I think we should not ask too much, and say that air crashes like Friday’s shouldn’t happen. After all, it should be enough to be assured that the Sole Warrior on Terror wasn’t responsible. That was shown by the way he was busy in the rescue operations on Friday, giving the impression that he was busy pulling bodies from the wreckage. Well, he wasn’t actually pulling them, just giving the impression.

Earlier in the week, he had accompanied the President to Giyari, on the Siachen Glacier, where 127 soldiers at the battalion headquarters there had come under an avalanche. No one had been saved alive, and no bodies had been recovered when the President went, leaving Rehman Malik’s hat to serve as the main thing making the visit memorable. That hat showed that Rehman Malik had nothing to do with the avalanche, and all those claiming that he caused it simply jealous of the fact that he has a doctoral degree, and they don’t. Even those who started the War on Terror don’t have doctorates, and the Sole Warriors before Rehman Malik didn’t. The hat has subordinated the country in Rawalpindi during the rescue work, which showed the seriousness he brought to the task. Come to think of it, the previous Warriors didn’t have that hat, which makes one wonder what other wonders Dr Malik has hidden. Like a shirt with a pattern of dancing elephants, or dark-pink crushed-velvet trousers. Not to mention a pair of blue and orange kickers. Well, I suppose we’ll have to wait for the next natural disaster to see.

Dr Malik is everywhere. His ministry was there to assure the Bangladesh Cricket Board it was safe to tour, and he even went to the Gaddafi for the photo-op. However, the Dhaka High Court did not accept this, and gave a stay order.

It should be remembered that the Bangladeshi judiciary has not yet broken the bonds it had with the military, as the Pakistani judiciary has. At the most overt level, the Bangladeshi judiciary recently helped the military postpone elections. The elections were held, and Sheikh Hasina became Prime Minister. As before, she subordinated her country to Indian interests.

In this case, the Indian interest is that the tour not take place. Now the BCB will turn around to the old buffers of the ICC, and tell them there was a court decision. The tour won’t take place, the first post-attack tour of Pakistan will be by India. And why would India be interested? Because of commercial interests. And not just the vast advertising interests, but also the bookies. Can there be a contest in the Subcontinent without bookies dominating? And as if the betting in Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka was not enough, there has been the addition of Bangladesh. And wherever there are bookies, there’s lots of funny money. We’ve seen in the West that even when there’s no funny money because the electoral system runs on money, and candidates sell themselves to the moneyed interests, which use this clout to make more money. And because India is the most developed democracy, the role of money is the largest, and government interest in cricket has extended not just to making a minister head of the BCCI, but even of the ICC. The bookies do not yet pay to be made legal, as are their counterparts in Europe, but simply to have their businesses left alone. In Pakistan, the gambling instinct strikes the highest in the land, so it would mean much more profit for the bookies if there was a Pak-India series first. Since the Indian bookies make the running, it would not have been difficult for them to ensure that tame politicians placed the right pressures, so that a petition was moved in the Dhaka High Court. Though there hasn’t been a military coup in India, the Indian establishment has long been able to exert pressure of its own in Dhaka, quite apart from anything the Mumbai bookies can.

I’m sure that Dr Malik has nothing to do with the bookies. But if he did, he would find the vast sums of money they have useful at election time. And with this an election year, money would be welcome. However, I suppose those who have made him the Sole Warrior on Terror will pay for his election.

And while we sing a dirge for the Bangladesh series, and await the Indian series (as decided by President Zardari on last week’s visit to India), we can probably take a small bet on when the series will start, a bigger bet on the result, and only then one on who will make the most money.

By then, hopefully, the weather, which is presently blustery, might have turned towards hot weather. Nobody really wants hot weather, but nobody wants the flu that is going around either. And the flue is often confused with dengue, even though it isn’t.