I have been a passionate Pakistan cricket fan for over 20 years, and I have seen this team go through a million ups and (a billion) downs. I have stood by this team and extended unconditional support through thick and thin; despite all the match-fixing allegations, corruption and nepotism accusations and spot-fixing convictions, I continued to ‘bleed green’.
But the downfall we are experiencing lately has me, along with many others, close to losing all interest and hope in our team.
Your inept management might choose to ignore my letter (after all, what's a fan's plea worth in this lucrative, corrupt, money-milking setup that is cricket in this country), but I will exercise the right to voice my frustration anyway.
I remember growing up in the '90s when this country produced untameable heroes, who were fighters and warriors in their own unique ways. Sure, we had a few downslides here and there and occasionally embarrassed ourselves against formidable sides, but we still had the ability and more importantly, the power of will to bounce back strong. I don’t remember seeing arch-rivals India as a big threat up until the mid-2000s, when their long term investment in cricketing infrastructure started to yield prosperous dividends.
Meanwhile the officials at PCB were busy looking for ways to increase their take-home salary.
I am not frustrated with another defeat by our unquestionably superior neighbours, but rather the way we have lost, again. We have shown absolutely no improvement in the last four years. In fact, I believe we are worst now than we were four years ago.
It is all becoming too predictable now and that is very frustrating for die hard fans like me.
Also read: Dear PCB, not all surprises are pleasant
In the last decade, whenever we have played India, our players looked timid and under a great deal of pressure while the Indian side maintained their cool and treated us like just another weak subcontinental side. Even if we had bowled out India for 200 (wishful thinking given their robust batting factory), there is no doubt in my mind that we would have rolled over for 160; or if we somehow would managed to miraculously chase down the target with them maaon aur behnon ki duayen, it would have been with four balls to spare and one wicket in hand. This has been the trend in the last decade and I, for one, have had enough of it.
You, PCB, are turning away hundreds of thousands of fans like myself who used to get up at 4 am just to watch a game of cricket.
You continue to appoint your friends on multiple positions in the board and team management; continue with your shenanigans in player management; continue to butt your head into places you don't belong; continue to order selections and omissions of players to represent us on the grand stage; and continue to impede help from genuine patrons as if Pakistan cricket is your family business, meant to be run as per your personal whims.
Barring the Indo-Pak match yesterday, I truly cannot remember the last time I sat in front of the screen to watch this team live. A few score updates online usually suffice.
I live in Brisbane where Pakistan plays Zimbabwe in a couple of weeks, and I regret to admit that I have no intentions of purchasing even an inexpensive ticket to go and cheer for the team.
Maybe life is just busier now, or maybe I have just snapped out of it altogether. Either way, it is Pakistan cricket that suffers.
The gloomy faces and the angry Facebook statuses I have been seeing since yesterday are all on you, PCB. You are responsible for taking away the only good thing we had – our cricket – and slowly turning its glory into something whose dreadful state is all too familiar – our hockey.
There was a time not too long ago when, despite all the chaos and scandals, we were proud of our brilliance on the field. That time is now receding, painfully, one nerve at a time. I have heard from my father many stories of our glorious past in hockey, and I truly hope I do not have to share similar stories of cricket with my children some day.
I sincerely hope that you do something to reignite the flame that is slowly being snuffed out with every new miserable loss.
Just another Pakistani cricket fan.