- Warner’s triple century added insult to injury
Prime Minister Imran Khan based an important part of his appeal to his having captained the 1992 national cricket team that won the Cricket World Cup that year. That may serve as an excuse for the fact that his government has not done exceptionally in handling the country’s economy, but it would raise expectations that, whatever else, any government he headed would be good at handling sports properly. It is perhaps thus adding insult to injury that David Warner should have hit a second triple century by an Australian against Pakistan, for that was a slap in the very sport to which Mr Khan belonged. Mr Warner seems to be in fine form against Pakistan, having scored a century in the last Test, at Brisbane, and now he set up Australia’s massive 589 for 3 declared. In comparison, not only did Pakistan’s reply of 302 seem anaemic, but it allowed Australia to impose the follow-on, in which Pakistan had lost 3 wickets for 39, still 249 behind with only seven wickets in hand, and in clear danger of another innings defeat to follow the one at Brisbane. Mr Khan himself captained two tours to Australia, in one playing only the last three matches. He never suffered an innings defeat himself, though losing both series.
With a battering in sight in Mr Khan’s own game, it might perhaps be appropriate to look at other sports. The President of the Pakistan Olympic Association, Lt Gen (retd) Arif Hassan, is evidence that turning to the military need not produce an improvement, for his induction just before the 2004 Olympics has so far not yielded any result, for the country remains as deprived of Olympic honours since then, as it did before, even though next year will see the fifth Olympiad with General Hassan, recently re-elected, in charge.
The government has taken some steps, in which Mr Khan has involved himself, for the betterment of sport, but clearly this has not been enough. Results cannot be put off indefinitely, or else it will be said that Mr Khan does not even understand sport.