Pakistan Cricket’s Punishing Run

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The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has always been quick to ban or censure players. Often, these punishments are revoked soon enough. But what happened this week was dramatic even by Pakistan standards. In one stroke, the PCB felled several senior players for their dismal performance in Australia, where the team lost every match it played in the three formats of the game.

Nothing brings Pakistan cricket stability, not even success. Last June, Pakistan won the ICC World Twenty20. It was their biggest win since the 1992 World Cup triumph under Imran Khan. It hauled Pakistan cricket out of the crisis brought on by the terrorist attack on Sri Lankan cricketers last March. But then came the traumatic tour of Australia.

What makes it worse for Pakistan is that the PCB is as rash and unpredictable as its players. How is it rational to ban veteran batsman Mohammad Yousuf and former captain Younis Khan for life?

The person that Pakistan fans want to see the back of is Ijaz Butt, former wicket-keeper and an unpopular PCB chairman. He could have salvaged his reputation by taking responsibility for the defeat in Australia and vacating his seat. But there is no sign of it. That is how things are in Pakistan. Unless you have the deeds and integrity of Imran Khan, you are at the mercy of tyrants.