the time that Pakistan should have stood firm while cricket critics and organisations like Transparency International were lending voice to the concerns which Pakistan and Sri Lanka had. Transparency International had expressed its apprehensions by saying that “the intention to entrench a privileged position for ‘The Big Three’ appears to be an abuse of entrusted power for private gain”. What to say of standing firm, Pakistan can barely stand in the face of “emergency rule imposed on cricket board”. 

 

Having been marred by insurgency and corruption we don’t have much to contribute. Our zealous love for cricket and emerging talent might have counted for something, had our cricketers not gone out of the line to make fortunes. This is true that the cricketers from the other countries had been involved in spot fixing and match fixing but finding faults with others is not going to fix things up. Insurgency has added to our miseries by making our playgrounds no-go zones. Our unpredictable team does not make us a force to reckon with in cricket world, so not many other teams are very keen to play with us. Moreover, ICC recently enacted a law that the boards must be independent of their governments. On the other hand intervention from the government is at its height at the moment.

 

In short, like most other organisations of Pakistan, our cricket board is in rags too. The solution is easy to be put in words than to be put in practice. Firstly no favoritism and arbitrariness, secondly the person understanding the intricacies of the game and management must be put in charge. We have many cricketers with illustrious records. If a cricketer can fulfill the exacting demands of captaincy, he can rise to manage the board as well. However while our cricketers turned to politics, the political analysts came forward to fill the gap.

 

Many good things have become extinct from the Pakistan owing to incompetence of ruling class which gave way to equally culpable militancy and insurgency. Cricket was among the few good things left. Let’s hope with fingers crossed that before cricket is bowled out from the land of cricket lovers, the authorities realize that national interest is more important than personal choices.