Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari
Without the slightest touch of irony Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari has expressed disappointment over the allegations of match-fixing against some Pakistani cricket team members. He has also called for an immediate preliminary report about the reports of the alleged match-fixing.
"The President, taking note of the reports, has directed that he should be kept posted about the developments as to what happened and what is the status of any inquiry that may have been ordered or held in London," Zardari’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar has been quoted as saying.
Zardari, incidentally, is the chief patron of cricket in Pakistan and hence responsible for anything that goes wrong with the game and its management. In case you did not know, he is also the president of Pakistan who has a slightly bigger problem on hand of the floods which have devastated an upward of 20 million people in some of the country’s most fertile regions. I don’t think he asked for a preliminary report on the floods within hours of the swirling waters drowning lives and futures.
The irony of perhaps Pakistan’s most reviled public figure persistently shadowed by serious charges of corruption himself responding so promptly to corruption in cricket is amusing in a tiresome sort of way. What’s he going to do? Lecture Pakistani cricketers on the importance of integrity and honesty? I would love to be part of that meeting.
I can almost visualize such a meeting taking place in the presidential palace in Islamabad.Here is a likely conversation between the president and the team members.
Zardari: Humari cricket team mein jo bad-amli ho rahi hai usse sirf mein hi nahin pura Pakistan sharminda hai. Hum sab ko, pure mulk ko, is baat ka ilm hona chahiye ki aakhir diyaanat se zyada zindgi mein kuchch bada nahi hai.
(Translation: Not just me but the whole of Pakistan feels embarrassed about the corruption (egregious conduct to be precise) by the cricket team. The whole country should be conscious that there is nothing more important than integrity in life.)
Salman Butt: (the team’s captain looking incredulous and trying hard to contain laughter): Ab nekdili or diyaanat ki baten hum ko aap se sunani padengi?! (Translation: We have to listen to you about the importance of honesty and integrity?!)
The meeting ends without anyone being served tea, cashews and biscuits.
PS: If you cannot contain your admiration about my Urdu, feel free to praise me.