September 3, 2023

Younis, Sarfaraz face discrimination from PCB once more


By Naeem-ul-Haq in USA 

(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), seemingly as a part of its promotions ahead of the upcoming Cricket World Cup 2023, compiled and released a video, showcasing the high moments in history on the eve of the 76th Independence Day celebrations. Its contents have already resulted in causing lots of resentment and controversies. 

Initially the PCB was slammed for ignoring Imran Khan, the triumphant skipper of the World Cup 1992. Since he is a former Prime Minister besides being one of the greatest-ever all-rounders of the game, with a huge fan following globally, there was uproar and criticism from every nook and corner of the world. 

Omitting the World Cup winning captain on political grounds was indeed shameful and the PCB was forced to edit the video and release a new one which included his images. But a couple of more glaring omissions have not been rectified yet, which is very disappointing for those who love the game the most earnestly. 

How could the history of Pakistan cricket remain complete without mentioning the accomplishments of Younis Khan and Sarfaraz Ahmed? Yet they have been deprived of this honour of featuring in the video highlighting Pakistan’s conquests in the cricket field. Younis, as we all know, is the only other World Cup winning captain of Pakistan.

If Imran was the skipper of the team which brought home the title in 1992 it was Younis, under whose leadership, Pakistan had won the World Twenty20 Championship in 2009. Isn’t it strange that one World Cup winner becomes the Prime Minister of the country and the other one is denied the kind of respect and recognition he deserves?

Younis holds national records for the highest number of Test runs as well as centuries. He won numerous matches for the country. He led the team with distinction. But he was victimized in his playing days and the same trend has continued all along. Since he is brutally honest and straightforward, who always believed in let his bat to do all the talking, he has often been sidelined from limelight. Those in the corridors of power have generally been reluctant to interact with him because he takes pride in calling a spade a spade. 

Sarfaraz has also been meted out step-motherly treatment all along despite having exceptional record both as a player and as a captain of the national team. He had led the country to title victory in the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017. Earlier he was also the captain of the Pakistan team which annexed the ICC Youth World Cup. 

Pakistan remained the top ranked team in T20 rankings for two and a half years when Sarfaraz, an enterprising wicketkeeper-batsman, was at the helm of the affairs. He is credited to have blooded and groomed the youngsters like Babar Azam, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Khan Afridi and Fakhar Zaman who have gone on to become world-class performers. 

Both Younis and Sarfaraz have done wonders for the country, Any documentary of Pakistan cricket will be deemed incomplete without their mention. The PCB must re-edit the video to include both of them because they deserve to be there. The heroes are meant to be respected and admired, not humiliated or insulted.

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