Thursday, April 25, 2024

Usman Khawaja, Michael Atherton bat for Pakistan

  • Say cancelling  tour by NZ and England unjustifiable
  • Pak sense of anger and  betrayal understandable
  • Can’t say no to India since it has money, Khawaja flays

Usman Khawaja, Australian opening batsman, batted for Pakistani cricket by deriding the New Zealand and England teams for withdrawing from Pak tour. New Zealand team chose to go back to their country abandoning Pak tour minutes before the start of One Day International on 17 September 2021. Soon after that England also cancelled its scheduled tour of Pakistan on the question of security threat. This provoked Rameez Raja, chairman of Pakistan Cricket Control Board,  to comment that the western countries had ganged up against Pakistan. Pakistan-born Khawaja said ‘money talks,’ and no team would say no to India since that country has money. “It is easy for players and organizations to turn down Pakistan or Bangla Desh,” he said showing his antipathy towards India. Khawaja moved to Pakistan with his family at the age of 5 years.

Michael atherton

Australia is scheduled to play Pakistan early next year. He said he sees no reason why Australia should not tour Pakistan. There is a lot of security in Pakistan and he heard people saying that they are safe there. Pakistan cricket is thrown into a crisis with foreign teams doubtful of touring the country. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, ace cricketer himself, had spoken to his counterpart in New Zealand but in vain.

Michael Atherton, former England cricket team captain, commented that English cricketers are available for PIL series in India but not for Pakistan tour. Questioning this attitude, he said he can understand the feeling of hurt entertained by Pakistan because of cancellation of tour by New Zealand and England.  It is worse than India’s withdrawal from Manchester test, he commented. He took objections to England cancelling Pakistan tour in the name of players’ security but allows the same players window of three months to play IPL cricket in India. Pakistan players have been barred from IPL. It is difficult to understand the decision of ECB.

The decision of England team to drop Pakistan tour is worse than England team cancelling its tour of South Africa and Indian team not playing Manchester match although in both  the cases the Covid was close threat, Michael Atherton observed.  The sense of anger and betrayal on the part of Pakistan is understandable and justifiable.

K. Ramachandra Murthy
K. Ramachandra Murthy
Founder & Editor


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