Disbelief or fantasy? Aamir Sohail’s insistence on a fixing conspiracy

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Aamir Sohail has in a recent TV interview attributed Pakistan’s success in the Champions trophy to an international match fixing conspiracy which would supposedly include at least the ICC, Pakistan, South Africa, England, India and the English weather.

A video of the interview shows a visibly enflamed Sohail repeatedly shouting with great intensity “Koi kamal nahii kia” (They haven’t done anything special) about the team’s unlikely win against England in the Champions Trophy semi-final. This would make anyone question that if beating the tournament favourites wasn’t special, then what is?

 

It could of course be argued that Pakistan’s more than comprehensive victory over the tournament favourites was indeed a shocking event, and the former player was simply in a state of shock. But one would expect a cricketer that took part in Pakistan’s equally unlikely World Cup win in 1992 to be more accepting of the victory. And for someone that has worn Pakistan’s national colours, one could also expect a little more enthusiasm and a little less cynicism.

However if the statement had only been the finger waging ramblings of a long retired and even longer obscure former cricketer wanting to get some attention, one could shake it off with a laugh. The panel’s host definitely seemed to think this was the way out given the huge grin plastered on his face throughout the rant. The problem, however,is that not only were the statements made on a nationally broadcasted television channel, they quite clearly insinuated that Pakistan’s winning streak has come courtesy an international conspiracy that was colluding to reach a Pakistan-India final for higher television ratings and to reap the subsequent profits. The news has since been picked up both by the British tabloids that earlier destroyed the Pakistani morale in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal as well as by the Indian media.

Saying that the reason for the victory were prayers and the will of God, Sohail added he would leave for the viewers to decide what God’s ‘tools’ were. And while anyone would assume that this waseela could be anything ranging from new players, to South African choking, Sri Lankan fielding and Wahab Riaz’s injury, there was a defined sense of malice dripping from Sohail’s little explosion. He had recently hinted at similar conspiracies in a talk show on Indian television, claiming the ICC had been doctoring tournament groups to set up Pakistan-India games. And while this was not as outlandish as his most recent claims, it shows a general trend of giving sensationalist statements to, quite ironically, raise ratings and viewership.

Former Pakistan Captain Rashid Latif too displayed such behavior recently, uploading a video on social media that promptly went viral in which he made a rather crude and mean spirited response to other outrageous tweets made by former Indian Opener Virinder Sehwag. At this rate, the cycle of silly claims, dim-witted ideas and the flexing of mouth muscles to maintain relevance does not end any time soon.

While there has naturally been no apology, Sohail has delivered on the same TV channel what was billed as a ‘clarification.’ It was the literal opposite of a clarification. A video of the follow-up interview shows a rather flustered Sohail saying one thing and then another totally unrelated thing. He chooses to completely ignore his claims of match fixing instead relying on his statement that it was “Allah and Duas” that got Pakistan to the final. In similar fashion he ignores his cries of “Koi kamal nahi kia” in favour of claiming he was the architect behind the selection of Sarfraz Ahmed as Pakistan captain.

Indeed, if any kamal has been kia-ed by anyone in all this, it has been done by Aamir Sohail.