Parallel Musings

Pakistan’s victory in the ICC Championship 2017 was nothing short of a miracle. A team that had been pretty much written off after their defeat in the opening match against India, bounced back and fought their way as a cohesive unit to lift the coveted trophy. It was a great moment for Pakistan and one that will be remembered for a long time. This, however, is not a time to be complacent; rather it should be seen as an opportunity to build a solid foundation for further victories in the future. Perhaps, Shahid Afridi summed it up aptly when he stated, “We should not think that after winning one trophy we have conquered the world. A lot needs to be done in domestic cricket. Winning and losing are part of the game as we saw with Australia and New Zealand. Consistency is the most important thing. There needs to be a system to ensure that Pakistan keeps winning trophies.”

The team members continue to be welcomed individually as heroes upon their return to Pakistan. Amidst all this we see parallel and disjointed accolades being heaped upon the players by the powers that be. Immediately after the victory, the Army promised to fund the Umrah for the players. Not to be out done, the Prime Minister stated that Rs.1 crore would be given to each player. The PCB Chairman said that Rs.10 lacs were to be given to each player. Excellent for the players, but it does raise questions about the state of affairs and the governance structures in Pakistan. After all this is not the Mughal era where the King doles out funds at his discretion. These are funds extracted from the tax paying people of Pakistan and need to be used judiciously.

One would have imagined that after the victory the triumphant team would be accorded a National welcome where they could have been received by the President, and/or Prime Minister of Pakistan along with the Chairman PCB. Instead we see sporadic regional welcomes in their home towns. A reception to award the players by the State would have been more appropriate rather than isolated announcements of gifts and grants. As in most other institutions we are seeing an ad-hoc dysfunctional display of policies, and parallel structures rather than a cohesive and structured whole. Amidst all this well done Team Pakistan and here is to hoping that Afridi’s advice will be taken seriously to ensure that there is a system in place to build on this victory.

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