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A different challenge


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IT is not a pleasant situation. The Pakistan women’s cricket team may not be one of the prime contenders for the World Cup tournament that gets under way in India tomorrow, but the circumstances have already made it the grittiest. Before taking on the usual challenge posed by other competitors the Pakistani cricketers must first deal with the very special treatment they have so far received in India. To begin on an inauspicious note, the venue of the Pakistan games had to be shifted from Mumbai to Cuttack following serious threats by hardliners. That was disappointing enough. Now it is learnt that the team has been literally kept in protective custody and is not allowed to leave the premises of the stadium where it is going to play. The adjoining club where the Pakistani cricketers are lodged may be a good enough substitute for a hotel, but it cannot quite reduce the psychological impact the limitations must be having on the players.

The situation does prepare the ground for conjuring up images of a Rocky-style finale — an underdog overcoming the greatest of odds to triumph over the more fancied and more privileged. While there is no bar on dreaming, realities dictate that the game must go on, whatever the constraints. Pakistan’s inability to host international cricket has put it on the back foot and many instances in the recent past show the choice is not Pakistan’s. Only last month, it had to shift its home series to India and play it on India’s terms, for want of an option. The compensation was some good displays by the men led by Misbah-ul-Haq and Mohammad Hafeez. Sana Mir’s team is carrying itself with a lot of grace in trying conditions. This is victory enough.

Comments (4) Closed

M.Islam Jan 31, 2013 04:26pm
Pakistan is at the receiving end all over and sports is no exception, one can hope a miracle happen and the new leadership lead the nation to some honourable stand in the commity of nations.
Syed Ahmed Jan 31, 2013 03:47pm
Aman, Aman, hope for Aman eve if you have to stoop too low..
Iftikhar Husain Jan 31, 2013 01:16pm
Very rightly pointed out by the editorial there must be effects on the players kept in total isolation not even to go out it is a sad affair and no one has an answer to this.
MAB Jan 31, 2013 04:50pm
Just by competing our team will show more mettle than any other. It is such a tragedy that we have to be willing to face the threats that extremists pose to our teams in order to play the sport as we can't do it in our own country due to homegrown extremists. Although our board should highlight this contradiction that India, although not safe for one particular country, still manages to host major tournaments. In any case, I salute the courage and determination of our teams who face up to this challenge to do what they do best - compete.