Eye on the ball, please
The PSL final was a success in more ways than one. The return of cricket brought much joy to the city, and the country, no doubt, and already there’s talk of hosting an ICC Eleven in Lahore this September. In terms of optics, at least, it scored a perfect ten-out-of-ten. And Najam Sethi, no stranger to the news business, would have given himself a good pat on the back for rallying enough of the media along.
Yet governments, fortunately or unfortunately, have deeper responsibilities. It might be possible to brush the opportunity cost of one T20 under the carpet, but those who ‘ran’ this event would understand by now the price of this particular prize. Dozens of senior government officers, not just the police, in addition to thousands of security personnel, were deputed in the couple of kilometers’ parameter around the Gaddafi stadium. Entire neighbourhoods were shut down for the event and two days of ‘dress rehearsal’. If the ICC Eleven is coming for five matches, would it really be feasible to play them all in Lahore?
There is, of course, an urgent need to bring cricket back to Pakistan. That is one thing the final proved beyond anything else. Pakistan needs the cricket, the joy, and the money. But it is equally apparent that the conducive environment we so desperately seek will not come till the war against terrorism is won. And to bring the game back with authority, the government will have to keep its eye on the ball.