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Aanandaa

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Aanandaa

Joined: 07 April 2005

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Posted: 25 September 2007 at 10:33am | IP Logged
Don't mix cricket with religion, urge fans
25 Sep 2007, 2122 hrs IST,TNN

NEW DELHI: For millions of fans around the world, and India in particular, cricket itself is a religion -- the Twenty20 version being the latest denomination.

So when Pakistani cricket team's skipper Shoaib Malik brought a communal hue to the gentleman's game with a
gratuitous thanks to Muslims all over the world, ostensibly for supporting Pakistan, the blowback on the blogosphere was swift.

The first reaction came from Pakistanis themselves. "How about Hindu and Christian Pakistanis in the US, Canada, and Gulf who supported the Pakistan cricket team? Don't we count?" wrote "ChristianPak" on the blog Pakistaniat.com .

Others thought the remark was thoughtless and gratuitous considering the Pakistan team itself has had a token representation of a couple of Hindus and a Christian in the past.

It also does not sit well with Pakistan's current attempt, arguably feeble, to present a face of "enlightened moderation" prescribed by its military ruler Pervez Musharraf.

But what rankled many Indians was Malik's attempt to own worldwide Muslim sentiment for Pakistan when India has as many Muslims who support their home team, which has always had a healthy representation of Muslims and other minorities and has been a showcase for India's secular society.

The same holds true of Sri Lanka and England, whose teams are also multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and secular.

While the charitable explanation for Malik's remarks was that he was trying to pre-empt an Islamist backlash at home and did so with poor command of English, the general feeling was he unwittingly revealed the growing radicalisation of the Pakistani cricket team, consonant with Pakistan's own slide into fundamentalism.

The issue most recently came to the fore during the World Cup in the Caribbean when the mysterious death of Pakistan's coach Bob Woolmer was linked to his disquiet over the radicalisation of the team and overt expression of religion in team meetings.

"The problem here isn't the syntax, it is the sentiment. I don't expect Shoaib Malik to be a politically correct intellectual, but it is reasonable to expect him to know the world of cricket that he inhabits," cricket historian Mukul Keshavan observed on his blog, pointing out that it is a world where Muslims, Hindus and a Sikh currently play for England, where Buddhists, Muslims, Christians and a Hindu play for Sri Lanka, where Hashim Amla turns out for South Africa, where a Patel plays for New Zealand, where Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and Hindus play (and have always played) for India.

"Why would Shoaib think, then, that the Muslims of the world were collectively rooting for the Pakistan team or that they felt let down by its defeat? Did he stop to think of how Danish Kaneria, his Hindu team-mate, might feel hearing his Test skipper all but declare that the Pakistan team is a Muslim team that plays for the Muslims of the world?," Keshavan asked, adding, "It is one thing to be publicly religious-Shahid Afridi thanked Allah and Matt Hayden and Shaun Pollock are proud, believing Christians - quite another to declare that your country's cricket eleven bats for international Islam."

But the incident did not come as a surprise to many cricket fans, who pointed out on blogs that religious fervor has been part of Pakistani cricket ever since it resumed engagement with India in the late 1970s.

Ahead of the Twenty20 final clash, Pakistani newspapers made overt references to the final being held during Ramzan and predicted victory over India because it was the holy month, noting also that Pakistan's World Cup victory in 1992 had also been achieved during Ramzan.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Dont_mix_cricket_with_rel igion_urge_fans/articleshow/2402726.cms


My comments: I truly hope that it was a slip of the tounge and nothing more...When I  watched the presentation ceremony and heard his speech, I was kind of shocked at what he was saying...India has more muslims than in Pakistan, and I am sure they must have felt disgusted at this statement...Its a good idea to keep sports and religion where they belong...

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Autumn.

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Autumn.

Joined: 29 October 2006

Posts: 18495

Posted: 25 September 2007 at 11:24am | IP Logged
@ Raskha... I agree with your comments... me too cringe at his statement when I heard him saying that on TV... It is better that administrators and players of any team keep religion out of sports...

greatmaratha

IF-Sizzlerz

greatmaratha

Joined: 20 September 2004

Posts: 12581

Posted: 25 September 2007 at 11:28am | IP Logged
@ Raksha - Agree... I believe it could be a slip of the tongue. He possibly did mean his thanks to all his Pakistani supporters across the globe.. and ended up making a faux pax, but as the author said - It could also be an indication of the growing fundamentalism in the team.

India has always had Muslim players and they play for India.   The benefit of doubt can be given to the captain of the Pakistan team in view of the use of English language, but if it were not unintentional, it is unfortunate.

nitasuni

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nitasuni

Joined: 08 August 2007

Posts: 850

Posted: 25 September 2007 at 11:38am | IP Logged
@ Mithili-kiran you are impossible, so great. Clap Clap Clap

Edited by nitasuni - 25 September 2007 at 11:38am

ChameliKaYaar

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ChameliKaYaar

Joined: 19 February 2006

Posts: 9814

Posted: 25 September 2007 at 12:29pm | IP Logged

Originally posted by greatmaratha

@ Raksha - Agree... I believe it could be a slip of the tongue. He possibly did mean his thanks to all his Pakistani supporters across the globe.. and ended up making a faux pax, but as the author said - It could also be an indication of the growing fundamentalism in the team.

India has always had Muslim players and they play for India.   The benefit of doubt can be given to the captain of the Pakistan team in view of the use of English language, but if it were not unintentional, it is unfortunate.

Eid ka chaand saawan ke maheene mein kaise nikal aayaShockedLOL

ChameliKaYaar

IF-Rockerz

ChameliKaYaar

Joined: 19 February 2006

Posts: 9814

Posted: 25 September 2007 at 12:36pm | IP Logged

Raksha-Bandan,

   I agree with what Shivaji (GreatMaratha) said. It is probably his lack of grasp on the language that he uttered that. I heard it live and was shocked to hear him say that. I am like..."Hola amigo...We have millions of muslims rooting for India today...buddy"...

   I think a classic case of Faux-Pas. But if it was intentional then he deserves a whack at where it hurts mostOuch.

SholaJoBhadkey

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SholaJoBhadkey

Joined: 23 August 2005

Posts: 2672

Posted: 25 September 2007 at 12:59pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by ChameliKaYaar

Originally posted by greatmaratha

@ Raksha - Agree... I believe it could be a slip of the tongue. He possibly did mean his thanks to all his Pakistani supporters across the globe.. and ended up making a faux pax, but as the author said - It could also be an indication of the growing fundamentalism in the team.

India has always had Muslim players and they play for India.   The benefit of doubt can be given to the captain of the Pakistan team in view of the use of English language, but if it were not unintentional, it is unfortunate.

Eid ka chaand saawan ke maheene mein kaise nikal aayaShockedLOL

Nahin nahin - eid ka chand 17 din pehle nikal aaya LOL

I don't think we should read much into his statement - most likely a faux pas. Also, remember uney India ke damaad hotey. Aisa waisa boley to Hyderabadi potti chappalaan maarengee LOL 

...M...

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Joined: 20 October 2006

Posts: 21657

Posted: 25 September 2007 at 1:37pm | IP Logged
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