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Quotation for Today, Saturday 7 March


Relative to their vast Indian neighbour, for example, Pakistan’s cricketers have a history of punching above their weight. In an ever-divided country, this has long provided a welcome boost to Pakistani morale. The country’s greatest cricketer, Imran Khan, a star of the 1970s and 80s, may well be Pakistan’s most popular figure—even if he has proved unable to translate this into a successful career in politics.

Yet in recent years Pakistani cricket has become more representative of an increasingly conservative and put-upon society. A notorious playboy in his playing days, Mr Khan has accrued a pious religiosity. So, more ostentatiously and like many Pakistanis, have the country’s modern players. In recent years, many have grown long beards, and substituted team prayer sessions for training. In 2006, Dr Nasim Ashraf, a newly-appointed head of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), called for an end to the national team’s public displays of Muslim worship. He also urged the team’s then captain, Inzamam ul-Haq, not to put pressure on his team-mates to adopt his own strict religious practice.

The Economist commenting on the Lahore ambush.

  1. showmethetaxcut permalink
    08/03/2009 01:33

    I have often wondered whether ul-Haq was behind the apparent and gradual Islamisation of the Pakistan cricket team.

    To be honest though Pakistan has never been a united country. It is a collection of feifdoms. It is a joke to regard this as a democratic country.


  2. 07/03/2009 13:30

    Looks like Islam is wrecking Pakistan as it wrecked Iran.


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