Pakistan’s Sherlock Homes or another jester trying to usurp the court?

We all know the story of how three cricketers might or might not have made fools of Pakistan in their potential pursuit of riches. We also know that the chairman of the PCB made an incredibly serious accusation in anger that might have cost the country the next few years of international cricket. We might or might not also think that all of the aforementioned individuals are the worst thing that ever happened to the nation, wondering why Suo Moto Notice has not been taken of the issue already. We might or might not be being too sarcastic for our own good.

Now try to digest this part, everything mentioned in the paragraph above is absolutely and totally irrelevant. The most pressing matter at hand is not to tend to what DID happen, it happens to be making some tough decisions regarding what NEEDS to now happen with the past firmly behind us in our minds. Having thought about the issue extensively, I’d like to share with the nation a potential four point strategy any portion of which I would welcome decision makers to use if they should see it fit.

#1 – Show the world that Pakistan does not support institutions or leaders that make outrageous and potentially reputation damaging claims without having credible evidence or facts to base those claims.

How I’d do it: Issue a formal notice to Mr. Ijaz Butt explaining that the board is incredibly disappointed that he with held information on the subject of the English team participating in match fixing until after the fact, which is against the mandate of the ICC and its participating institutions in the first place. Then ask him to share the proof with the PCB for verification prior to it being forwarded to the ICC and appropriate officials. Failing to do so would result in his termination from the PCB within a period of 30 days which he has to submit the evidence, since failing to provide evidence would suggest that he used his position in the PCB as a platform to commit slander against the ECB.

Why this is so important: Why? Because Pakistan is not a nation of match fixing cheats that don’t respect other countries and their cricket boards. Some Pakistani’s might be match fixing cheats and others might not respect other cricket boards, but that is not an accurate reflection of the remaining 149 million+ Pakistani’s out there. Something which no one will realize unless you hold the culprits accountable.

#2 – If a politically neutral international body like the ICC finds the players guilty, ban them for life.

How I’d do it: I’d just do what the collective conscious of the country has been clamoring for since 1947, a sense of justice. Except this time, I’d actually muster up enough courage to effectively follow through on it and would definitely ban these individuals from participating in local cricket as well. Indefinitely.

Why this is so important: So that the nation sends a strong message to its playing representatives in that playing for Pakistan is a closely guarded privilege not a God given right after you have handed over enough money in a manila envelope to some selectors Uncles, nephews best friend for that one year they managed to remain in college together before getting collectively booted out. The nations citizens can only make heroes of individuals it genuinely respects, not thieves. Banning them for life IF they are guilty sends that message loud and clear.

#3 – In the event that the ICC does indeed ban Pakistan from International Cricket

What I’d do: Accept their decision and not cry about it in any fashion whatsoever.

Why this is so important: Two reasons, firstly it sends a clear message to any other nation out there cheating that they too will be held accountable. Since the whole world thinks the rest of the world is cheating at cricket, Pakistan would be restored in a flash if a few others were proven to be frauds as well. Allowing us to find out once and for all if it is only Pakistan committing these sins. Not to mention it would be a rare show of humility for Pakistan to accept a decision that affects the nation for the greater good of the sport globally.

Secondly, because South African cricket developed considerably during the period of time it was cut off from the rest of the world owing to the cardinal sin it committed by promoting apartheid. There is a time and place for everything and maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea for the game to develop internally a little better if the nations external cricketing opportunity were non-existent. It would definitely give the selection committee post ban jitters, knowing that the most capable cricketers in the country are well known to every person that follows local leagues and any inconsistencies in terms of choosing the best talent would be tough.

#4 – Give the media and population that cares an oppertunity to put their money where their mouth is in terms of selection

How I’d do it: I’d set up a non-affiliated body that invited well known sports writers and ex-Pakistan Team players that won something significant during their careers to choose three players for each tour. This might sound like the most impractical suggestion in the world, but its not because a working model of a far more complex system in sports already exists on the other end of the Atlantic in the United States.For those of you not familiar with it, college football in the United States is ranked not by wins and losses but by historic head to head records that are crunched through a computer model and an opinion poll asking every college football team coach in the nation along with members of the associated press as to whom they think are the top 25 teams in football.

Why It’s Important: The system isn’t perfect, but it works well enough where the entire sports community gets their say and no one can blame the teams for their performances because they were put in that position by the same critics that get paid to publish stories about the game. Similarly, if such a system was devised here in Pakistan, the press and population couldn’t do much but blame themselves for their poor choices. Before you go off and kill the idea, don’t forget that when a guy named Bill Gates told a board full of the greatest minds of the time that the future was a bunch of simultaneous tasks running in an operating system called windows, they laughed at him. Yet, you are reading this article using his very idea to load this page.

Conclusion

If we are going to affect positive change in Pakistan’s institutions then we need to be ready to take unprecedented steps since we all accept that previous measures have not had the desired effect. However lets focus on future strategy instead of crying over spilled milk.

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