Where does Pakistan stand in the sports arena?
When I look at the quality of sports in our country these days I feel like weeping. We used to be number one in squash, cricket, hockey and snooker but now like every other department in the country, sports is also going down the drain.
Look at the cricket and the way our team lost to Sri Lanka in the final. I didn’t bother to watch the matches since I had very little hope anyway. A couple of days back in the final decision the ICC Champions Trophy venue was shifted from Pakistan. The ICC officials have yet to decide where to hold it. I already knew that Pakistan would be stripped of hosting rights given the law and order situation, when the event was being called off last year.
Australia hasn’t visited Pakistan in years. I don’t remember them setting foot in Pakistan since 1999. The countries who had no qualms otherwise such as West Indies, South Africa and New Zealand are also wary to visit.
The Pakistan Cricket Board has never ending issues and the complex web of politics is seriously effecting the uplift of sports. The Arbab Niaz Stadium of Peshawar that hosted some of the thrilling international matches in the past five years wouldn’t host any match for God knows how long. The ICC had asked them to upgrade the facilities while the local authorities refused to hand over the management to PCB when the later requested for it.
On the other hand, India’s cricket team is doing really well both at home and abroad. And recently India’s tennis stars Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupathi won the mixed doubles title at the Australian Open. I have always praised Sania’s tennis skills. She definitely possess plethora of talent as well as trained team of managers (Mahesh Bhupathi’s company) to look after her career and sponsorships. That was Mahesh’s 11th while Sania’s first grand slam victory.
We have a top tennis player, Aaisam ul Haq, who had made it to the Wimbledon but our tennis has a long way to go. Aaisam is so talented, I have seen some of his matches, had he been given better opportunities he would have done rather well.
I regret missing out Sania’s match. I read it was rather an easy win in the straight sets 6-3, 6-1.
Imran Khan’s recent comment is so apt about the deteriorating sports. He said, our sports is paying a huge price for the ‘war on terror’. While the elated Sania’s statement goes like that,
With shooter Abhinav Bindra, shuttler Saina Nehwal, Yuki (the young tennis player) and the cricket team doing well abroad, the sports scene in the country was looking up.