JournalismPakistan.com March 7, 2015
They sent the Chief Selector of Pakistan back home from the World Cup. Moin Khan’s ‘indiscretion’ was he went out for dinner to an establishment that had a casino. And it was before the game with the Windies. To much of the world it was rather harsh and must have dented the morale even further seeing as how they just about winkled past Zimbabwe in a match they could just as easily have lost.
I am not one for moral judgement but it seems a severe punishment seeing as how he wasn’t playing the game as such and is just on the selection committee. It is a bit unrealistic to suggest he should have been meditating or plotting profound strategy in his hotel room. He was no high roller playing the wheel or looking for snakes eyes either, so there was nothing that was so damning.
People who play sport will understand that often you need to break off and move away to clear your head. I had a boxer friend who had to play nine rounds of three card poker before a fight. All sportsmen have OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and even umpires like xxx hop about to the demons at bay. Call it superstition or a good luck talisman or a lucky hanky, they all count.
Maybe Moin assumed an evening in good company would stimulate some positive feelings after the defeat by India… maybe he thought nothing of it at all, just a dinner.
Michael Jordan wore his University of Carolina under his uniform. Tiger Woods wore red while Mohinder Amarnath and Steve Waugh had to have a handkerchief in the same colour dangling from their back pockets. Serena Williams has to tie her shoelaces in a specific way and serve only after five bounces of the ball. Bjorn Borg never played Wimbledon without a beard. Even officials are not exempt from hang ups. Remember cricket umpire David Shepherd and his Nelson hop.
If Pakistan had taken India in their tie I don’t think Moin, who is held in warm esteem by the cricketing fraternity would have had to pay such a huge price for accepting an invitation. Maybe he concluded that a dinner out would change the team’s luck. You have no idea how powerful the OCD urge is in sport. And even then the guy has made a graceful apology, now don’t wreck the end of a very exceptional career for a minor infringement, if that. What is a selector supposed to do before a match? Is there a book of rules on it.
Hope graciousness and generosity prevails and he is reinstated.
Meanwhile what good news that the pressure on the ICC to stop shrinking the format of the World Cup especially following the splendid displays by the associate members. Doesn’t it boggle the mind that other disciplines are trying to popularise their sport and the mandarins of cricket want to achieve exactly the opposite.
The more the merrier. And really, you don’t need a week’s break for fielding three odd hours and then showing the world the soles of your feet on TV or your bare chest for the rest of the day. Get over it. Squash and tennis players do five hours alone and get back next day.
There is also no need to have one game a day in the prelims. You can have two and wrap up 14 teams, even 16, inside a month. A 50 over match is a day at the office so play every second day, that’s what they are paid for. Such long breaks is namby pamby stuff.
I do believe the ICC will have to surrender on this issue because Irish ire leads the way and the others, including the Club of Eight concur.
Frankly, the so called minnows are just a step behind the giants and a bit of exposure could see a lot more upsets over the next four years. The Irish could beat anyone on a given day so stop being petulant and spread the glory of the story of cricket, not truncate it.
It simply does not make sense.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today andBahrain Tribune)
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