Chief Selector Moin Khan has been called back from Australia due to his visit to a casino in Brisbane, which has caused quite a controversy back in Pakistan. The nation has yet again come forward to put up a united front against relentless attacks from agents of debauchery and depravity, who seem hell-bent on destroying the moral fiber of our society and shaming the good name of our good country. A Muslim man never visits a casino. Especially, if he is a Pakistani Muslim, who also happens to be the Chief Selector of the national cricket team that has lost badly in the two World Cup matches it has played so far – one of them against arch-rival India – and appears unlikely to qualify for the quarter-finals. Moin Khan has apologised for showing insensitivity in choosing the questionable venue and maintains that he only went there for dinner. But for now he is the dinner, and the people, the electronic media and the PCB are all feasting to their satisfaction.

The people are understandably perturbed over the poor performance of the cricket team and all they can do is express outrage as it becomes increasingly clear that their team, which ranks 7th in ODIs, will not beat everyone else to bring the trophy home. Do they need to manage expectations? Do they need to treat a game like a game? Certainly not. Dreamers dream, and lose their minds when their dreams don’t come true. In any case, defeat on the cricket field may have been palatable if not for Moin Khan’s transgressions against morality. Maybe the team would have never lost had Moin not invited the wrath of God by going to a house of sin, dice and slot machines. We will never know. So, let’s assume its true. Then there are those coming out and presenting trivial matters such as personal choice, irrelevance and hypocrisy of people as a defence for the former wicket keeper’s unacceptable behavior. Do people in Pakistan consume vast amounts of alcohol every year? Does the Pakistani society practice violence, child marriages and persecution of minorities? Does our culture condone subjugation of women, preach hate against people of other or no faiths and curb basic human rights such as free speech? Yes, of course. However, there is no reason why any of this should prevent the people from being offended in their deepest integrity because Moin went to a casino for dinner. And unlike most people, he was caught on camera.

The electronic media too has every right to exploit people’s misdirected and hypocritical rage like any good business that operates freely without redundant constraints of professional values and ethics. Sensationalism is journalism, and those who disagree can switch to several other available channels, most of which operate on the same principle. The PCB also has every right to scapegoat Moin Khan for what is clearly a collective failure. A good cricket board is always more concerned with what chief selectors do off the field in their own time than what the players do on the field. The PCB must act. After all, a bunch of drunken partygoers will not win us the World Cup; ask the Imran Khan-led team of 1992.