Thursday, June 9, 2011


By Rabia Ahmed   09 June 2011

Dear Mr Khan, some of us are rooting for you, mainly because the other options are worse. People say you appear to care about this country, even though you’re rather muddled. Well they are correct at least as to the last where for example on the one hand you rightly point out that Gen Kayani has no authority to negotiate with foreign governments, and on the other you threaten to block NATO supplies if American drone attacks on Pakistani territory do not stop.

May we point out that you have as yet no mandate to take any such action?

As for caring about the country, it is hard to get much out of you beyond a ranting tirade against just about everyone, and you’ve made your point. We know they’re all crooks, and going on about it is bringing you to a silly point.

How about a clear indication of what you and your party aim to achieve, and how you’re going to achieve that aim. Give us some valid reasons for giving you that mandate mentioned above, for trading Mr Ten Percent for Taliban Khan. To put this in cricket speak, you’re zooting around, all the while the asking run rate has gone up. This is not a five-day Test match, but a tense One Day game playing out on an international arena. It is not a game you can play by marching long marches, or lying around on the ground, pillow or no pillow.

It is time to play with the meat of the bat, a well aimed double wicket maiden, maybe even a hat trick, with a well considered field placement. Please note, I’m trying to use your language, which, if you ever form a government (which appears highly unlikely at present), I foresee creating some misunderstandings vis a vis the Americans…say if you described yourself as playing an ‘orthodox game’, after Abbottabad, that is.

Coming back to the present game and to the batter now on strike, he’s a real match-fixer, which you called him yourself. The aim of his side is nothing beyond staying on the field and out of the pavilion, even at the cost of the rest of the team, the game, and the country. They’re proving too expensive.

So what’s your strategy since you wish to play against them? Which players are you picking, what will your field look like? And how are you going to get the stands to support you instead? The hoi polloi in the stands may be undiscerning, yet it matters. If nothing else, it tossed the coin that brought that team in to bat, and they could do the same for you, or not.

You need to play a captain’s innings once again, so take the time off rhetoric to get your eye in and consider the field.

This is a very poor, an impoverished wicket. There are too many players near the boundaries, too far away from the game. The ball never goes their way, and the wicket is a distant dream. They must be brought in, given an opportunity to bat and toss the ball. As matters stand, they wait all day in the sweltering sun never getting a touch at the game, sawn off if ever they do. Can you change that?

Make it a level playing field. Get some good rollers and decent grounds men; make a difference. Ensure that your team plays the right shots. We’ve had too many agricultural shots and feudal cricket which uproots the turf and ruins the field. We’re sick of such play. We want an educated game, a good match. Can you provide that?

Give us some first class cricket; farm out the ferrets, the free hitters, the gougers and the hacks. It’ll be a bit like trying to pick lice out a dense matted coat, but you could at least try.

We need peace within our team and on the field. We crave a good leader, a captain who’s not in league with the bookies, one who will bend his back to the job himself. In this game of limited overs we need some fours, plenty of sixes, and as many centuries as possible. Otherwise, we lose the match. And yes we remember your great match all those many years ago, but its no use reminding us about it unless you can do it again. As a start we’d be happy with some regular singles, so long as you can stop the ducks and outright collapse. Are you in form for that?

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