Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Foreword: Fiasco

By Aamir Sohail

The World Cup 2007 was a forgettable event for Pakistan by all means. It was one of those tournaments where nothing went right for our team. The defeat at the hands of the West Indies in the opening game came as a surprise because Pakistan were tipped as one of the favourites to lift the trophy.

But worse was to follow. Pakistan crashed in the game against Ireland. It was one of the greatest upsets in the history of the game. Debutants Ireland were not expected to come to terms with Pakistan but that was not to be.

Pakistan suffered a shocking defeat in that must-win game and found themselves knocked out of the competition. It was unbelievable. Because the tournament had barely started five days ago and Pakistan were out of it. The entire nation was jolted back home. Nobody had even thought of Pakistan getting out of the race so quickly.

Inzamam-ul-Haq and his boys were devastated. Coach Bob Woolmer could not bear the shock and was found dead in his hotel room after that shameful and disgraceful defeat at the hands of minnows Ireland.

The nightmare for the Pakistanis didn’t end there. The team members were suspected of involvement in the alleged murder of their coach. It was a very disturbing situation for the shell-shocked boys who were further tormented by the police investigations.

Our cricketers, for some time, were treated like criminals. Veteran journalist Ehsan Qureshi was there in the Caribbean watching all the action and drama on and off the field. In fact he was on his toes all the time whether it was at the Sabina Park or the notorious Pegasus Hotel.

I am sure he didn’t expect to be implicated in the Bob Woolmer case. We were all surprised when his name also emerged as one of the suspects. But that was the Jamaica Police who left no stone unturned in implicating the Pakistanis in the case by hook or by crook.

I think the Jamaica Police should apologize to the nation for their over-enthusiastic efforts in trying to prove the Pakistanis as murderers.

Although it was pure academic from Pakistan’s point of view but the tournament was won by Australia once more. What Pakistan and India failed to do, Sri Lanka managed to do it. They made it to the final and gave the Aussies a run for their money. With a little bit of luck they could have also won the trophy.

Ehsan Qureshi’s Fiasco tells you a lot about the World Cup 2007. It’s a comprehensive book in which he has expressed the various events in the typically aggressive manner of his. So it’s very much a must-read book for all cricket fraternity.

***For further details about Fiasco, please write to or call Asad Raza at 0333-2304024

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