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25 October 2012

Pakistan’s Islamic cricket: Mixing religion with the Sport

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By Ale Natiq
Following the victory of West Indies in the ICC T20 WC 2012, I posted the above picture (in good humour) and later the status message on my Facebook which received mixed reactions. Some called it negative some said its discriminatory while others thought it’s provocative. And as wild as it gets, some angry Tableeghis considered it a sectarian attack. Cricket being the only source of entertainment left in Pakistan, this issue deserves more than a comical photo and a status message and so I would like to explain my reservations about the growing religiosity of Pakistan Cricket.
Let’s be clear first. I have no objection on the practice of Islam, or any religion whatsoever, by anyone including the sportsmen and Pakistani Cricketers in specific. My reservation is the mixing of religion with the sport, especially considering the fact that these men play Sport professionally, and employed to represent Pakistan and are paid from our tax money. They may like to practice whatever faith they want privately but it should not intermingle with the Sport they play professionally. As a friend quoted, “It’s the playing ground, not your prayer mat”.
I also understand that people have religious beliefs which they hold important but exhibiting them at the wrong time irrespective of the context does not appeal to me at least. To start with, it is aesthetically disgusting. For years we have heard and have become accustomed to the misfit calls to Allah in the post match ceremonies. Allah gets more mention than the player responsible for winning or losing the game. Why bother with this ceremony after every match when the man of the match for every game is Allah?
If you really want to thank Allah or give him the credit of your success or failure, you can do that in you heart of course. Allah is well capable to understand your courtesy and thankfulness even when you keep it to yourself and don’t exhibit it cheaply. What I do not understand is the desire to do this while telling the world that you are doing it. You want to thank Allah, fine, but why tell everyone else that you are doing it? You only make a laughing stock of yourself and sound idiot when you answer “First of all thanks to Allah” while the question asked is “So how did you find this pitch?” What is the relevance here? Clearly the idea is not to be humble, courteous and thankful to Allah but to push your religiosity down on others and show it no matter how absurd it sounds.
The more important question which I want to ask is why does every single member of the team so uniformly adhere to this religious exhibitionism? How has the Pakistan Cricket Team managed this uniformity in wearing-the-religion-on- your-sleeve attitude while on the playground? Why do we not have Cricketers who do not adhere to this exhibition of religion? Young Raza Hassan comes over to receive his first man of the match award and toes the same line of Inzimam, of Afridi, of Yousaf Youhana et al. Is it really an individual choice and act; as the supporters of Cricket religiosity would like to claim?
I think not. The First-of-All-Thanks-To-Allah syndrome is not about thanking Allah. They are using the Sport, the playing field and every opportunity to further their agenda of Tableegh. Pakistan Cricket Team is held hostage by Tableeghi Jamaat’s Tariq Jameel who is using celebrities to popularise their brand and religious exhibitionism is the best tool available at hand. This Tableeghi gang is a political power group within Pakistan Cricket and anyone who does not become one of them has to bear the consequences. Islam, once again has been used to gain and assert power.
Namaz was made mandatory as part of training by Inzy and those who didn’t pray didn’t get into good books of the captain.
We have lots of evidence to suggest that this religious exhibitionism has been unofficially institutionalised within Pakistani Cricket by certain team members. Newcomers have a choice: to come to the fold of Cricket religiosity or suffer a loner’s fate. Senior players were also not immune to this recruitment; we know the fate of Shoaib Akhtar and Younis Khan when they tried to counter this religious establishment within Pakistan Cricket.
Inzimam’s fondness to mix religion with cricket did not sit well with some members of the team who preferred to practice their religion privately. The non-Tableeghi players in the team included former captain Younas Khan, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif and Danish Kaneria. They accused Inzimam of favouring the players who were members of the Tableeghi Jamaat. Inzimam initially known as a gentle giant turned into a dictator like captain and often ignored Shoaib Akhtar in the selection. It was rumoured that the real reason behind Shoaib’s exclusion from the team was his ‘liberal’ ways and late night adventures.
Tableeghi Jamaat infilitation in Pakistan Cricket – a bit of history

The country, that has been in an existential crisis since its inception and yet to come to terms with its ideology and purpose, is leaning more and more towards rabid religiosity to find answers and Pakistan Cricket, being part of the same country and society, is no exception to this phenomenon. From the beginning of this millennium, there have been increasing and constant incidents of enforced religiosity in the team, a development which has been noted by and frowned upon by the Pakistan Cricket Board, but to little avail.
Former opener Saeed Anwar, who lost his daughter, was among the first who turned to religion for solace. One would argue that it may be a natural thing to happen. But then, he began to sermonize. His team members were the first circle of people within his influence. Former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq’s family already had a religious background. Slowly, the youngsters were lapping up whatever the seniors dished out as advice even on deeply personal issues.
Analysts also lay the onus on Pakistan batsman Saeed Ahmed and stylish opener, Saeed Anwar, both of whom had become leading recruiters for the Tableeghi Jamaat. Ahmed had been, like most Pakistani cricketers, volatile and aggressive on the field and equally colourful off it. It won’t be farfetched to suggest that captains like Imran, Mushtaq, Miandad and Akram wilfully kept the notions of morality and the social state of the team separated. They weren`t bothered by who was drinking or who was frequenting nightclubs and bars, as long as the players were performing to their potential on the field.
However, according to a former Pakistani player, it was Saeed Anwar who convinced Waqar that the team would remain volatile unless team members became ‘good Muslims’ and ‘started offering prayers’. Waqar saw this as an opportunity to rein in the notorious volatility of the team and both Saeed Ahmed and Anwar were allowed access to the dressing-room to preach the Tableeghi Jamaat’s highly ritualistic and exhibitionistic strain of faith. Mushtaq Ahmed and Saqlain Mushtaq were two early recruits of the Jamaat, but ironically, both, along with Saeed Anwar himself, suddenly lost their form and exited from the team. However, even though the team’s 2002 World Cup jamboree in South Africa was a disaster, Mushtaq and Anwar hung around as preachers and were successful in bagging flamboyant batsman, Inzimamul Haq.
Saeed Anwar and Junaid Jamshed - both recruited by TJ. JJ used to visit Pakistan Cricket team camps to deliver sermons.
It was Inzi’s instatement as the new captain in 2003 that opened the floodgates for the Tableeghi Jamaat. One could now see the team being given regular lectures by leading Jamaat members, including Junaid Jamshed who is on record as claiming that he also wanted to convert the coach, the late Bob Woolmer. Players like Shoaib Akhtar accused Inzimamul Haq for siding with those players who sympathised with the Jamaat and took part in the collective religious rituals enforced by the captain.
Saeed Anwar, arguably Pakistan’s greatest batsman is on record having said, “A day or night spent in the way of Allah is better than any other worldly activity“. Imagine this coming from a professional sportsman who is paid to play a worldly sport for his country. With this attitude, what does one expect in terms of performance?
Tableeghi Jamaat visiting camps and board office

Pakistan Cricket officials have confirmed the connection between Tableeghi Jamaat and Pakistani Cricketers and have on occasions showed their reservations too. A close study of media reports, reaction of PCB officials and PCB statements reveal that the board was not too bothered with this religious infiltration at the start with the belief that this might bring discipline to the team. However, with time they realised that this was counter productive, was resulting in more factions in the team and was a cause for poor performance. When they tried to intervene, they were probably too late.
“Officials in the Pakistan cricket board confirmed that members of the Tablighi Jamaat have been visiting the board’s offices and training camps regularly over the last several years. “
Inzimam-ul-Haq’s captaincy and influence of religion on the game

According to Pakistan daily Dawn’s Nadeem F Paracha, during Inzimam’s tenure as side’s captain, Tableeghi Jamaat enjoyed strongest influence in Pakistan Cricket. Cricketers instead of sticking to the nets for practice, were regularly assembled and lectured to by Tablighi Jamaat members including speeches by Junaid Jamshed, who went on record saying he wanted to convert late coach Bob Woolmer. Other members like Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Yasser Hamid, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Salman Butt had, at one time, grown beards or at least stubbles to impress Inzy. And Yousuf Yohanna aka Mohammad Yousuf apparently tried to proselytize New Zealand’s Daniel Vettori.
Inziman’s overly defensive and failed attempt at being the captain came as a surprise to many. It was ironic because as a batsman Inzi was fluent and liberally bordering on the flamboyant so what was the reason for the changed attitude at captaincy? Parach writes, “Conventional wisdom would suggest, yes, fear was the overriding reason. But during and after the procedures that initiated Inzi’s complete ouster from the team, insiders within the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) were also whispering about the effects of ‘tableegh-isation’ on the former skipper’s personality. In the course of two years before the 2007 World Cup debacle, the PCB had already asked Inzimam to cool it a bit with his Islam thing, while some cricketers discreetly complained that they were being forced by Inzi to follow dictates according to the Tableeghi Jamaat.“
During the ICC Champions Trophy in India, Inzimam was taken to task by the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman for insisting on holding joint prayers with his team on the ground where they were taking a training session.
Some commentators on Cricket and mainly the supports of this Cricket religiosity claim that influence of Tableetghi Jamaat in Pakistan Cricket has made the players more disciplined. The definition of discipline which they refer to here is (publicly) not going to pubs or clubs, not womanising, praying in public etc but cheating, swearing, leg pulling and spot/match fixing doesn’t matter. Let’s accept the discipline argument for sometime, the problem is that “this discipline was not exactly based on a willful belief in the importance of professional order, but rather a grudgingly submitted fear gained from the players by playing the ever-useful Islamic card and a strict code of conduct and ethics based squarely on the Tableeghi Jammat ideals of Islam. Early this year, during a talk show hosted by former Pakistani cricket captain Rameez Raja, Inzimamul Haq, when asked what his message would be for the youth, he suggested that along with worldly knowledge, they should also get religious education.
This says two things. First of all, it suggests that ever since Inzimam’s stint as captain, more and more Pakistani cricketers had started using the formulaic language used by Tableeghi Jamaat members. Secondly, and as some PCB officials and cricketers have already claimed, most Pakistani cricketers, if they had to be in the good books of the captain, had to tamely submit to his Tableegh regime in the dressing room. ” This is exactly what loner-Crickets like Shoaib Akhtar, Younis Khan and Danish Kaneria had to tell us.
Coach Bob Wolmer VS Captain Inzimam – the contest between authoritarian religiosity and training based Cricket

“Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer’s authority was undermined by captain Inzamam-ul-Haq’s ‘spiritual hold of the team.The more serious issue was that Inzamam was not only the cricketing leader but the spiritual talisman of the team who expected – and was mostly given – total obeisance by his team-mates. Inzamam would go into a “brooding silence” for days after disagreements with Briton Woolmer.” the former Pakistan Cricket Board chairperson Shaharyar Khan said.
Shahryar Khan has been quoted as telling Sportsweek on BBC Radio Five Live after the murder of Woolmer as follows: “Bob told me about six months ago that he was very frustrated because the team was always at prayer at lunchtime, tea and after play. He was not able to get through to them on cricketing issues. He felt frustrated about that and asked me what to do. The training schedules were not really interfered with by the prayers which only took about four or five minutes. It was the fact he could not get through to the team at intervals in matches. Eventually he learned to live with it because it led to unity.“
Shahryar also revealed Woolmer never had full control of the national side with skipper Inzimam-ul-Haq “the unquestioned leader“. “There was always a question mark regarding Bob taking total control of the team in every sense. There was resistance from Inzimam and perhaps successful resistance. Inzimam was the leader, the unquestioned leader of the team. They (the players) all fell into place around him and were totally supportive of Inzimam. Bob found it difficult sometimes.“
Outlook India reports that, “Woolmer attributed the decline in the performance of the Pakistani cricket team in recent years to the growing influence of the TJ on some of the players, including the Captain, and their consequent indifference to training.They believed that they could win by praying. When the TJ preachers were there in the hotel during tours,Inzimam and other TJ players used to ignore Woolmer and did not heed his instructions. He reportedly felt that their loyalty was more to the TJ preachers than to him. It is said that this often became a contentious issue between Inzimam and the coach.”
As one would expect, the mysterious death of Bob Wolmer made headlines across the world. What many do not know is that a lot of these news stories raised questions on Tableeghi Jamaat and the growing religiosity in Pakistan Cricket, with a possible connection to the Coach’s murder. It was widely known that Bob was critical of Tableeghi Jamaat’s involvement in Pakistan Cricket and tried to counter their growing influence. With this background, his death was bound to raise some eyebrows. Pakistani Cricket fans should consider themselves lucky that this didn’t go too far or this could have been another Lahore attack for Pakistan Cricket.
Younis Khan and the backlash from the team against his captaincy

“Younis twice stepped down from the captaincy last year with player unrest against his leadership the underlying cause both times.” wrote Osman Samiuddin after Yousaf Youhana was axed from the team. The problem which this Tableeghi gang had with Younis Khan was one: he did not bow down to their religious exhibitionism. It is widely believed that Inzimam-ul-Haq and Yousuf Youhana, in the presence of Tariq Jameel, took an oath from other players on Quran that they will not support Younis Khan as captain of the side.
Yousaf Youhana’s conversion

There is no clear evidence but it is believed by some that the talented Christian, Yousuf Yohanna, had to convert to Islam in modern day Pakistan to be considered for the skipper’s post, however much he may deny that to be the purpose. Although Yousuf denied that anyone forced him to convert it is widely believed that owing to peer pressure and his desire to become the captain made him embrace Islam.
Yousuf Yohanna, who converted to Islam and became Muhammad Yousuf. Today he is one of the leading members of the Jamaat and was recently reported to have even tried to convert New Zealand cricket captain Danial Vetori. Though the bulk of the team joined the Jamaat, thus transforming the team culture from extrovert and flamboyant to fatalistic and (subsequently) somewhat uncompetitive, a divide soon developed when a handful of players refused to follow Inzimam`s Raiwind regime. These were Shoaib Akhtar, Muhammad Asif, Abdul Razzaq and Yunus Khan.
After the catastrophic showing at the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean, Inzimam retired and there was a power struggle between the players to lay hands on captaincy. Though Younas Khan had served as the vice captain and was the favorite to take over the team yet Shoaib Malik, another member of the Tableeghi Jamaat, was Inzimam’s successor as skipper. After all, the PCB itself has been infiltrated by Tableeghi mission.
The young Shoaib Malik was a product of the Zia era and was no different than his predecessor. After Pakistan lost the final of the first edition of the T20 World Cup held in South Africa against arch-rivals India, Shoaib Malik apologized to Muslims all over the world for losing against India and showed the same self-established false importance of leading the Muslim across the world that has crept into the minds of his fellow Pakistanis. Maybe he forgot that a fellow Muslim from India Irfan Pathan was man-of-the-match and that Bollywood’s biggest superstar Shahrukh Khan, a Muslim, was in the stadium cheering for India.
Some observers considered it to be a somewhat racist comment, since there are Christians and Hindu Pakistanis as well who were supporting the team, and, of course, most Indian Muslims were rather happy that Pakistan lost!
Dawat-e-Islami in Pakistan Cricket

Tableeghi Jamaat is not the only puritan outfit to penetrate the national cricketing squad. Upcoming stars like Umer Akmal, Imran Farhat, Saeed Ajmal and Muhammad Amir have been won over by Dawat-e-Islami (Here is a Youtube link showing Umer Akmal and Saeed Ajmal eulogizing Dawat-e-Islami: http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=Q77KGTpc5ko). Most surprising convert is upcoming star Muhammad Amir who has been accused of spot-fixing recently along Salman Butt and Muhammad Asif. Amir’s sermon at Dawat-e-Islami centre is indeed heart-rendering in view of spot-fixing charges: http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=KhaUX_KwRv0.
Shoaib Akhtar – a loner in the Tableeghi team

Shoaib was said to be disgusted with the nature of Inzimam’s manipulative, religion-driven ways of gaining loyalty from his players, and it is only natural that a personality like Shoaib was bound to feel isolated and persecuted in the morally self-righteous and judgmental make-up and psyche of the Inzimam-led Pakistani cricket team.
Below is an excerpt from Shoaib Akhuar’s autobiography Controversially Yours:
Shoaib Akhtar’s comment above is inline with other reports that emerged in the media regarding Inzimam’s forced religiosity in the team. I would like to ask the supporters of Cricket religiosity how is this enforced religion doing any good to the game and any justice to religion? Shoaib Akhater goes on to add a lot more detail on this phenomenon in the book.
What has Tableeghi Jamaat (or religiosity) has done for Pakistan Cricket?

If you have read so far, you know a lot to answer this question but for those still not convinced, let’s carry on.
Following the team’s disastrous show at the 2007 World Cup, the team’s media manager PJ Mir, accused the team’s captain Inzimamul Haq of being more interested in preaching than in playing cricket.
Similarly, following the tour of Australia where the team surrendered pathetically, the media attention was less on players, their performance, lack of experience and talent BUT more on the enforced religiosity within the team and its influence on Pakistan Cricket. Question was posed about the psychology that triggers long periods of haplessness and sheer lethargy in a team culture such as Pakistan’s. Gone were the days of flowing flamboyance the Pakistan cricket team became famous for, and the somewhat audacious displays of snatching victory from the figurative jaws of defeat cultivated by captains such as Mushtaq Muhammad, Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram and especially, Imran Khan.
So how did the unpredictability tag that the Pakistani cricket team holds mutate from being something exciting and gregarious into exhibitions of pitiable surrenders and sudden, disastrous falls into the pits of mediocrity? Teams under Imran, Miandad and Akram were eccentric and flamboyant; and the reason why these teams were different than what we’ve had in the last ten years or so was their (albeit erratic but electrifying) mindset.
At least one of the things that also helped these captains cultivate a more dynamic demeanour was a positive unfamiliarity with the concept of enforced religiosity, the sort that started to trickle into the psyche of the team at the start of the new millennium. The ethos and culture of the team that developed from this psyche has often been criticised by various ex-cricketers and team managements for neutralising the team`s fighting instincts.
Inzimam’s Raiwind regime may have turned the Pakistan cricket team into a (seemingly) well-knit unit, but its many critics accused the captain of operating at the expense of ostracising talent that refused to bend to the religious dictates of his regime. Many also believe that Inzi’s religious zeal actually softened the team’s innovative and competitive nature, a nature that was rigorously nourished and encouraged by the likes of former captains like Imran Khan, Javed Miandad and Wasim Akram.
A leading paper, The News, complains:
One major factor that will have to come under scrutiny is the atmosphere in the dressing room. To be more precise, whether the overt and not-so-overt display of religiosity has been a distraction of sorts and taken away from the real job: that of playing cricket and focusing on the game.
Amir Mir further writes that batsmen have known to cramp because they fast and play during the holy month of Ramadan – The TJ has invaded the dressing room of the Pakistani cricket team—they can be seen praying with players and reciting the Holy Quran for the team’s success (never mind that it has been performing poorly). As TJ membership makes it incumbent upon a person to preach, most of the Tableeghi cricketers, especially Inzimam, often conduct preaching tours across Pakistan. Inzimam’s penchant to mix religion with cricket has already sparked accusations that he favours Tabeeghi players over those who are either secular or prefer to confine religion to their private lives. The non-Tableeghi group is reportedly led by Vice-Captain Younas Khan and includes Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif, Danish Kaneria, Imran Nazir, Abdul Razzaq, etc. This divide often shadows differences between players.
Let’s also reflect on the opinion of some of ex-Pakistani Cricketers on this issue:
Former Pakistani captain, Asif Iqbal, has mystery given a more perceptive reason for the downfall of the team: over emphasis on religion. Today, the Pakistani team looks like a band of religious zealots. There is nothing wrong with flaunting one’s religious identity, but not if it overwhelms every other aspect of a person. In the process, somewhere, the Pakistani team, which has no dearth of talented players, has lost its way.
What can religiosity do for Pakistan Cricket? – Tableeghi Jamaat’s religiopolitical and terror links

It is widely believed that Tableeghi Jamaat is purely a religious organisation which is completely apolitical and hence considered ‘safe’ even in times when Islamophobia prevails. This exception ticket gets them entry pretty much everywhere without any suspicion. This is exactly what helped them make inroads in Pakistan Cricket without any criticism whatsoever. But are they really safe? Is TJ really apolitical? Do they not have any terror links? Well, lets see…
Two of the London 7/7 bombers attended the Tablighi European headquarters mosque in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.
At least four of those charged with the alleged airline ‘terror plot’ worshipped at another Tablighi mosque.
In September, Muslims in Gillingham, Kent, warned of a Tablighi Jamaat “fundamentalist” takeover there.
Iyman Faris, the Ohio truck driver involved in a terrorist plot to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge, came to Pakistan in late 2001 to attend a Tablighi gathering.
Americans say many Al Qaeda members have claimed connection to Tablighi Jamaat, including the ‘American Taliban’ John Walker Lindh, captured in Afghanistan. The TJ was cited on the cases of John Walker Lindh, and other captives the USA holds in its Guantanamo Bay detention camps.
A December 2001 article by the Boston Herald cited Indian security concerns branches of the Jamaat were related to al-Qaeda. “We have a significant presence of Tablighi Jamaat in the United States,” the deputy chief of the FBI’s international terrorism section said in 2003, “and we have found that al-Qaeda used them for recruiting now and in the past.”
More importantly, it should be noted that the terrorists involved in attacking Ahmadi mosque in Lahore in 2012 which killed nearly 80 people were holed up in the central mosque in Raiwind and the whole planning of the attack was undertaken there. When the law enforcement agencies wanted access to this mosque to apprehend the accused and their accomplices, they were stopped by the Chief Minister of the Punjab, Shehbaz Sharif.
The jailed shoe bomber Richard Reid is also known to have attended Tablighi meetings.
And, if you would believe Rehman Mailk, TJ is breeding ground for extremists which operate in Pakistan. There was atleast one news report which mentioned a terrorist captured from the TJ headquarter in Raiwind but the news was not well reported.
The general impression about the Tablighi Jamaat is that it does its work throughout the world with the help of voluntary preachers and does not hold any political affiliations. Certainly, the key people in the Tablighi Jamaat have never given the impression that they have political associations. It is however, difficult to claim that the Tablighi Jamaat has never supported a political party in the past.
Let’s reflect on Tableeghi Jamaat’s political connections…
A number of Tablighi office holders have been active in the ranks of the Muslim League (Nawaz). The biggest example is the former president of Pakistan, Rafiq Ahmed Tarar, whose religious and political affiliations are no secret; who used his Tablighi influence to the hilt to gain political advantage and who ended up occupying the highest office of the government.
The head of the ISI, general Javaid Nasser had a similar background. He became the chief of the ISI because of his closeness to Nawaz Sharif. Later on, he was made the chairman of the Evacuee Property Board, because of the support of the Nawaz Sharif government. He faced charges of corruption as well as supporting the Sikhs associated with the Khalistan movement. When the Sharif governemnt was deposed, general Javaid Nasser returned to the Raiwind Mosque.
Tablighi Jamaat members have tried to intervene in the political process before. One notable example is the failed coup attempt in 1995 by army officers who wanted to install the caliphate system in Pakistan. Several of the plotters were members of the Jamaat.
Notably, Tariq Jameel, the most famous and influential leader of TJ made headlines when he met political parties, notably, when he visited the Nine Zero, the headquarter of the MQM in August 2010.
Where is Pakistan Cricket headed?

The point is that religion is not a bad thing, as long as it is personal and motivating a human being to become better. Most players have deep individual faiths or lucky charms, which they turn to for mental support. But a line needs to be drawn between faith practiced in private domain and in public space. Its just that religion does not mix well with Sport or any secular activity for that matter. Assuming that it has not become debatable yet that Sport is a secular activity, I rest my case here.
How would it be if the Pakistan team gets more and more into dogma? During Football World Cup, UAE had declared Vuvuzela as ‘haram’ because it was too loud. Tomorrow, Pakistan may not want its women to play Cricket or ask women and men to sit in segregated compartments in the auditorium or not want women to watch men playing at all! Would it be okay for the team to play with alleged infidels in the first place? Will Pakistan be ready to play Indian infidels?
One may contend that what I am suggesting is a little too far fetched, but I would like to counter ask whether anyone had expected the Pakistan team to assume even the slightest religious hue in 1975? Yet, it has happened. One can never discount for what may happen in 2035.
Pakistani Cricket and its fans are suffering from the Lahore Attack, the Bob Woolmer episode could have been a similar one. With so much evidence at hand that this exhibitionist religiosity and Tableeghi Jamaat influence has harmed Pakistan Cricket in too any ways to mention, I think the fans should draw a line here and let Cricket be a Sport.
Knowing what Tableeghi Jamaat is and also considering that it is being monitored by security agencies across the world for its links to extremism and terror, Pakistan Cricket could face a fatal blow. Imagine a situation where Tableeghi Jamaat associated Islamists go violent somewhere, and it is put in the long list of banned extremist organisations. With such publicised and strong links with the Jamaat, who will give Pakistani Cricketers visa, who will host them?

(Courtesy: aleXpressed)

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